John G. Paton (1824-1907) served as a missionary in the South Pacific’s New Hebrides islands. As a successful young Scottish preacher, Paton determined to leave Glasgow to minister to this unreached people group. But most of his Christian friends urged him to do something more sensible with his life.
I never presumed that If God Is Good would work magic or make anyone’s problems disappear. But my prayer, then and now, is that readers will not only find help for themselves, but also life-changing insights to share with others—believers and unbelievers, family and friends, neighbors and co-workers—in their time of greatest need.
Last weekend I spoke at my home church, Good Shepherd Community Church in Boring (yes, Boring) Oregon, on the question of why a good God allows evil and suffering. We'd actually planned the discussion prior to the Charleston church murder of nine people at their Wednesday evening Bible study (we began by talking about this tragedy).
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). By recognizing and believing in God’s sovereignty, even over Satan’s work, our perspective is transformed.
When 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.
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