Is God Good?
Is God good? If He is, why is there suffering and evil? Let’s assume for the moment that God is all powerful. This means that God can do anything that is logically possible. So he can create galaxies and subatomic particles and rain forests and you. So what if, when God created human beings, he wanted them to be free? Freedom is a good thing. But if humans are to be free, they cannot be forced to obey God because freedom without choice is like a square circle. It’s a logical contradiction. No choice. No freedom. God did not want robots, He wanted real people. The first humans, endowed with the awesome power of free choice abused their freedom. The tragic consequences of their bad choice and our bad choices spread across the world. God is responsible for the fact of freedom. But humans are responsible for their acts of freedom. But lets remember, we do not suffer alone. God will put an end to suffering and evil. And God became a man to suffer with us. God is good and he wants real people like you to know him. But the free choice is yours.
Smiles in the Midst of Pain: Three weeks after the earthquake my wife Amy and I were able to go help bring relief to the devastated towns of Tohoku, Japan. As we began to witness the destruction, we were soon overwhelmed with depression and hopelessness. But as we began to minister to the people with the love of Jesus, we began to see miracles. Miracles that were in the form of smiles. Smiles in the midst of incomprehensible pain and loss. These smiles represented hope, not just for the victims but for us as well.
In the devastated town of Ishinomaki, thousands of people found shelter at the local Watanoha elementary school gym that had acted as an evacuation center for more than seven months. As of October 10, all evacuees had been moved out of the Watanoha center and into government issued temporary prefabricated homes. Since March 11th, we have seen the victims’ needs change monthly. Therefore, the methods as to how we were able to help the victims had continually changing as well. From supplying them with food, clothing and shelter to the mucking out of their homes and gutters to simply spending time listening to them. Although these methods continually changed over this past year, the principle continued to remain the same and that was to share the love of Jesus with them!
We had noticed that the love being poured into this town through the prayers, financial support, and physical presence by so many Christians coming to help was beginning to bear fruit!
This fruit has been most visibly seen by the personal relationships that have been built.
This last Christmas we decided to invest in those relationships by personally inviting them to a Christmas party. The idea was to totally bless them by treating them as VIP’s. For the last nine months they had stood in lines to receive food. Not this time! This time they were able to sit down and be served like the Very Important People they are to our Heavenly Father.
We had special food, Christmas music, a special Christmas message of hope, and, of course, presents, which included portable DVD players and the Jesus Movie!
We are very blessed to be able to report that eight people received Jesus Christ that night and have been attending a weekly Bible study that has been continually growing.
Romans 15:13 “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”