Paul W. Powell
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Today's Devotional

Suffering and Prosperity

Why do people suffer, especially good people? Why do evil people prosper? These questions are as old as humankind but as current as today. Is there any answer to them?

The explanation of the prosperity of the wicked is easy. It is due to the indiscriminate love of God. He loves all people, even those who hate him and he bestows his blessings on all people alike. (Matthew 5:44-45). But why do good people so often suffer? A part of the answer is the chastening of God. He punishes and whips those whom he loves when they do wrong like any other good father (Hebrews 12:6). Who is so good that he would say he never needs to be corrected by God? 

Sometimes suffering comes to make us better, more effective people. When they first started manufacturing golf balls they made the cover smooth. Then it was discovered that after a ball had been roughed up, one could get more distance out of it. So they started manufacturing them with dimpled covers. So it is with life. Some roughness improves us. 

Sometimes it is due to the freedom of humanity. Be careful about blaming things on God. To blame all on God is to fail to take into account the power of evil in our world and our freedom to choose. Much of what we accuse God of doing is the fault of flawed people.

Finally, much suffering is unexplainable. Some suffering is simply due to the fact that we are a part of the human race. If we feel that this is unfair and insist that God set up the world on an individual basis—allowing each to suffer merely to the extent of his own wrongdoing—then we must also vote to restrict all joys to those we can bring upon ourselves. Look into your own life and see how much of what you enjoy came through the efforts of others. Take, for example, your automobile. Could you make one by yourself? Then, even if you could do so, you would have to make an oil well and refine the oil into gasoline. Then you would have to build some roads to drive on. We enjoy a multitude of blessings that we did not cause, and in the same way we suffer many pains that are not our fault.

While we are often left with no explanation for our suffering, we rely continually on God’s love and we know that he never forgets his own. Keep faith in him and he will help you through suffering.

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