We have been talking about answering the question of “Where was God” when bad things happen.
Another proposed answer is that God is there, but He is really unable to do anything to stop bad things from happening – there are events that are simply beyond the scope of his power or control.
This view stems from a dualistic idea about God that He is not really all-powerful at all – but rather, has an evil “twin.” This opponent is equal in power to god, and asserts his own will upon this earth – and there is little that the god of heaven can do about it. In this view, evil is bigger (often more powerful) than god – whose hands are virtually tied by the laws of nature and the will of mankind.
But the “good” god sure is sad about all the evil and tragedy in the world. He is a god who feels our pain, agonizes over our sufferings, but really can’t do anything about it – except to inspire people to help those who are hurting, and in need.
But this is NOT the God of the Bible.
He has no evil twin. The God of the Bible has no equal.
Evil does exist in the world – and there is an enemy of God who certainly stirs up evil in the world. This enemy is a created being, limited in scope and power. He is able to deceive and inspire evil thoughts and actions in human beings. He twists the truth. He appeals to our self-serving natures. He constantly seeks to “blind the minds of the unbelieving.” (2Cor. 4:4)
This is often his greatest focus. He seeks to confuse us humans, cause us not to see things that we should see, and keep us justified in not seeing (all along claiming we do see).
And what we do not see is the reason behind God’s supposed impotence.
The best answer to the question of “Where was God?” is that He is exactly where He was when His Own Son was suffering. He is there. He sees the suffering. He feels our pain.
And, in Jesus, He was doing something about it.
Jesus not only took our sins upon Himself (when He was suffering on that cross)… He also took our griefs and our sorrows. He embraced our sins… and our suffering. He carried all the horrible things of the human condition to their final destination – defeat upon that cross.
Just as we cast our sins upon Him, in faith – so also we cast our sufferings upon Him, in faith. Jesus was sent to carry them both. Jesus was sent as the solution to them both. In every question of the human condition, Jesus is the answer!
How does this help us? How does it help those who have suffered tragic loss?
It helps us because we have an ever-present hope. We have an unending Source of divine help in our times of sorrow and grief. It helps because we have One who is well-acquainted with suffering and grief – and Who embraced them on our behalf.
It not only means that we do not face tragedy alone – we face tragedy with the God of all eternity (and all power) standing at our side. And THAT matters!
The Bible is clear… tragedy and hard times are always going to be a part of living on this current earth (Jn. 16:33). But this current earth will not always exist. There will come a day when the God of heaven will end every evil thing and take away all suffering.
But until then, He offers us the reality of His divine Presence. HE is the hope in the midst of all hopelessness. He is the balm to every moment of suffering.
For those who choose to believe.
Prayer Focus: God, I believe You are with me no matter what I face… work in me to be a beacon of hope for those who have been touched by pain and sorrow.