Can God Bring Good from Suffering?

I’ve been teaching a class at our church for many years. Since the lockdown we’ve been meeting each week via Zoom conferencing. Last Sunday’s lesson was on Romans 8.

The Apostle Paul’s words to the first century church in Rome couldn’t have been more relevant.  It was like he was looking 2 millennia into the future and writing to a world struggling to make its way through a global crisis. A timeless question lingered in the hearts and minds of each class member who appeared on my computer screen: Why does a loving God allow evil, pain and suffering?  The 39 verses we studied last week were packed with insight. They were also the foundation for this week’s featured John 10:10 video, CAN GOD BRING GOOD FROM SUFFERING?

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. ~ Romans 8:18

And we know that to those who love God, all things work together for good. ~ Romans 8:28

What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us? ~ Romans 8:31

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8: 35, 37-39

Like I said, Romans 8 is a wellspring of guidance, comfort and hope amidst the trials we’re all facing right now. I’ve recently experienced its power firsthand. Three weeks ago Charles Keller, a long time member of my class, died after being infected by the Covid-19 virus. Despite this loss, I am greatly encouraged by the knowledge that he is now alive in the presence of God … forever. Neither death nor life…nor anything else in all creation (including a pandemic), will be able to separate us from the love of God. Amen to that!

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