Although many of us claim to know the truths about God, we can sometimes be troubled by our curiosities about the problem of evil and suffering. Especially those who are and have gone through pain and suffering in their lives. We cannot assume to undertake the course of proclaiming God’s word without fully comprehending the subject’s immensity when we have to deal with the issue ourselves or have friends and family members facing these challenges. Remember, in the book of Job, when the three friends gallantly took on their spiritual piousness to come and visit Job. The first seven days had more impact on Job than their valiant attempts to offer comfort in the subject that they had the foreknowledge or wisdom to provide to Job. Ultimately their words of ‘wisdom’ amplified the suffering that Job was facing.
As we confront the subject of this magnitude, we first and foremost accept the reality that we must accept the fact that we are mere mortals and cannot even conceive the immenseness of God’s wisdom. The wisdom and sovereignty of God are beyond the scope of humanity’s mortal attempts to understand. As mortals, we must accept the fact that God is all-powerful and saves. We must admit that God can and will set everything right and wipe every tear from our eyes. Unfortunately, this may not satisfy our reasons and parallel our experiences. Still, we must accept that there is no other ‘practical’ solution to the problem of evil and suffering within our mortal state.
We must set aside the idol belief of a loving but ‘weak’ God or a God who is strong but graceless. Neither of these descriptions can capture any disenchanted selves’ hearts and minds, especially when we face evil, oppression, violence, and even death. We have to remember that these concepts of God of the Bible do not exist. The vision found when Jesus the Son reveals to us “God the Father, Almighty.”
When we read what Pual said when he confronted both the Epicurean (Deistic – God out of sight) and Stoic (identifying God with creation) philosophers on Mars hill that Paul proclaimed Jesus and the resurrection, on the foundation that: The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and death and does not live in temples built by hands,
“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything since he gives all human life and breath and everything. Moreover, he made from one man every nation of humanity live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place”. Acts 17:24–26 (ESV)
The Apostle of the Gentiles shows that Christianity invalidates the hyper-immanence (pantheistic) and hyper-transcendence (deism). For Jesus Christ not only taught us but indeed exhibited to us a God of Israel is indeed the Lord over and beyond us and was indeed the only Lord ‘Immanuel’, God with Us,
For it was on the cross that many embrace the sight of a broken and defeated man but it was on the cross that He brought the world to its knees; it was on the cross that He brought freedom for all our defeats; for it was on the cross that the Son of Man brought kings and leaders to their debt of crucifying a man without sin; for it was on the cross He opened the gates of heaven; for it was on the cross the poor, rejected, disillusioned and cast aside found purpose and meaning to a destiny; for it was on the cross the purest of sacrificed was shouldered and the grace of the Father poured upon all who believe. For it was on the cross that the true nature and essence of our loving God poured out upon us and was personified. It was not His defeat we saw, but the triumphant fulfilment of all of our God promises.
God is not needy; we are.
God is not dependent on us, but we are helpless without him.
God determines the future, and therefore we can be truly confident that a God who suffered for us in Jesus Christ will without any doubt fulfil the promised fruit of everlasting peace in a world where suffering is no more, and God will be all in all complete.