It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your Statutes.
As He went along, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked Him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?'
'Neither this man nor his parents sinned,' said Jesus, 'but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.'
Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?
Why would a God of everlasting love allow good people to suffer? Like a torrent of rain on the highway, this cloudy question pulls skeptics off the road of faith. Maybe, just maybe, they can see why bad people suffer... but what about children?
What about me? Did I have to suffer to find Jesus? Did I have to lose my husband, colleagues, friends, family and confidence? I thought I was a good person. I tried to live right. Short answer for me: Yes, suffering was necessary. For King David: Yes, suffering was necessary.
What about Jesus? Was it necessary for Him? What about invalids and prisoners? Couldn't God rescue them sooner?
If a thousand years on earth equals one day in Heaven, then God rescues earth's victims in a flash of His Eye. I believe life on earth is a testing time, a dividing ground, and a growth opportunity: a set-up for eternity. I believe God's justice will be perfect for every hurt person and every person-hurter.
I don't understand everything. I'm not a Christian apologist, but I do believe all things (even terrible things) 'Work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose' (Romans 8:28). Including depression.
Consider one thing we learned from Jesus (when He overcame a wooden Cross), from Paul (when he overcame a mysterious ailment), from Joni Erickson Tada (as she overcomes a paralyzed body), and from Nick Vujicic (as he overcomes a limbless life), God is glorified in our hardest successes.**
When a winner wins, so what? When a loser wins, the world can't help but notice.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: I don't know what you have suffered. I do know media (in the guise of entertainment) has blinded, deafened, paralyzed and dumbed down our people.
Like sheep, we are bought and sold by merchandisers: merchandisers who are far more civilized, but no less greedy than the slave traffickers of Bible days... or of our day, for that matter.
I also know it's your job to overcome every depression; to shine in His glorious conclusion; to bring clear vision, good sound, right moves and true wisdom; to raise His standard, and to uplift His people:
'Every valley shall be raised up,
Every mountain and hill made low;
The rough ground shall become level,
The rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
And all people will see it together.
For the Mouth of the Lord has spoken' (Isaiah 40:4-5)
To Be Continued...
* Previous AMTC Devotions on why bad things happen to good people:
** Joni Erickson Tada: http://www.joniandfriends.org/jonis-corner/jonis-bio/
** Nick Vujicic: http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Depression series.