Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Is God involved in the suffering of a Christian, both regular suffering and persecution?

The short of this answer is no and we need to look no further than the Bible, in the Book of James in the chapter 1 verses 12-13 which reveals; Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone (New King James Version). When we look at this it must be understood that one’s temptations are individual trials or test that each person must endure in their lives. There will be suffering and persecution but God is not the architect of it this is not in the nature or attributes of God. I feel that Dr. Towns explains this point completely in Theology Today when he speaks about the omnipresence of God stating that; “the fact that God is means that God is here and now. He comforts, guides, and protects the believer with His omnipresence” (Towns, 121).
Since God is a God who provides protection, guidance and comfort then how can anyone think that He could be a God of suffering and persecution as this is not in His nature? Many argue then why does God allow for so much suffering in the world Dr. Towns sheds light on this as well, by telling us about God’s omnipotence where he explains; “God can do everything that is in harmony with His nature and perfection. Of all the attributes of God, God has limited His omnipotence by His will. He can do whatever He wills to do, but He does not necessarily will to do everything. On many occasions, God has limited His power by the free will of His rational creatures. By this God does not force people to become Christians; therefore, He limits His power by the rejection of their will (Towns,121 ).
In this instance the word will is action or something being done that shows a person’s true character, attributes or nature. If we look at the parable of the good Samaritan in the book of Luke recall that a certain man was robbed and left beaten, naked and for dead. Then there was a priest who came along saw this man suffering and in grief but did nothing for him, we are then told that a second man a Levite came along and did nothing but then a Samaritan happen by and helped this man in his time of suffering and affliction. The first two men showed their will was not that of God’s but their own the Samaritan showed or better yet reflected the will, action, of the attributes of God that we all posses but do not apply as we should. God does not cause for a Christian to suffer or be persecuted but He will provide comfort and protection in times of suffering and persecution as it is His nature.

Pastor LaVaughn R. Carter
Patient Perseverance Ministries ©2010

Works Cited

Towns, Elmer. Theology for Today. Belmont: Wadsworth, 2002.

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