Do you think of God as happy? The Bible calls Him that: the happy God. (1 Tim 1:11, lit.) He’s infinitely happy! But how can He be, when He knows all the troubles in our world?
The atheist who says there can’t be a God of love with a world like this only makes matters worse. You may get rid of the philosophical problem of a loving God in this way, but that doesn’t get rid of the pain. Actually, it makes it a thousand times worse, because then there’s no hope that there will ever be justice or compensation for the sufferers.
If the Bible is true, we can be sure that eventually everything will be set right. Listen! “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev 21:4) Not just tears gone, but the sorrows that caused them!
In the meantime, how can we remain sensitive to the hurting people around us while not being overwhelmed by grief?
To answer this, it helps to understand something about our true anatomy. Humans are composed of three interconnected components. Paul wrote, “May your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess 5:23) The body allows us to interact with others. The soul is the self-conscious part: our emotions, thoughts, and will. The spirit is the equipment we have to connect with God.
The “God is Dead” movement understood the problem but got the location wrong. When we say the phone is dead, we mean there’s a break somewhere. In this case, the deadness is at our end of the line. Our sin has broken our connection with God. This is what God meant when He told our first parents, “Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen 2:17)
Jesus, the heavenly repairman, is able to reconnect us, or to use the Bible word, “reconcile” us, to God. “When we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son” (Rom 5:10)
Once we put our trust in Christ and His sacrifice for us, our spirits are reconnected with God. Only in this way can we be “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Cor 6:10) Our souls may be heavy with sorrow around us, but our spirits can be filled with the joy of heaven, since joy functions in the realm of the spirit. (Gal 5:22)
The Lord Jesus, being God who became human, can “sympathize with our weaknesses.” (Heb 4:15) The Man of Sorrows goes through our hard times with us. But He plans to rid the universe of suffering. To do that, He must also rid the world of sin, the cause of it all.
People ask, “Why doesn’t God DO something?” He will soon, but He’s waiting for the hold-outs to respond to Him. A perfect world is coming, but right now He’s inviting us to have our sin completely dealt with by accepting His Son. It’s the only way we can be ready for the everlasting home of the happy God.
Jabe Nicholson enjoys experimenting with ways to see God provide for those in need. Reach him at [email protected] or visit www.uplook.tv