Bird watching gives me incredible pleasure. It’s especially nice to see myriad robins dancing around my yard. Yes, they are in Ohio all year round, but they make a show of themselves when the ground gets wet and soft in the spring. As they thrust their red breasts full out, I think they say, “Come on! Get your worms on your beaks!”
As I watched them this morning, I “serioused up” as I thought of a question posed by a friend.
“Lisa, what are some Bible verses for doubters, for people who are asking how a loving God can let something like this virus happen?”
That’s a HUGE question.
Greater minds than mine have grappled with that one for centuries. Who am I to attempt an answer? But she asked me, and I seem to have all this time lately. So, grab yourself a Bible and hunker down with me.
As I prayed for wisdom, this passage came to mind.
“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?”
Actually, Matthew 6:25-34 is a great passage. Three times Jesus says, “Do not worry.” When something is repeated three times in a short passage, it’s of great importance. Have a read, won’t you?
I also think, as we attempt to reconcile all of this suffering, our first stop is to remember God’s attributes:
(See this most excellent web article from which the following list comes: https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/15-amazing-attributes-of-god-what-they-mean-and-why-they-matter.html )
- God is Infinite (Exodus 3:14)
- God is Immutable (Malachi 3:6)
- God is Self-sufficient (John 5:26)
- God is Omnipotent (Psalm 33:6, Job 11:7-11, Psalm 24:8)
- God is Omniscient (Isaiah 46:9-10)
- God is Omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-10, Jeremiah 23:24)
- God is wise. He is wisdom (Romans 11:33)
- God is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9, 2 Timothy 2:13)
- God is good (all the time!) (Psalm 34:8)
- God is just (Deuteronomy 32:4)
- God is merciful (Romans 9:15-16)
- God is gracious (Psalm 145:8)
- God is loving-God is love (1 John 4:7-8. John 3:16)
- God is holy (Revelation 4:8b)
- God is glorious (Habakkuk 3:4)
As we look at these attributes, I need you remember a very important thing. Ready? God cannot act without ALL of His attributes involved. Think of it this way:
I am so mad at my sister I refuse all communication with her. Is that loving? Gracious? Kind? You get the picture. (I’m not really mad at her, by the way)
God gets mad, but in His anger is found complete justice, love, mercy, grace, and all the rest of who He is. It’s beyond our comprehension, but, hey, if we completely understood God, He wouldn’t be God! People have tried for ages to comprehend Him, and that’s where the train derails, because God’s ways are not our ways.
“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord”
The best thing to do when faced with suffering of any kind, be it grief, or worry, is to get to know the One who created us. We do that through His Word.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Know this. Evil came into the world through man (see Genesis 3) and read this:
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned”
The short answer then, is sin. How would we know the bad things if we don’t know the good? (see point number 9, above). Our world is “groaning,” as the Bible says. (Romans 8 18-25). And none of this is a surprise to God.
Jesus said in Matthew 24:6-8,
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
Job, described in the Bible as “blameless and upright, and one who heard God and shunned evil,” (Job 1:1) lost all his goods, and land, and his children, yet he said, “the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21) But for forty-one chapters after that, Job questioned God and throughout asked Him why He would allow such suffering. Job wasn’t permitted to “see behind the curtain,” but we are. It was a test, and Job passed, although God chastised him for four chapters. It is some of the most beautiful “make-you weep” poetry in the Bible. Take some time and read it, will you? The gist? God is sovereign (See point 4, above).
All the answers to life’s questions can be found in the Bible. It’s true.
In these days of doubt and fear, turn to the One who created us and has a future and a hope for those who love Jesus and have surrendered their lives to Him. ( see Jeremiah 29:11)
My doubting friend lacks peace. But read this: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; be of good cheer,” Jesus said, “I have overcome the world.”
If you acknowledge your need for the Savior, pray this:
Dear Lord God,
I am a sinner and have tried to live my life on my own, and have failed without You leading me by Your Holy Spirit. I believe in my heart that Jesus is Lord and God raised Him from the dead. Please forgive me and come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and save me. I put my life in Your hands as You fill me with Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray.” Amen.
If you prayed that and mean it will all your heart, you, dear brother or sister, are saved! You are now part of the kingdom of heaven. Congratulations and welcome to the family!
There are so many ways to grow in the grace and knowledge of God.
First: Get a good Bible and start by reading the Gospel of John (I recommend the ESV or NKJV. I’ve used the NKJV for all the passages in this post)
Second: Pray and find a solid, Bible-believing and preaching church. Right now, during this pandemic, you can listen and watch sermons/podcasts by some great pastors, including John MacArthur, David Jeremiah, Jack Hibbs, and Charles Stanley, to name a few.
Three: Connect with other believers and form accountability as you learn.
Four: Enjoy some bird watching.
Resources to bring you peace:
I am praying for you. Let me know in the comments how this has impacted you.
God bless you.