Children and Suffering

Herod’s brutal action fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah (31:15):
“A cry was heard in Ramah—
weeping and great mourning.
Rachel weeps for her children, refusing to be comforted, for they are dead.” – Matthew 2:18 (NLT)

There are people who are going to see the title of this devotion and they won’t read it. It’s too difficult a subject. There are people who are going to expect me to provide some profound answer to a question that troubles many Christians. A question that I have heard many say keeps them from believing in God.

I’ve never understood avoiding hard questions when it comes to my faith. My life has hit many of the hard questions! If God and I do not wrestle with these questions, what am I going to do when the question is no longer a theory, but my reality?! Pastors and teachers, do they tell you in seminary to avoid these questions? Do they say they should only be addressed individually and not from the front of the room? Hogwash! People are struggling! People are limping into our fellowships every week and we are sending them out with their questions unanswered! I submit that we encourage and serve God’s children when we address these questions with a combination of Bible study and personal testimony.

Why does God allow children to suffer with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses, abuse, starvation, and more? I don’t know.

Jeremiah lived 600 years before Jesus and brought this word from God when the Babylonians slaughtered children. Matthew repeats those words when King Herold slaughters children in an attempt to destroy the prophesized Jewish king.

Where is God when such heinous events happen? He is right there. He sees the slaughter, the blood. He hears the the cries of the mothers and fathers. These are His children who have died. They died not on His timeline. He is their Father! He is justice.

He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. – Deuteronomy 10:18 (NLT)

You showed what you are like, and you made certain that justice is done, but evil people are trapped by their own evil deeds. – Psalm 9:16 (CEV)

“For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” – Acts 17:31 (NIV)

But God has promised us a new heaven and a new earth, where justice will rule. – 2 Peter 3:13 (CEV)

Then I saw heaven standing open, and there was a white horse! Its rider is named Faithful and True. He administers justice and wages war righteously. – Revelation 19:11 (ISV)

And so as I have put this question to God and spent time reading and searching the Scriptures, I come away with making another step of faith. I step toward Him and trust His promises that He is just. He will punish the wicked. He will give those who have suffered some balance in their scale of life. It may not come as quickly as I like. It may not come in my lifetime so that I see God’s justice, but I believe that God keeps His promises and justice will come.

There is no conclusion here. But then my life, my relationship with God does not come to a conclusion either. It is an eternal relationship. An so I take my ongoing questions, even my arguments, my tears, my anger, and contnue to walk with my LORD. Conversations between us will continue. Father God can handle my repeated questions. He is just. And He is love.

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One Response to Children and Suffering

  1. Marylin Funchess says:

    Life is not easy. We all struggle and grow in the hardest of times. I often think of an all knowing God…we only know in part…but He sees behind closed doors! You are so right, it is by Grace God continues to hold back but one day that will end for those who have chosen the path of all that is vile. Never turning from their wicked ways satan continues to press in to destroy all that is around them. What a hell on earth that must be to have a heart lacking love! Yet, here and there we see God at work…his ways are not ours. Even a murder is brought to his knees…one that I called My Love! Only God could have known the story of our life…for all have sinned and become new in Chirst! I never met the man he once was.

    So it is with suffering children, which David was one. Sickness comes in many forms…children are not excluded. So many things take over their little bodies and we cry out…”Why God?” I well remember my crys when my full term baby was dead with in me! I can only imagine your crys before and after loosing your Son. Life isn’t fair! However, God heard our cries and after long walks with Our Father we have learned many things. Though we will never completely understand why children suffer in the hands of a loving God…He knows all things and I can praise Him with an open heart…one He continues to fill with love for Him and others along my path. Jesus paid the price for young and old…and Heaven Is Our Home….where suffering will be no more!

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