- Written by Denny Diehl
Our title raises the question: Why is there such a thing as "hurting"? Bluntly: How can a loving God allow His creation to suffer? The question of Theodicy (definition: "seeking to vindicate divine justice in allowing evil to exist" - Webster's New World Collegiate Dictionary) is, indeed, quite relevant. Pain and suffering not only exist - they seem to thrive in a universe gone mad. Why does God allow those who are hurting to hurt?
- Written by Warren E. Berkley
To introduce this text, let me bring to our attention two commonly recognized dangers: (1) being a stranger in a foreign land, and (2) being in a building that is falling down.
While preaching in the Philippines in 1981, for an hour or so in Brookspoint on the island of Palawan, I was separated from the group. I had traveled to the country with John McCort, and we were accompanied by a collection of native preachers, guides and helpers. I was waiting for a jeep to be repaired and the group went somewhere with the promise they would return for me in a few minutes. It was almost an hour. There was no immediate threat or danger. But I was alone in a strange place. I was a stranger and foreigner and felt the full impact of that alienation. The American Embassy in Manila -- upon our arrival -- warned us: "You are not citizens of this country and do not have the rights and privileges the natives enjoy. Be careful!" To be in a place you are not familiar with and where you enjoy no guarantee of any protection is unsettling, to say the least. It is commonly recognized as a danger (especially in view of current terrorism) to be a visitor in a place where you hold no citizenship.
- Written by Kent Heaton
But He Did Not Want It
It would seem to most people that a wealthy man would find all the happiness in the world. If he possessed great amounts of wealth, there would be nothing that a person could not do to find happiness. Each day could be spent in the pursuit of pleasure and fun. There would be little if anything that would not be possible for a man of great wealth. He could travel the world on a whim, buy what he wanted, go where he desired, enjoy whatever his heart sought after and be filled with satisfaction as a cup flowing over. So why was Solomon not happy?
- Written by Gary Henry
“We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
It should be strengthening to us to know that we are surrounded by the limitless love of God. As our Creator, He is able to love us with a love that is infinite. We cannot understand it completely or respond to it fully. Even if, like our antediluvian ancestors, we were to live hundreds of years upon the earth and love God as Enoch and Noah did, we could not learn to love God with the same love that He has for us. But this fact should not discourage us. It should “challenge” us in a most delightful way. Although we can’t love God as He loves us, we can learn to love Him more and more as time goes by. No matter how much of God’s love we learn to enjoy, there will always be much more waiting for us up ahead. His love is boundless and inexhaustible.
- Written by Matthew Allen
You know the feeling. It starts deep down inside, and as it grows your stomach turns and anxiety builds. It’s the realization that you’ve fallen short…again. Satan seeks out our weaknesses and effectively exploits them to the fullest. And now, the guilt. The constant questioning, if only I had… Think of the dread of coming to worship services again and thinking if these people knew half the things I struggle with, they’d run me out of here. Many obey the gospel of Christ and do well initially. But then, they find themselves falling back into the same habits they had before their relationship with Christ. After they succumb, then comes the guilt. This time it is even worse. Sometimes the guilt is almost overwhelming and younger Christians are tempted to give up.