If the Creator of the world is good, why is there evil? Randy Alcorn tackles an age-old question with unique insight and logic. I have asked “Why?”many times. Like Job, never an answer to the question, but a refocus on the greatness of God. Alcorn writes:
Grace and forgiveness, both expressions of God’s eternal character, are moral goods, but without evil they wouldn’t have become clearly evident. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit don’t need compassion, mercy, grace, or forgiveness. These qualities could only be fully expressed to finite and fallen creatures.
Perhaps that is why the angels desire to look into the Gospel, 1 Peter 1:12,; the angels in Heaven have not sinned. They see God’s compassion, mercy, grace and forgiveness, and that prompts them to desire to look into the Gospel.
Alcorn also reminds readers that we cannot understand God’s ways or thoughts. He suggests that maybe an explanation from God for the reason of evil and suffering might lead to greater misunderstanding.
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:9
I appreciated the pithy subtitles. I frequently reread them, highlighted them and tweeted them.
True-to-Scripture, If God is Good was filled with stories of people who suffered greatly and, yet, said that their faith in God was strengthened in their time of testing. For some of the people Alcorn wrote about, their great trial was over and they understood why they had gone through the trial. For others, there was no answer, but there will be an answer in heaven.
Alcorn claims that the “Health and Wealth Gospel” perverts our understanding of evil and suffering. He acknowledges that God still miraculously heals people from sickness and that God uses doctors and medicine to heal people. Sometimes, God does not heal miraculously or through medicine. Sometimes, God has a better plan.
When you pray only for healing, what are you praying to miss out on? Christlikeness? Shouldn’t we learn to pray that our suffering causes growth, that God will give us little glimpses of Heaven as we seek to endure, and that He would use us?
When I had fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, I thought that I was to shine for God through my pain, and I believe that was my purpose in that season. Two years before God miraculously healed me, God impressed upon my husband and me that He would heal me. Two years of praying for the promised healing. Two years of consuming the Scriptures and Christian books on healing, all the while, asking what God had for us to learn.
My fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue were a gift from God. God’s healing was also a gift. God has given me little glimpses of Heaven through each of these gifts, directing this life’s path on an unexpected adventure that unfolds the great goodness of God.
Footnoted and hefty, If God is Good, is a resource for those who have endured suffering or evil and for those who are in the midst of suffering or evil … in other words, this is a resource for everyone who asks “Why?”
This book has been a great blessing to me … a gift from God.
Thank you, Randy Alcorn, for your diligence and commitment to this subject.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
For further information about Randy Alcorn and the book, you might want to visit these websites:
My prayer for you
Father of Lights, thank You for revealing Your great goodness to us. We thank You for Your mercy, grace, and redemption. Thank You, for Randy Alcorn and his ministry. Bless him and give him greater glimpses of Heaven and of Yourself. Father, You are good; You are great; You are awesome.
2 responses to “If God is Good … Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil – A review”
Thanks for the resource referral. Several of my friends are going thru Alcorn’s book, “Heaven.” Truly enlightening.
I’m responding at 3 a.m. b/c I can’t sleep–not a critical issue among the pantheon of maladies that you and others refer to, but an indicator of perhaps future health issues. Praise God for your healing. And a reminder to pray for my wife’s recurring headaches and similar chronic fatigue issues.
Samuel, Alcorn’s book was written a year before God healed me. It now comes to me 3+ years after I was healed. It has confirmed what I learned the hard way. God’s timing is perfect. God’s love is enough. God’s healing comes, whether in this life or in heaven.
Our Great Healer and Keeper of our bodies, souls and minds, I pray for Samuel and his wife, bring healing to their home and peace to their souls. Carry them through this season and show them Your divine purpose for their suffering. Bless them with Your healing touch and forever change their lives to proclaim Your glory. We pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Samuel, please check in with me and let me know how you and your wife are doing. Karen