Is God Real? Why Do We Suffer?


I often find myself thinking about God’s will. I rarely, but sometimes (as with most Christians) hear the fleeting question in my mind, “what if I am wrong?”. I think we all find ourselves faced with this question of whether or not God really does exist. For me, it’s easy to dismiss the question from my mind… knowing that my flesh is teaming up with the enemy to stir doubt within my heart. The reason I find it so easy to dismiss isn’t because I am a super Christian… or because of anything I’ve done or can do. The truth is, I have seen too much. I have experienced too much of the goodness of God to even question His existence, but that doesn’t keep Satan from trying to bring fear.

Truthfully, if God didn’t exist then my whole life would be wasted. That goes for many of you as well; especially those who are tirelessly working for the Kingdom of God. Whether it be like my wife and I who work at a church and serve in ministry, or the marketplace Christian who talks to everyone they meet about God, Jesus and the Salvation that they know so intimately. We all have a lot invested in God (but nowhere near what He has invested in us).

The Bible tells us,”…Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” We shouldn’t be surprised when the things of Hell look pleasing and appealing to our senses. It shouldn’t shock us when the preacher or minister we’ve followed closely turns out to be a liar or a cheat. The Bible warns us that this will happen – over and over again. In the verse just after this, in 2 Cor 11:15, Paul writes, “Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”

You will experience, in your lifetime, a preacher, teacher, pastor, priest, prophet, or minister who will let you down. You may be planted in a house for a decade only to find out that the man of God who resides over the church was a fraud. He might have done horrible things in the past or he might be doing terrible things in the present; but that doesn’t affect Gods will over you.

In numbers chapter 22, verse 28 we find one of the weirdest pieces of scripture in the whole Bible (and that is quite a claim – see 2 Kings 2:23-24, Deuteronomy 23:1, Ezekiel 23:19-20):

And the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”

I’ve had to remind myself at times that the anointing of God isn’t always affected by our choices and actions.  That is why we see men like Ted Haggard involved in gross sin, yet serving as Pastor in one of the largest churches in America.  (www.tedhaggard.com).  The truth is everything you have experienced in your Christian life has purpose.  The ups and downs, the “appointments” and disappointments – and even the suffering.

How many times have you heard the question asked, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”  or “How could a loving God allow such a horrible thing to happen?”

As a Christian it is vital for all of us to recognize the true purpose of life on this earth.  We are here for 80 years or so to grow and mature.  This is not our home.  Some day we will find ourselves in  Heaven where there is no more “night,” no pain, no death; in which God will wipe away every tear from our eyes (Rev. 21:4 and 22:5).  However, while we dwell in this fallen, sinful, stinks of death earth, we will experience bad things. People will die, we will get sick, we will lose our jobs, we may lose our houses.

My Pastor (www.parkeycobern.com) addressed the congregation at our church (www.thecapstone.org) on Sunday about the importance of praying that God’s Kingdom come in our lives. He did, however, warn us that when we pray that prayer God will do it, and sometimes, it is unpleasant.  In order for God’s Kingdom to come in your life, some things need to be readjusted and repositioned.  That might mean if you are in the wrong job, you will lose that job.  If you are in a bad relationship, it might end – abruptly. God has better things in mind for you.

Know this; the “suffering” has purpose.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

God is not only adjusting things in your life for this life, but He is shaping you for a day when you will reign over kingdoms and people (Rev. 5:10). He is molding your character.  This 80 years we have on earth is not just for now, it is for the future.

The devil is defeated.  He will eventually be destroyed forever.  He knows it – now Christians need to know it.  One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is found in John 16:33:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
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