Thoughts on pain, suffering, and atheism…

stopping-the-pain-and-suffering-dr-diva-verdun

The past 6 months I have talked to more atheists than I have in my entire life.  It seems like they are popping up everywhere.  I’ve had some really interesting conversations and I wanted to give you an insight from these discussions.

I’ve observed that…

Most atheists don’t believe in God because they have an offense towards Him.  They refuse to believe in a “God” that would be so unkind towards humanity.  

Either they have an offense towards God personally or they know someone else that had an offense, and it has affected them.  It’s one thing to be an atheist, but it’s another thing to poison people’s minds with your version of a distorted reality.

We all filter life through our previous experiences, for better or for worse.

Not long ago I had a conversation with an atheist from Europe.  He didn’t know much about Christianity, but he told me that he had a hard time believing that a loving God that would let 5 members of his family pass away within a 2 year period of time.  My heart went out to him because I could relate- my own father passed away in a tragic car accident when I was a teenager.  Throughout my life I have seen countless people blame God for the bad things that happen to them and their loved ones.  

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (Jn 10:10)

Jesus came to bring life and life more abundantly
Jesus came to bring life and life more abundantly

Satan would love for us to blame God for everything that he does.  He would love to separate us from the one thing that can bring us the freedom that we need!  The truth is that we live in a fallen… sin filled world.  This is why bad things happen to good people.  This was never God’s intention.  In the book of Genesis 1:31 we read that God made the the heavens and the earth and “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”  God delegated authority to mankind to govern and manage the affairs of the earth.  To put it lightly Adam and Eve really screwed things up.  They disobeyed God and brought sin into the human race.  Now a world that was perfect was full of sin and death.  It’s not God’s fault that the world is so screwed up, it’s humanity’s.

“One of satan’s biggest tactics is to get us to blame God for his actions.  He would love for us to question the character and nature of God.”

I have heard it a million times… “If God is a God of love then why did my loved one die from cancer?  If God is a loving God why are there starving people all over the world?”  I am sure that you have heard similar statements.

“If we don’t understand what the nature and character of God is we can easily be offended by the hurts of life.”

People are interesting.  We hate pain and suffering.  We are very limited in our understanding of God, and who He is,  and out of our lack of understanding we end up blaming Him for things that He never did.  So many people end up making their own version of God in their minds (which is idolatry) because they can’t deal with their version of reality.  The way to not get offended with God is to understand His character and who He is.

If you want to know the nature and character of God… look to Jesus, He was the perfect reflection of the Father.

Jesus said, “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”  In John 10:30 Jesus says, “I and the Father are one.”  If we study the life and person of Jesus we will see the perfect picture of our Heavenly Father and His personality.

I can relate to pain, suffering, and grief.  When I was 16 years old my father died in a sudden and tragic car accident.  This left my large family with no support system.  It was the time in my life that I really wanted my dad to be involved.  I had gone through a rebellious stage and had recently made my heart right with God.  My fathers death was the most difficult thing I’ve ever been through in my entire life.

I had a choice.  I could blame God, be offended, and hate Him… or I could choose to trust Him with things that I didn’t understand.  I chose to trust Him.

It was an extremely difficult season in my life, but I never blamed God.  I remember during that time that I could physically feel people praying for me, and the church was really there for us.  To me, this felt like God’s loving embrace being extended towards my family and I.

Since my father passed away the Lord has sent numerous mentors and men of God into my life to make up for my father’s absence.  I know first hand that God is truly a Father to the fatherless.  I still have questions as to why it had to happen, and I am sure that I will have these questions the rest of my life, but I chose to trust Him with the things that don’t make sense.  I know His nature and character and I know that He is good.

God is truly a father to the fatherless
God is truly a father to the fatherless

Just like our loving Father comforted me… He wants to comfort you.  Open your heart to Him.  Make the decision today to give your offense to God, and trust Him with your heart and your life.  We have a loving Father that deeply cares about even the smallest details of our lives.

Paul

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Thoughts on pain, suffering, and atheism…