Divine Distaste

  • March 17, 2017
  • #9100

God does not take pleasure in trials and difficulties. He sent His only son as a sacrifice to free us from suffering.

Divine Distaste

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with very good news today.

And here is good news that is really great: Get this, God has a strong distaste for suffering. I mean, is that wonderful, or what? ‘Cause God does not like, He does not enjoy, He does not get a kick out of, or an emotional charge from our suffering. I mean Jesus spent most of His life on earth trying to relieve suffering. God’s tenderness is aroused by human anguish. Just look at that story in the book of Judges, when God's people had gone astray. They were burdened by their oppressors, weary, and weighted down with hardship. And what does Judges chapter 10, verse 16 say? "And [God] could bear Israel's misery no longer." Do you hear that? The Lord's heart is aroused; His heart strings are pulled when He sees His children suffer.

Now understandably you may say: Yeah okay, but what about all of those natural disasters? If God is so touched by suffering, why does He allow events like terrible tsunamis and earthquakes that destroy whole villages? The suffering and loss of life are beyond comprehension. That’s a good question.

And to that point, I cannot begin to explain the unexplainable. But I know this: If Adam had never fallen, if the Creator could rewrite the story, He would have never allowed suffering out of the cage. Why do I know that? Because Lamentations chapter 3, verse 33 says, "For [God] does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men." Oh friend, that shows the heart of God when it comes to suffering. He does not get a charge out of me breaking my neck. He is not delighted when your spouse receives a bad medical diagnosis. He takes no pleasure in multiple sclerosis or birth defects. All of these diseases and disabilities are only around because sin did leave the cage. Human beings rebelled and, consequently, the curse fell. And ever since man's rebellion in the Garden of Eden, our world has groaned and people have suffered under wars, floods, earthquakes, disease, and so much more. Like you, I shake my head at the mysterious plans and purposes of God.

But here’s the thing, tragedies like these, big tragedies, either drive people away from God, or tragedies draw people to Him. It’s why when Ken and I stop on the road for an ambulance rushing by, we always pray for the victim and the family; we pray that whatever the accident or the injury, that family will be drawn to God, not away from him. We do this because we know that calamities either harden people's hearts, or soften them as they run to the Lord for help, hope and comfort.

And beyond all else, we know this about our Father's heart (let me paraphrase it from Romans chapters 5 and 8 where it says: "God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatsoever to him." And then from Romans 8, "God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son." Friend, no one can ever accuse God of "sitting back and watching" while people suffer. How could anyone look at the cross and say anything like that? Tragedies, great and small, happen every day! The question is, how can you become God's hands and feet, His tender touch and His encouraging voice to those who suffer in your community – and in your world? So today, ask Him to express His compassion toward hurting people through you. And thanks for listening today and again don’t forget joniandfriends/radio.

© Joni and Friends


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