For this is what Jehovah says:
“Here I am extending to her peace just like a river…
As a mother comforts her son, So I will keep comforting you.
Isaiah 66:12, 13
Jehovah – the God of Peace and Comfort. Is any reason good enough for his permission of wickedness for so long? You may not think so – if you have suffered greatly. You may not think so – if you watch the news. But think of this: Would you criticize a parent who allows their child to undergo surgery, even though it’s painful? What would you say to a parent who refused the needed surgery because they wanted to spare the child any pain? Would you consider them more loving for doing that?
Jehovah, our loving Heavenly Father, sees more and understands more than we do. Like the parent, he hasn’t caused the problem. (See the last three posts for the 3 Reasons how we can know that from the Bible.) But issues have been raised that need to be settled before all God’s intelligent creation, human and angelic.
The finest illustration explaining this that I’ve come across in 25 years of intense Bible study is in the publication, “What Does the Bible Really Teach”, Chapter 11, Page 109, sub-heading “A Vital Issue is Raised”, from paragraph 10 onwards. You can read/listen to this HERE on JW.ORG.
11 minutes of your time may help you to find an answer to this question that so many people ask, but often don’t wait to hear a reply.
This card is made using juno Amoruccio,
a Free Digital Kit
which I’ll be posting in the next few minutes on Juno’s Place.
…and using this week’s card challenge at Daring Cardmakers
Theme: Out On The Water
The Journalling Mat above which coordinates with juno Amoruccio
is included in the card download.
The Rock, perfect is his activity, For all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness who is never unjust;
Righteous and upright is he.
In the last few posts I talked about the 3 reasons how we know that God is never to blame for the bad things that happen. In fact the Bible says that when his people were going through distress, “it was distressing to him.” (Isaiah 63:9) Isn’t it comforting to know that God feels for us when we suffer?
So he must have a good reason, as our Creator in command of vast power, for allowing bad things to happen when he has the means to stop them.
The beginning of the answer to that is at the beginning of the Bible. Many people are very familiar with the story of Adam and Eve and the forbidden fruit, but it’s always a good idea to read the account directly from the scriptures. You’ll find Genesis Chapter 3 HERE. Have a look at verses 1-5.
Did you notice that Satan called God a liar and called into question the righteousness of his rule over mankind? This challenge would take time to answer.
To illustrate, if someone made a false claim against you, what would you do? If it was something straightforward, like “I’m stronger than you”, it’s easy to come up with a quick test to see who’s right. But what if it’s “I’m more honest than you”? How would you go about settling that challenge? You would need to let enough time pass by for others to observe the two of you and see who really is more honest.
Satan didn’t claim to be stronger than God - who could very quickly prove him wrong. But he did claim to be more honest than God, saying in effect, “God is lying to you, but I’m telling you the truth.” And so, time is needed for it to become clear who is right.
I made this card using juno Chocolat Extras,
Free Digital Kit.
First I made a template in Photoshop to adapt the Sketch to my 5x7in (128×178 mm) Card size.
Then I played around with some of the layered borders from Extras to echo the curve of the circle.
The circle itself is made with one of the papers from the main juno Chocolat free kit.
But I—in you I have put my trust, O Jehovah.
I have said: “You are my God.” My times are in your hand.
Is God to blame for everything that happens and therefore, responsible for all the suffering we experience? The Bible answers definitively – No! For three reasons.
THIRD POINT: Sometimes bad things happen to us simply because we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. The scriptures phrase that thought this way, “I have seen something further under the sun, that the swift do not always win the race, nor do the mighty win the battle, nor do the wise always have the food, nor do the intelligent always have the riches, nor do those with knowledge always have success, because time and unexpected events overtake them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11
In God’s New World, “unexpected events” won’t harm us any more. How do we know that? When Jesus was here he not only healed the sick and fed the hungry, he even showed he could control the weather. Isn’t that the best possible news in the face of increasing natural disasters and weather-related distresses!
So when the Bible promises that all distress will be a thing of the past, we can have confidence because Jesus as the King of God’s Kingdom has shown he has both the power and the desire to carry out those promises.
“Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3,4
Today’s card is made using juno Chocolat,
Free Digital Kit available on Juno’s Place
For Jehovah is a lover of justice, and he will not leave his loyal ones.
This is another scripture that demonstrates how God is not responsible for pain and injustice. In my last post I mentioned that the Bible makes three points as to why there is so much suffering in the world. The First Point is HERE.
SECOND POINT: “I turned my attention to all the acts of oppression that go on under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, and there was no one to comfort them. And their oppressors had the power, and there was no one to comfort them.” Ecclesiastes 4:1
“All of this I have seen…that man has dominated man to his harm.” Ecclesiastes 8:9
Since the rebellion of our first parents, mankind has continued in imperfection, falling short of God’s original purpose for us, which is what “sin” is.
“The common Hebrew term translated “sin” is chat·taʼth′; in Greek the usual word is ha·mar·ti′a. In both languages the verb forms (Heb., cha·taʼ′; Gr., ha·mar·ta′no) mean “miss,” in the sense of missing or not reaching a goal, way, mark, or right point.” Insight on the Scriptures
We “miss the mark” of perfection, which only God’s Kingdom under our King and Ransomer, Jesus Christ, can restore.
Sinful and imperfect people make decisions that lead to conflict and violence, oppression and suffering. God is not responsible for this. Isn’t it important to place blame where it is due?
If you’d like to read and/or listen to more on this topic, please visit jw.org – Why Does God Allow Suffering?
The embossed paper I used to make this card comes from juno Tempus Fugit.
The Cluster Frame is included in the card download.
A Special Mention is due to Kim Broedelet
who kindly gave permission to use her splatters :-)
which you can see on the right of the Frame.
God is love
1 John 4:8
Simple and to the point. But many people sincerely struggle with the concept of a loving God when there is so much suffering. Some people feel that everything that happens is God’s will, even when we don’t understand it. The most poignant form of this (to me) is when someone, especially a child, dies and people say, “God wanted another angel so he took him/her.”
However, the Bible says that “It is unthinkable for the true God to act wickedly, For the Almighty to do wrong!” Job 34:10
So who is to blame? The Bible makes THREE important points about that.
FIRST POINT: “The whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” 1 John 5:19
Does that make sense to you?
The Bible describes God’s personality this way, “You, O Jehovah, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness and trueness.” Psalm 86:15
Do you think the world around us reflects those qualities? Or do you think it reflects Satan’s personality of hatred, deception, greed and cruelty?
juno Tempus Fugit Extras
Based on Retro Sketch #121 and my free digital kit, juno Tempus Fugit, I designed the above three extra matching goodies to make this card. (The butterfly is in the kit) Since together they are quite a few MBs, I didn’t want to include them with the card folder, so I’ve packaged them separately for those who might want to have them :-)
Who can find a capable wife?
Her value is far more than that of corals.
Her husband trusts her from his heart,
And he lacks nothing of value.
She rewards him with good, not bad,
All the days of her life.
The elements from juno Attar of Roses lent themselves well to this card sketch :-)