Probably one of the biggest struggles In a life of faith has to do with why God allows suffering. Some ask the question this way: why do bad things happen to good people?
This year at Catalyst, Matt Chandler took this subject on. It is a powerful thing to hear a man who has battled brain cancer speak on suffering. He knows of what he speaks.
One of the theories – that doesn’t solve the problem of suffering, but at least gives an understanding of the role of suffering in the life of faith – is that God uses our suffering to teach us what we could not otherwise learn. It is through that lens that Matt Chandler spoke.
He said, “It is not unloving of God to wound you now so that you might have eternity with him. It IS unloving of God to save you from pain now and allow you to spend eternity apart from him.”
If what is at stake is eternity spent with God, then suffering becomes less of a horror. I would rather walk through the valley now and know that I am a citizen of Heaven, and when I die eternity in the presence of a loving God awaits me, than avoid suffering now and lose out on eternity with God.
Matt Chandler also said this: “God is going to do surgery to cut out some of what is killing us that we don’t even know is killing us…Jesus does not drive an ambulance, he is not going to show up when it is already too late.”
I found this profoundly comforting.
So let me leave you with this quote from the Apostle Paul, who knew a little bit about suffering:
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”