C.S. Lewis once wrote in a letter to a good friend, “I could well believe that it is God’s intention, since we have refused milder remedies, to compel us into unity, by persecution even and hardship. Satan is without doubt nothing else than a hammer in the hand of a benevolent and severe God. For all, either willingly or unwillingly, do the will of God: Judas and Satan as tools or instruments, John and Peter as sons.”
We are all born into a world that is facing the consequences of sin, and we ourselves are not exempt. God is not the author of suffering and evil, but He does allow it. The question we ask ourselves is, Why?...
Suffering is like a piece of metal that is put into the fire. To an untrained eye, through the process of heating and melting it appears as though the metal is being destroyed. Yet in the end, it comes out as a most precious and beautiful creation. Similarly, suffering has the unique ability to change us on the inside. Kindness, sympathy and empathy for others can all be formed in the furnace of suffering.
St. Paul echoes this sentiment to the Romans when he talks with joy about the suffering he was enduring for the sake of the Gospel and the elect.
Think about the massive problems that Joseph faced in his life. Little did he know that the trial he was enduring would become the training ground for his future. How appropriate when he later says to his brothers, “What you intended for evil against me, God turned around and used it for good!” Over and over again we see this theme repeated in Scripture.
My friend, whatever trials and struggles you are encountering today, I hope the promise of God’s redemptive power and the testimonies you have read in this newsletter will bring you great joy and peace. May He continue to encourage you as you serve Him!
Some of this material appeared on Dr. K.P. Yohannan’s blog on March 24, 2020. You can find the entire post at: https://kpyohannan.org/2020/03/24/metropolitans-response-where-is-god-in-the-coronavirus-crisis/