Several days ago, I prayed for a friend who is suffering with more than one physical problem. She is in a great deal of pain and has been for months - even years. Not responding in bitterness or anger, and not complaining to her God and her Maker or the people around her, she prays unceasingly for His help. In her human flesh, she is overcome, but unwavering in her faith in the Creator.
Romans 12:1 says, "Present your body as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship." Check. She has done that...........Isaiah 54:17 says, "No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgement you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me, declares the Lord. In other words, nothing that the enemy torments you (as a Believer)with can last forever. His accusations will come to nothing. This is a promise to Believers. Check. She has embraced this promise. Her faith is in He who promises................. James 5:13 says, "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray." Check. She has obeyed.
She has done all she knows to do, and yet still she suffers. I will give voice to the question we all have: Why??? Why, Lord???
Let me offer this explanation: First there is no pat answer. I think there are just some things we will never know for sure this side of heaven. Only God knows His reasons.... This leaves us with a choice: turn from Him or believe all He promises even though day after day, we do not see the fulfillment or relief. That is when we employ our faith. Faith is for those times when we don't know why or how or when, but we see the hoped for end, and it's good. My father promised me a horse if I saved up enough money to buy one when I was very young. This was a conditional promise. I believed him. So I saved up enough money, though it took years. Eventually I got my horse. Though it came through unexpected channels, it came neverless. What kept me hanging on all those years, saving every penny? Faith in my father's word.
Only Believers can hope to receive God's promises to His children. Faith will connect the Believer to the promised end. Faith in why or what? Faith that God is who He says He is (a promise keeper). We have faith that the Bible - God's Word, does tell us the truth about God's character. What's going on while we wait? We are developing patience. James 1:2-4 says, "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing."
Contrary to popular thought (especially in this country) pain is not a bad thing. We DO NOT like it, but it is not necessarily a bad thing.
But I didn't do anything to deserve this pain! It doesn't matter. Matthew 5:45 says, "He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good. And sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." He blesses the world with many good things. Sickness can be brought on by sin, but not necessarily.
Look at John 9:1-3 which says, "...He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him saying.' Rabbi, who sinned? This man or his parents that he should be born blind? Jesus answered , It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents. But it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him.'" So God let one man suffer so that many might be blessed by the works of God displayed in this man.
That's not fair, you may say. Well what about a bone marrow donor? Or a kidney donor? These willingly suffer pain so that the wonder of healing can come, and all the world is encouraged. It's not exactly the same thing, but maybe it helps to get my point across.
We live in a world that has been abused and suffers. God didn't make it that way. Man messed it up. From before time, there has been a war going on between good and evil. There are casualties in a war. Bad things happen to good people in a war. But honestly, I ask you..... Does the crucifixtion and death of Jesus Christ make sense? If we cannot understand this, how can we hope to understand why God allows what He allows at a given time. How can we understand how and why the innocent suffer. We must lay it to rest with this: God promises He has purpose in what happens. And God is the essence of Authority walking in Love. Have faith in Him and trust Him to do what He says He can do.