A number of you have written to me with some questions, but others of you have indicated that you are looking forward to this Nugget for the answer to my doozy of a question in the first Nugget of this series.
Why does God heal an eighty plus year old woman and allows a 20 year old young man to die?
Those of you who have followed the Gems and Nuggets for years will realise I often encourage you to ask your questions so the things I share from Scripture will hit the mark and be relevant to you. Your questions help me to cover all the bases. That is what I intend with this new series. I realise I have opened a Pandora’s Box on this topic particularly. There are many layers that we will have to work our way through in order to grapple with the paradox of such pairings as pain and praise, suffering and solace, grief and glory, pain and suffering, healed and not healed, suffering and glory and many other similar couplets. I won’t shrink back from the challenge; neither I hope will you. Therefore in order to fully answer that doozy of a question we need to address many preliminary questions first. I don’t know how many Nuggets will result from this series. It took me 19 Nuggets for the Hearing God’s Voice series and 14 for Overcoming Strongholds.
I shared the question above as my first example to embolden you to ask all your questions. Share your questions with me.
- No question is too dumb.
- No question is off limits.
- No question is too sensitive or personal from my point of view; the limit will be what you are willing to ask.
- Another limit will be how willing you are to share real life examples of your own.
- How willing you are to list some brave, revealing, transparent questions you want answers to.
There will be some very sensitive and personal things I am willing to share but I will find ways of telling the stories or sharing the lesson embedded in mine and other people’s story while protecting either the people who have told me or not sharing information of a sensitive nature. I may use pseudonyms, I may tell stories in a way so as prevent you from knowing where the events took place or in order to hide the identity of the people involved. I will find ways of getting my point across during the course of this series even if it means I go in-house with it, behind password protection. On the other hand many of you have told me I am free to use your story and your name. My grateful thanks to those people.
I am not intending to share my response to the doozy of a question in this Nugget. Why not? Because in using that question to be my opening offering I was setting the stage from the start. Let’s lay it out there in the first question. In order to answer it and do it justice we will need to peel back many layers and address many issues head on. It is that which I plan to do. Not give you a series of canned Christian clichés as answers. Oh I have input to give, I have stories to tell to help us arrive at answers which I trust will satisfy. But I also know with this topic that there will be some matters that we will have to put in the too hard basket, due to the fact that He is God and we are not. I don’t have all the answers; only God does. But I will seek to share with you some insights from Scripture which I believe will go a long way toward giving us answers we can trust. Answers that will reveal the deeper things of God.
A number of you have sent me questions on totally unrelated topics. Several of you have seen this as an opportunity to ask about other passages of Scripture which you believe don’t make sense or are contradictory to other Biblical truth. I won’t address those kinds of questions in this series. I want to stick to the topic that I have laid before us in giving you the longer title to this series.
A Puzzling Paradox: Pain & Praise, Suffering & Solace, Grief and Glory.
Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People
Making Sense of God When God Doesn’t Seem to Make Sense
Here are the questions I have compiled so far from my own experience or my reading of the Bible. To those I have added the questions I have received from you my readers. This list is not exhaustive. I am sure you can add some more great questions.
I encourage you to send me your questions, or even just your one solitary question.
(Y)Our Questions so far
- Have God’s promises failed?
- Is God really in control?
- Is God even fair?
- How can some people see healings through their ministry and yet remain sick or impaired themselves? Is that fair?
- Why does God allow missionaries, his ambassadors, to die for the cause?
- How is that some Christians believe that healing is in the atonement and it is ours to appropriate while others believe God does not heal some as part of a greater plan? All from the same Bible.
- How do we harmonize the belief that all sickness should be healed with the idea that God allows sickness and suffering, and God uses both for His purpose?
- Is healing really in the atonement and does it mean that healing is ours by right? Can we really name it and claim it?
- Do miraculous healings happen for non-Christians too?
- How can God be called “just” in the light of the aftermath of the Acehnese earthquake of Boxing Day 2004?
- God, why did you let that happen?
- God, why did you allow that to happen?
- Isn’t one hard thing in life enough? Why do some people go through serial disasters?
- Isn’t there a quota for hardships experienced by one person? (Especially for fine Christian people)
- Doesn’t God protect His children? Isn’t He always with them, omni-present and all-knowing? Then why do disasters happen?
- How is that rogues and crooks “get away with murder”? Where is the justice in life?
- How long do we have to wait for justice? How can the Jesus say “God will see they get quick justice.”
- How quick does it have to be to be quick?
- How can God be good, be in control of everything, love people, and still allow bad things to happen to fine upstanding people?
- Who is to blame for all the bad things in life?
- How can we trust that there really is a God when “acts of God” happen with monotonous regularity?
- Do miracles happen today?
- Why don’t we see them around us?
- Why do miracles always happen in far off places?
- Does anyone check to see whether the “healings” people claim are real, verifiable?
- Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?
- How do Pain and Praise, Suffering and Solace, Grief and Glory go together?
- How can the fact a person was born blind or someone’s death be to the glory of God? (John 9:3, 11:4)
- Why does God heal an eighty plus year old woman and allows a 20 year old young man to die?
- How do we make sense of God when at times God doesn’t seem to make sense?
Can We Be Satisfied With Answers such as:
- God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.
- This must not have been God’s will for you to have been missionary.
- God must be testing you.
- That is God’s judgement on the heathen people of ______.
- That hurricane was clearly an act of God.
- You must have unconfessed sin in your life, that’s the reason why you were not healed.
- God has called another little angel home to be with Him.
- Those who suffered and died must have deserved it.
- They deserved to be treated according to their sin.
- It must have been his/her time to die.
- One thing we all know is true: God treats us “unfairly”.
Some Scriptures for you to Ponder
These are more than sixty questions recorded in the book of Job like:
Why wasn’t I born dead? Why didn’t I die as I came from the womb.Job 3:11
Why is life given to those with no future, those God has surrounded with difficulties?Job 3:23
Don’t I have a right to complain?Job 6:5
Is not all human life a struggle?
If I have sinned what have I done to you? O Watcher of all humanity? Why make me a target? Am I a burden to you?Job 7:1, 20
Why do you turn away from me? Why do you treat me as your enemy?Job 13:24
Why do the wicked prosper, growing old and powerful?Job 21:7
Yet Job also wrote:
Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him . . .Job 13:15
But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!Job 19:25-27
God forgives us our sins even though we don’t deserve forgiveness. He gives us mercy instead of punishment; he offers us life rather than death. God does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.Psalm 103:10
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful servants.Psalm 116:15
The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger, and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works.Psalm 145:8-9
Solomon said in the Wisdom literature: I said to myself, ‘God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed’.Eccl 3:17
For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies, says the Lord God.Ezek 18:32
Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?Hab 1:13
For he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked.Luke 6:35
Jesus said, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly”.Luke 18:7–8
I will use the Bible to give us answers to our questions and plan to take you to some remarkable truths hidden in God’s Word. If you wish to follow all I write in this series you will need to sign up on this website. (Sign up is at the bottom of each page)
Please add any more questions you have to the common pool by contacting me and sending your contribution. I will begin the process of unravelling this challenge before us in A Puzzling Paradox 3. As with the Gems on occasions I will quote something worthwhile from my readers and give you credit if you give me permission. I have been known in past Gems to yield a complete Gem to a Guest Contributor. Who knows, you may be the first such Guest Contributor to a Nugget.