Where is God in all this Suffering?
As the numbef of victims of Covid-19 continue to increase, it has caused many to ask, “Where is God in all this suffering?” That is no small question. In fact, maybe it a question on your heart and mind today. Over 700 years before Christ’s death on the cross, Isaiah wrote prophetically about the suffering of Jesus in Isaiah 53:3, “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.”
At the center of the message of the gospel is that God isn’t unfamiliar with our suffering and pain. In Christ, He is very familiar with pain and suffering. Because Jesus is God in human flesh, it tells us that God is well-acquainted with sadness, sorrow, pain, and suffering. In fact, as the next verses says in Isaiah 53:4, “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering.” His suffering is the means by which our sins were paid for, and the means by which suffering will be completely undone one day!
Billy Graham said it well, after the September 11, 2001 attacks, “The cross tells us that God understands our sin and our suffering, for he took upon himself in the person of Jesus Christ our sins and our suffering. And from the cross, God declares, ‘I love you. I know the heartaches and the sorrows and the pains that you feel. But I love you.’ The story does not end with the cross, for Easter points us beyond the tragedy of the cross to the empty tomb that tells us that there is hope for eternal life, for Christ has conquered evil and death and hell. Yes, there is hope.”
We may not be able to give the precise reasons for someone’s particular suffering, but we can say that it isn’t because God doesn’t care. He does. No one forced God to come down and suffer for us. He did it willingly because He loves us. And, if, in the midst of such pain and suffering he endured, Christ could bring about so great a victory (paying for our sin and rising again defeating death!), then there is hope for us today in the midst of our suffering and pain. Christ is our hope.