‘My People Perish because of Lack of Knowledge.’ God
When I used to dream of becoming a Christian Apologist, I would watch countless videos of people debating the Christian faith. Atheist, scientists, agnostics, antagonists, protagonists (I am totally kidding about the last two). They almost always came up with this question: Why suffering? If Christians claim to serve a God who is so good, and loving, then why does He let people suffer? They were referring to poverty, sickness, death, natural disasters and so on.
I hope to shed some insight on this topic today. I am not an apologist (at least not yet), I do not claim to know it all, neither did Jesus Christ appear to me, to give me the answer, but I have been pondering this topic lately, and the more I have conversations about it, I think the more insight God gives me on this issue. So let’s talk!
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Why suffering? We all know that there are people in this world that are suffering. People are born into unfair circumstances, some kids are rejected by their parents, even before they are born, while some are abandoned and left to fate to cater for them. Someone might have lost a job, or a spouse and can't fend for themselves, while some are trafficked into sex and slave trades. Why does God allow all these bad things happen to people? I honestly cannot answer that explicitly, but I know, you and I are the answer to a corrupt world system if you are a believer.
The Great Commission
In Matthew 28, after Christ had been raised from the dead, He appeared to His disciples and many believers and commanded them to go and make disciples of all men. In layman terms meaning, go and share the good news with people around the world. People were looking for hope, some were found in unthinkable situations, like the ones I mentioned above, and the gospel of Jesus Christ was the only way to bring people out of their horrible situation, into a life of peace and joy. Now God has uniquely gifted each and every one of us with talents and abilities, to be able to fend for ourselves and also for others. A passage of scripture in the bible says that He has given us the ability to get wealth.
When we get that wealth, God does not want us to hoard it, He wants us to freely share with others, just as He has freely given it to us. God has called every individual to different spheres of life. Some are teachers, doctors, lawyers, philanthropists, Pastors, evangelists, artists, writers, engineers, Kings, queens, governors, senators, and the list is endless. Some have been called to start organizations to stop sex trafficking, slavery, child marriage, abuse, while some have been called to fight for human rights.
But not everyone is answering the call of God on their lives. Just like the rich young ruler ignored Jesus, after He told him, to sell all his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor, and then follow Him. Imagine if everyone who was supposed to be a doctor, refused to study medicine, what would happen to humanity? Or if the lawmakers/enforcers refused to do their jobs (and some still don’t do what is expected of them) the society would be a very dangerous place to live in as it is the case in some countries.
Remember the days when women would lose their lives due to childbirth or the time when one deadly disease broke out because the doctors didn't wash their hands after an operation, before attending to other patients and the people were losing their lives. Until one other doctor discovered what the issue was and the deadly epidemic, stopped. Or in Nigeria, where the killing of twins was prevalent in the southern part, and a British missionary woman, called Mary Slessor, fought for them to stop the massacre of twins.
And life was preserved. She also fought for women's right in a time when women were looked down on. Rather than sit down and whine about if God was good or not for allowing the massacre of children, she recognized where she could step in, and put an end to a heinous crime. If these unique people didn’t do what they believed was their mission, only God knows where some of us would be right now.
According to the Bible, God says ‘My people perish because of lack of knowledge’ there are things people still die of here in Africa, which has been eradicated in the western world. Imagine if the westerners didn’t fight to stop some certain diseases, we would be done for. All this is just to say that if we play our parts, some of the atrocities we witness, would be drastically reduced.
“Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor, and for lack of justice, there is waste.”—Proverbs 13:23
I love what this quote here says, and I think that is why countries in Africa and a country like India, has a lot of poor people. Injustice! The people ruling the systems, are taking advantage of all the resources, and circulating nothing back into the system, they govern. The poor remain poor, and the greedy grow richer. The problem here isn't God, but a society that has become so robust with greed and has decided to play God. Allocating to people whatever they deem fit.
How then can we solve this problem?
By becoming the people God has called us to be, and fight for justice for the poor and needy. Throughout the Bible, God talks about how we should care for the poor and not turn a deaf ear to their cries. When we empower the poor; whether it is through education, skill acquisition or whatever else, they in turn go and fight for others: it is a ripple effect. Some people are waiting for us to take our place. Rather than sit down and argue about if God is good or not, (because He is) let us figure out how we can solve societies problem.
How can we stop poverty? How can we educate people? How can we stop sex trafficking? How can we keep the young people out of trouble? How can we prevent a particular disease from spreading? How can we take the gospel to those who need it? How can we keep children off the streets? There is a lot of work that needs to be done, a lot of resources that needs to be generated, and a lot of people we need to hold accountable.
But first, it must begin with us. Let us ask ourselves these important questions: What is my purpose? What has God called me to do? Where can I serve in my community? What need can I meet? When we are busy thinking about others and society, then real ideas and solutions are birth out of that mindset, with God empowering us to carry out His agenda here on earth. That is only when people would begin to see the goodness of God, that is when suffering will reduce.
This is not the only reason why there is suffering, but I believe it is part of it. Let us go out there and be the people God has called us to be. And quit being whiners. Hope you enjoyed this wisdom weekly article today and would re-think some specific aspects of your life. What are your thoughts on this topic? leave your comments below. Also remember to like, share and subscribe, never to miss an update.