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Randy Alcorn's Blog: suffering

A Great Message by Dan Franklin on the Problem of Evil and Suffering

SunsetThe problem of evil and suffering is something I’ve read many books concerning, and heard some great presentations on. I’ve written on this problem and spoken on it myself. But I’ve never listened to any treatment of it better than this one by Dan Franklin, teaching pastor at Life Bible Fellowship in Upland, California.

Brittany Maynard, age 29, has taken her life here in Portland, Oregon

Brittany MaynardIt was announced late Sunday afternoon that on Saturday, 29-year-old terminally ill Brittany Maynard chose to end her life under Oregon’s physician assisted suicide law. It’s heavy on my heart that this happened only minutes from where Nanci and I live.

Turning Bad into Best

Wheat GrassC. S. Lewis, in The Great Divorce, wrote that “both good and evil, when they are full grown, become retrospective… Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.”

Surrendering to God’s Wisdom

Night sky / Photo credit: James WheelerWhen I need a point-of-view adjustment, I read the last five chapters of Job. That’s where the focus shifts from Job’s questions about his suffering—and his friends’ proposed answers—to God’s majesty.

 

His Strength and Grace in Our Weakness

Man at the Ocean / His Strength and Grace in WeaknessAs a young pastor I loved God sincerely; but like my tavern-owner father, I was independent, self-sufficient, and prone to do things on my own. Christ’s words, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5), rang true—but I did a lot of things without drawing on his strength.


Beauty from Ashes

Beauty from ashes - Tami's squash plantWhere we live we are able to burn our yard debris during certain times of the year. Each fall we clean up dead and dying plants and toss them into the burn pile, having deemed each plant as having served its purpose and its season having come to an end. When we do burn the pile, the fire burns extremely hot, and because of its size and intensity, it will often smolder for days. When it does eventually burn out, what remains is a large pile of ash. 

My Friend Greg Coffey, One of the First Faces I’ll Look for in Heaven

Greg CoffeyIn The Goodness of God, I tell the story about my high school friend Greg Coffey, who died in a horrible accident in 1971, shortly after he and I both became Christ-followers. Though Greg was two years ahead of me in school, we were in a Spanish class together and got to know each other. He came to Christ his senior year, seven months after I did as a sophomore. Greg and I were both utterly transformed, and we enjoyed radical “first love” discussions of what it meant to follow Jesus. Our whole lives were before us and we dreamed great dreams of serving our King.

Crisis and Tragedy

Crisis and Tragedy: If you spell God with a capital G you will always spell tragedy with a lowercase t. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and he became a prisoner in Egypt. But years later Joseph could say to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20). The moral? If you spell God with a capital G you will always spell tragedy with a lowercase t

Does God purposefully hurt us through trials?

thornsWhen the hard things come upon us, we tend to use them as a way of saying, “This is so bad, that if God really is in charge and He sent this to me—or even just allowed this to come into my life—He’s being cruel to me.” The logic goes, If I were all-powerful and all-wise, I would not do such a thing to my child. For me to do that would be cruel.

Fulfilled Hope

Fulfilled Hope / Silhouettes at sunsetHope is a much stronger word in the Bible than it is for most of us today. The hope of deliverance and resurrection is based solidly on the promise of an almighty truth-telling, covenant-keeping God who never fails and is never thwarted, who always keeps his promises. Whenever we hope for what God has promised, we don’t wish for a possibility; we anticipate a certainty.

 

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