Skip to main content

God is Present in Suffering

I am currently teaching through Nahum at  one of our sister churches. As I was preparing to preach on Nahum 1:12-13 on God's Sovereignty Over Suffering, I came across this quote from Andrew White from his autobiographical account of his life as Vicar of Baghdad, in post-Saddam-Hussein Iraq. Andrew observes God’s unmovable presence in a dangerous city : 
However dreadful the tragedy, My Lord is there. Amidst the greatest havoc I have witnessed in post war Iraq, or in Gaza, or in Bethlehem during the siege, I have still seen God’s glory…I have seen heavens opened and glimpsed something of the majesty, might and love of God. When life is full of despair, it is only the glory of God that truly sustains. There have been times when everything has gone wrong, when friends and colleagues have been killed, and there has seemed no hope. It is at times like this that I ask God to show me his glory…so I circulate among the powerful people in Pentagon, Congress and Parliament, I ask to see God’s glory, and in all these places I have seen it.
The quote is from The Vicar of Baghdad : Fighting for Peace in the Middle East. The teaching that God is present in suffering really sets apart Christian teaching from other religions in this area because God is not a cosmic observer distant but he truly suffers when we suffer. Here is what Isaiah of Jerusalem said, "In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the Angel of His Presence saved them; In His love and in His pity He redeemed them; And He bore them and carried them All the days of old..." (Isaiah 63:9). In the same book, as he looks forward to the coming of the Messiah he declares, "Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:4-5). Here again we see the importance of the doctrine of Trinity. God puts on humanity an suffers with us. God with Us. Not only for our sins, but for all our pain and afflictions. Without Immanuel we are still suffering by ourselves. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I Am Mother

I think it is true to say that the Netflix film I Am Mother is one the most disturbing movies I have watched for a long time. The film is set in a near future. Human life has been wiped out. An artificial intelligence (AI) called Mother is living inside a bunker where thousands of embroyos are stored. It selects an embryo and initiates a program to grow a baby within 24 hours. The AI then goes on to raise the child as its mother over the next few years.  After 16 years, the girl, who now goes by the name of Daughter (Clara Rugaard) is a teenager. She has never been outside because Mother has told her that the air is toxic. Her time is spend being home schooled in science and ethics so that she can become a perfect human being. The bond between Daughter and Mother is unusually strong. To our surprise there does not appear to be any mental or pyschological trauma of having a machine as her mother.  The strength of the bond between man and machine is tested when a nameless Woman (Hilary

Jesus Never Fails

Many a times in my life, the words of this childhood hymn has been a tremendous encouragement. I pray this may encourage you too. Keep looking to Jesus! Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails. Your mother will let you down Your father will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails. Your husband will let you down Your wife will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your brothers will let you down Your sisters-will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your church will let you down Your work will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your friends will let you down Your country will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your wealth will let you down Your health will let you down The man of the world

God on the Brain - A Review

A Christian understanding of human nature holds that human beings are made in the image of God. As His image bearers we are created by God with an immaterial soul that survives death. This soul comes with the capacity and moral inclination to know and relate to God. All of this means that for Christians how we regard the relationship between the soul and the brain matters because it affects the validity of the Gospel.  The good news of Jesus presupposes some fundamental things about our human nature. It assumes that we are moral beings who have fallen off an objective moral standard and in need of forgiveness. It tells us that death is not the end. We must one day give an account. Most importantly, Jesus who is fully God and fully man is our only hope for life with God.  This good news of Jesus has become increasingly challenged by a materialist worldview of the brain led by secular neuroscientists. They argue that science and faith in God are opposed to one another; religious belief e