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Jesus Christ my Lord and my Savior: Why Suffering ?

Jesus Christ my Lord and my Savior

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Why Suffering ?

A famous author pointedly asked: "If God is infinitely good, and infinitely powerful too, why should evil exist at all?" That question is one we all want answered.

God reveals His purpose for permitting misery during the present era, when we must struggle against our destructive nature and reasoning. It is our free will—our freedom of choice, our free moral agency—that provides the key to understanding why God allows evil and suffering to exist.

Let see what happened in the beginning when God created the earth :

What major choices did our first parents face?

"The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (Genesis 2:9).

The first book of the Bible talks about two trees God created. One represented the way to life and abundant blessings, the other the way to suffering, anguish and death. He gave Adam and Eve a choice of the two trees. But He did not leave our first parents in the dark. He explained the consequences of the choices they could make and even commanded them not to make the wrong one.
Genesis 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
compare
Genesis 3: 1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" 2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "

What all-important decision did Adam and Eve make ?

"So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate" (Genesis 3:6).

Although man's Creator (GOD ) had clearly warned the first man not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, He did not prevent Adam and Eve from making a wrong choice. God had created them both in His own image and gave them freedom to choose.

God is the epitome of holy, righteous character. He has chosen always to do what is wise and good. No power greater than He forces Him to be righteous. Righteousness has always been and always will be His way of life. His nature is love, the highest expression of His perfect character (1 John 4:8, 16).
Because God wants us to be like Him, He did not make us as automatons. If He had done so, we could not build righteous character, the same character He has. He could not fashion us into His spiritual image. To build character, we must evaluate our choices and recognize their consequences. We must choose between right and wrong, wisdom and foolishness, carelessness and vigilance.

God told Adam not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, with the words, "For on the day that you eat of it, you will surely die". But there was no such prohibition concerning the Tree of Life. If Adam had eaten from that tree, he would have lived forever and never died. Instead he and his wife ended up eating from the forbidden tree, because they listened to a voice which tempted them to doubt the goodness of God. This is Satan's tactic today with us. We neglect the LIFE God gives and end up trying to attain it by going on a path forbidden by God.

How good it would have been had Adam instead chosen to eat from the Tree of Life! God had said, "Of every tree in the garden you may freely eat..." Adam could have eaten from the Tree of Life! In doing so, he would have known God in an even greater way, and would never have died in any way! If he had eaten of the Tree of Life, he would never have been interested in the forbidden tree. But having NEGLECTED the tree of life, it was really only a matter of time before he would fall to the temptation of eating the forbidden fruit.

A lot of times we get into trouble because we focus on the forbidden thing. We fight with temptation, and lose, because we focus on the temptation. God wants us to get our eyes off the temptation, and even off the moral rules of what would be right and wrong, so we can get our eyes onto what He is wanting us to focus on. We inevitably move towards our most dominant thought.

What does the Tree of Life represent?
I believe it represents Jesus, the source of Life! Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the LIFE, no one comes to the Father but by Me!" (John 14:6). The gift of Jesus that is available to us represents far more than the forgiveness of sins. It represents the very life of God by which we can truly live abundantly! The whole secret then, is to focus on Jesus and not to be distracted by lesser concerns, even the concern of "is this good or is this evil?". If we learn to focus on Jesus, we will tap into the unlimited source of life, power, joy and strength that we need to be "more than conquerors" in this life.

What happens when we make wrong choices?

"He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow . . ." (Proverbs 22:8).
Paul explained the principle of reaping what one sows in Galatians 6:7-8. The New International Version's rendering of this verse is especially clear: "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life."

The biblical record shows that God rarely interferes with man's free ability to make choices. We find instances in the Bible in which God temporarily intervened to inhibit either a nation's or an individuals freedom to choose a course of action—in some cases to protect His servants, in others to fulfill prophecy.

On one occasion He caused King Saul to involuntary "prophesy" to protect His servant David. But soon Saul returned to his old ways.

God also intervened to protect Abraham's wife, Sarah, from the illicit intentions of a king. God has frequently intervened in human affairs to assist or protect His faithful servants.

In general, God's purpose is best served by His giving us freedom of choice—letting matters take their own course, even if our hasty and wrongheaded decisions sometimes bring on us enormous sufferings. Otherwise we would not learn the importance of righteous character, nor would we fully grasp the terrible consequences of sinful behavior.

For example, God does not prevent people from over indulging in alcohol. He does not take away their freedom of choice, nor does He prevent them from suffering the consequences of their choices. But, if an abuser of alcohol should earnestly seek spiritual power and help from God to combat his weakness, God is willing, through the intervention of Jesus Christ, to help him (Hebrews 2:16-18; 4:14-16).
God's ears are always open to the prayers of people who sincerely desire to obey His commands (1 Peter 3:12).

So dear freinds the first reason for suffering is our own choices....
other reason we will discuss later, please pray to God to help and guide each one of us to take the right decisions in life, and keep us away from temptations.
please write your comments for this post so that we can learn more on this topic.


With Love ,
Mala

4 Comments:

  • At November 28, 2007 at 2:59 AM , Blogger vaishali said...

    Hi Mala,

    It's very good . I will deeply go through it and then write.

    vaishali D. naik

     
  • At December 5, 2007 at 3:45 AM , Blogger meera said...

    If God wants us to get our eyes off the temptation, why He makes temptations

     
  • At December 7, 2007 at 1:24 AM , Blogger aswinee kumar pradhan said...

    It is very intellectual story to be very deeply understood. I appreciate it's thoughts and the morales carried by them.

     
  • At December 7, 2007 at 1:53 AM , Blogger aswinee kumar pradhan said...

    Once upon a time,
    one man met GOD after death. GOD welcomed him and asked him about the life journey he had on earth.
    The man replied " Oh GOD ,while sending me to earth you told me that you will walk all the way along with me."
    Then GOD said him to see the footprints of life journey on the map possesed by GOD. When the man made a close srutiny of those foot prints he found one foot print of GOD and another foot print of him in the life journey. But , surprisingly, the foot prints of GOD were missing at some steps , leaving only single foot print of the man. He recalled that, even those single foot prints were traced at those moments ,when he had all his pains, misfortunes and sorrows. Then he complained GOD about it that GOD didn't give his company to the man when he really needed it.
    Besause he found only his single foot print in those sorrowful moments .

    Whisperingly, GOD replied in a smiling face " It was then only, I carried you . Or else, it would not have been possible for you to cross those moments of single foot print"

     

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