If God is Good … Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil – A review

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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.

Evil visited Newtown … Innocence lost … God comfort Your people

White Rose

Thus says the LORD, “A voice is heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; She refuses to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more.” Jeremiah 31:15

Newtown, Connecticut is weeping for her children. America is weeping bitterly for her children. Innocence lost.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem, magi asked Herod the king,

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:2

Evil visited Bethlehem for a season. Herod killed all the male children 2-years-old and under in an attempt to murder this King of the Jews. Bitter weeping. Innocence lost. But the King escaped. This King, Jesus, came to take on the sins of the world. He came to die, and through that death, He conquered death to bring life to all who would believe in Him.

Death came to Newtown. Heroes emerged. Tears flowed. Memories refreshed. No words can comfort, but we can look toward the future.

He will swallow up death for all time, And the Lord GOD will wipe tears away from all faces, And He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken. And it will be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” Isaiah 25:8-9

My prayer for Newtown and America:

Heavenly Father, the Father who comforts, comfort the people of Newtown, Connecticut, and comfort the mothers, fathers, teachers, first responders, and inhabitants of America. Father, we don’t understand this evil, but we know that You heal; You comfort; You restore families and lands. Out of this tragedy, restore, comfort and bring good only as You can. Thank you, Father for the first responders, the heroes, the mothers and fathers, and neighbors. We pray for them and for America. Lord, have mercy!

“Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. Isaiah 40:1