keep believing

Failure is part of our existence. To fail is human and to fulfill is of God.

There are many things I want to do in my life which is connected to my past and present failure. I know that many of us can connect to what I am in right now. There’s nothing more frustrating when we cannot do what we supposed to do compared to the things we just want to do. Part of personal growth is the acceptance of responsibilities and duties to everything and everyone that are laid before us. And I think I’m in that situation right now.

We do have limitations and we supposed to be reminded of that. This is the reality but not an excuse to the failures we’ve committed. It is not easy to handle since we know how to love and value our family inside our hearts even if many times being judged to be insensitive and uncaring. This certain judgment is being laid to God himself by us.

What is comforting in these moment is not the ideas of our limited human perception, but the promises of God have been written for us. It is not about religion, someone might not believe in this regard and I think that what makes the difference then, having faith. Anyone can believe in something or someone. What we think our minds met. Believe to achieve. These makes the difference in us, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, regardless if it is true or not. But the kind of faith that is more effective is believing to someone that is true, and it is our faith for God. Someone can deny the existence of God, but cannot prove it. It is not my job to show God to those who do not believe, but I can be a witness for the good things God has done as what I’ve experienced in my personal life.

It is God who created everything. And nothing he doesn’t know. He knows our shape and everything in us. His ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts are higher than ours. To sum it up there’s no reason for us not to trust Him with everything in us. I personally come to God and entrusted my desires and believe in my heart that he did it for me even if it don’t come yet. God works in our hearts the time we know his promises and we can know it by reading the Bible. I may share Isaiah 55:1,

Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.”

Here we can see God who invites us to come to him. We can see that coming to God is a choice and God doesn’t push it however it is his will that all of us may come to him. God tells us that everything that we need he can provide and the best thing of all is that he can satisfy us totally. We may think of material things, that not bad to dream or ask God for it because it is God who actually gives everything and nothing we can claim we own. But God simply says that there is so much more than things, so much more than relationships, so much more than our wildest dreams, so much more anything we can think of and it is GOD Himself.

The presence of God is what we miss. We usually spend our time striving to live and getting what we need and enjoy it but fail to recognize the giver of everything. We can only be reminded of God when things went wrong and it is out of our control. It is true to all of us. We fail God a lot of times, but the best thing about God is that he doesn’t fail us.

Why it is that faith and failures were connected to God. I may say that, it is because God knows everything and he holds all things in His hand and he let things happen for us to have the privilege of knowing him in a way that he take us out from the darkest point of our lives or when we are down and it seem impossible for us to rise again, then he take us in His hands and lead us back to Him. He is there waiting for our call, if we desire the things concerning Him everything in life will be clearer to us. He is the source of everything. So keep believing.


Working in Compassion ministry in Davao City

SAM_0098I started July 22, 2013 as a case worker for compassion ministry under Davao Shekinah Chid Development Center here in Davao City. And I have a worth sharing stories from the time until this moment.

To work in a children related ministry is such a challenging one. There are many things to be prepared for and to be considered personally. Before coming to this place of commitment, I ask the Lord for it. It is very important to know if you are called for this kind of ministry because it help you stand firmly when pressure will set in.
Surely God’s loves the little children and there’s a song for it which we teach the children. If God loves the children dearly so it would be necessary for me to have this kind of love in my heart. Love is the most powerful thing. The bible says, “Love conquers all”. If you don’t have the love for children, you can’t stay with them in an hour. There are cute ones that you will enjoy being with but also there are few who are like living in a different world. Little ones who are hard to dealt with. Others are even considered as a “problem child”.It is more challenging for me because I’m a male teacher. Children for many reasons don’t like male teachers.
I am thankful to Jesus that He helps me by giving me strength, patience, understanding and love. I would love to share my story and ministry next time. Thank you, God bless you

Christmas Adorations

nativity-baby-jesus-christmas-2008-christmas-2806967-1000-5581For thousands of years the Israelites had been looking for the coming of the Messiah. There in Bethlehem by the miraculous power of God, Mary, a young virgin, gave birth to the Savior of the world. Most people missed that glorious event, but a few did not.

Who are the Biblical examples for us to follow in showing adoration to the Lord Jesus Christ?

1.) Mary... having a heart that is completely surrendered to the will of God. Mary, the chosen mother-to-be of Jesus, responded to the angel Gabriel’s startling announcement with, “I am the Lord’s servant… may it be to me as you have said.”

We do not know all Mary went through after she conceived the Christ Child by the Holy Spirit. We do know that Joseph, not understanding at first how his beloved Mary had become pregnant, had it in his mind to quietly divorce her. But God intervened for His faithful servant, Mary. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, and told him not to be afraid to take Mary home to be his wife, that the Child in her was of the Holy Spirit. Joseph and Mary obeyed God even at personal expense (Matt. 1: 18 – 24).

2.) The shepherds… believing, responding and witnessing. Believing the announcement of the angel of the Lord, the shepherds hurried to find the Baby Jesus lying in the manger. Then they spread the word concerning what had happened and what was told them about the Child (Luke 2: 16, 17).

3.) Simeon… living a Holy Spirit-led life full of praise to God. The Holy Spirit had led Simeon, a righteous and devout man, to go into the temple courts just as Joseph and Mary came to consecrate Jesus to God when He was eight days old. Recognizing that Salvation had surely come to both the Jews and the Gentiles, Simeon took Jesus into his arms and praised God (Luke 2: 21 – 28).

4.) Anna… being thankful and always about the Lord’s work. The elderly prophetess, Anna, never stopped worshiping the Lord in the temple. She often fasted and prayed. When she saw the Baby Jesus she gave thanks to God (Luke 2: 37, 38).

5.) The Magi… physically giving of themselves, their hearts, and their gifts to the Lord. The Magi from the East had come on a long and dangerous journey with one purpose in mind, to worship a newly-born King. Having thus presented themselves in worship, they then gave their gifts: gold, a tribute worthy of a King; frankincense, a fragrance often used to honor God with the smoke of incense; and myrrh, a spice used to embalm the dead, foretelling Jesus’ sacrificial death to come (Matt. 2: 11).

Like these before us, if we are sincere in the surrender of ourselves to Him, we, too, should not be unwilling to part with all that is dear to us for His glory and worship–our reputations, our finances, our time, our plans.

How will you show your adoration of the Lord Jesus Christ this Christmas season? Start with inviting Christ into your heart to be both Savior and Lord!

Oh come, let us adore Him… Christ, the Lord!

It’s no longer a Secret

We areForgiveness, Jesus saves, Jesus cares, mark anthony mansueto, eternal life, secrets, bad secrets, jesus heals, facebook photos, facebook, facebook friends, social media unique individuals who have different types of personalities. In various ways we keep our secrets while others are not keeping them but who are outspoken telling others about it. I might be wrong but all of us have secrets that we never tell anyone. For some reasons we try to keep those things for ourselves. To mention a few, we keep it because that was really bad or silly and afraid someone will get angry or ridicule on us. We’ll, the worst thing is if it could send us to jail. Whatever it is the truth remains, it’s no longer a secret.

There are good secrets and there are bad as well. I prefer to talk about bad here, not because I’m a pessimistic person but because of the fact that the “bad” things are the things we usually keep as secrets. We are afraid to tell the world about it and we can’t imagine if the world will know. We consider that if it happens, our world will end.

No matter how hard we try to keep it, it always shows up like a ghost in a mirror. Like a nightmare it seems. Reminds us where we’ve been and who we really are. We usually display different figure in front of our friends and to the public. And people have a good impression about us. In our social media accounts like facebook, we uploaded photos showing the “good about us” and deleting the opposite. Photos didn’t tell the truth. An example would be, friends that hugs each other but in real life real says awful things at their back. Sad reality.

I have many secrets too. Do you want to know? I will not tell everything. I’ve done things you will never expect I’ve done it. But there’s someone who knows about it all. That person knows all your secrets too. Whether it’s good or bad, He knows it all. So, it’s no longer a secret. But think about this because it did not stop there. I want to share to you a wonderful information.

This moment will not be about bad or good. The reason why secrets exist because we are not perfect. There is a way to make secrets stop haunting us. Forgiveness. We need to be forgiven and we need to forgive ourselves too. The person who knows my secrets is Jesus. It is not simply He knows it but he can also forgive us completely. So that we will have clear conscience, pure heart and life that last long.

Do you want to be forgiven?

It you want to, please continue to read. With all sincerity ask about it. A portion of what He says goes like this “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I assure you that you can be forgiven, It’s more than a good psychology, it’s reality. Believe that He died on the cross 2,000 years ago to pay for your sins, that includes your secrets. Real forgiveness, real freedom, real security and much more. To do this, say a simple prayer;

“God, you know everything about me. There’s nothing I can hide. Please forgive me for all unpleasant things I’ve done. I believe that you died for me because you love so much. I believe in you. Be the Lord of my life, and make me a person you want me to be from this day onward. In Jesus name I ask, Amen.

Please share to others.

The Right Connection

John 15:1-8

New International Version (NIV)

The Vine and the Branches

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 “I am the vine; you are the

branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory,that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Before I studied in the Bible School I took up Industrial Technology and majored Electronics. Saying this, is to share something from  making our project which is building an amplifier  from scratch. We will be the one to design our own Printed circuit board, drill holes on it where we can put all the components and attached the electrical wires. After months of laborious project we came into the most exciting but full of tension part, that is to initiate the first testing. We will plug our amplifier into the electrical power for the first time.
Something happened when one of my classmates tried, a big electronic component called capacitor that was attached firmly into the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) exploded! And like a bullet of a gun flew over his head, hit the ceiling of our laboratory. He was almost hit because it flew nearly like an inch from his eyes. It will be a great damaged then if he was hit by that incident. Later, we found out that he had made a wrong polarity connection. The capacitor has two terminals which are the positive and negative. And these terminals should not be interchanged or else it spark because of a short circuit.
Same principle is applicable with our lives, things went wrong and possibly be worst when we are not correctly connected with God. In this passage, I will share about the right connection and what it means to be correctly connected with God and as well as the rewards.

Connection to Jesus– v.1-2 Here Jesus said that the Father is the Vine-dresser and he is the Vine. For one thing, vine in the Old Testament represented the whole people of Israel. Isaiah 5:1-2, Jeremiah 2:21, Ezekiel 15:6. Jews had the mindset of being the Vine.
If you were a first-century Jew and heard for the first time that Jesus was the true vine and his people were the branches, you would have mixed emotions.
Jesus corrected or shall I say made it clear to them that He is the true Vine and salvation comes from him alone.

We cannot claim we know God if we don’t know Jesus and don’t recognize Him as God.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Relationship with God comes through our personal relationship with Jesus. It happens when we accept Him as Lord and Savior because we believe that through His death the penalty of our sins were paid. It is not through the bloodline, good works, church organization, traditions, cultures and anything that others claimed.

“For by GRACE you have been saved through FAITH; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God; not as result of WORKS, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for GOOD WORKS, which God PREPARED BEFOREHAND so that we would WALK IN THEM.” (Ephesians 2:8-10}

Anything will just follow when we have Christ in our lives.
If we are in the position wherein we are not sure of our salvation, this is the time to accept Christ as personal Lord, Master, and Savior of our lives.
Our spiritual life starts with Jesus Christ and will end with Him.
Philippians 1:21 21 for to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Connection to His Word– v. 3-7 Jesus and his Word cannot be separated.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Connection with Jesus means being connected to His Word. It is taking His words in our hearts and living it out. We cannot say that we are Christians when our actions were evil, there would be something wrong with the contents of our hearts. If this is our lifestyles Jesus will consider us hypocrites as what He said to the religious leaders. Now I don’t mean being perfect according to our human perceptions because God defines the word “perfect” in a different manner. What I am trying to say is that God gives us a command to remain in Him much more likely to remain in His word. He said “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” When a General gives a command to a soldier, it means that the soldier has to do something with it. It requires action to implement the given command. Same thought is being expressed when God said these Words.
Now the difference is God give us a choice and our choice is paired with results. He said 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8
To remain in His word means to take it in like eating food.
Matthew 4:4
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[a]
It is a necessity and therefore we can now understand how important to be connected with his Word. It will nourish our spiritual being. The more we take the more we grow. Here is the list of what it will do in our lives:

1. Sanctification – That is, we become more like Him – Rom. 6:22; Phil. 1:11; Col. 1:10.

2. Spirituality – That is, we behave more like Him – Gal. 5:22-23.

3. Souls – That is, we are burdened like Him – Rom. 1:13.

If we struggle with sin, we need the word of God to be taken down in our lives. We need to make an action to gives some times to study His Word and His Word will take care changing us.

Connection to His Will– God’s purpose for this connection is for us to bear “fruits “and even more fruitful.

2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful.

. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Here we can see that Jesus repeatedly mention about bearing fruits. What kind of fruits did God wants us to have? We may ask. Well, I can say “Christ Fruits”. It is because Christ is the vine and we supposed to be connected to Him. The fruit that God wants us to bear is “CHRISTLIKENESS.”

Others may refer to it as financial blessing, material or increase of converts in a local church. There’s nothing wrong with that because the word fruit covers everything. But what first comes up in our minds tells something, and it says our first concern. When we are hungry the first thing will come up in our mind is food. So, when we say “fruits” we think of “blessings.” If you see the pattern, you can determine to yourself- what are those things you give the highest priority in your life or in your Christian life. See? It is a priority check.

To put it into application, we can ask ourselves these questions. Why am I going to church? Why am I giving to the poor? Why am I giving my tithes? Is it the way Christ did?

The will of God is that we will bear Christ in us and that we will grow in Christ likeness. He said in His Word in John 3:30:

30 He must become greater; I must become less.”[a]


7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

It is His will to bless us and it made possible through Jesus Christ. We are already blessed when God gave us everything that we need and much more that he give us a favor when he said “ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”We can ask God what we need and he promised that we shall receive if we continually connected with Him. We must always have the right connection.

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Love Knows No Limits

A Peanuts cartoon shows Lucy standing with her arms folded and a stern expression on her face. Charlie Brown pleads, “Lucy, you must be more loving. This world really needs love. You have to let yourself love to make this world a better place.” Lucy angrily whirls around and knocks Charlie Brown to the ground. She screams at him, “Look, Blockhead, the world I love. Its people I can’t stand.”

I’m sure we all feel that way from time to time, and some of us feel that way most of the time. Maybe you feel that way right now. Loving the world in general isn’t that difficult; loving the people around us can be a major challenge. In 1 Corinthians 13, we find one of the most beautiful and familiar chapters in the Bible. This chapter is typically read at weddings and anniversary celebrations. It has even been set to music. Yet, this was never the original intent. Instead, Paul was writing a rebuke to a dysfunctional church for their abuse of the spiritual gifts. Typically though, this understanding is often ignored. Consequently, I wonder if most Christians have truly pondered the deeper meaning of this passage. Have we heard this Scripture so often that we no longer think about what the words mean? I would suggest that if we ignore the context of this chapter we are in danger of missing its major impact.2

In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul will argue that love is an action, not an emotion. The kind of love Paul will talk about is seen, experienced, and demonstrated. This is contrary to our culture that honors personal feelings above almost everything. We do what we want when we want because we “feel” like it. And if we don’t “feel” like it, we don’t do it. But as I study this passage, I am struck by the complete absence of any stress on personal feelings. Hence, if love is an action, not an emotion, we need to study what God has to say about love. We need to know what love is and what it looks like when it is lived out in the church.3 In these thirteen verses, Paul provides three distinctions of love.

1. Love is greater than any spiritual gift (13:1-3). In these three verses, Paul mentions six spiritual gifts: tongues, prophecy, knowledge, faith, giving, and martyrdom. The first four gifts are listed in 12:8-10. The gift of giving is among those mentioned in Rom 12:8. Martyrdom does not occur anywhere else as a spiritual gift, but by its association with the other five gifts here, we can add it to the spiritual gifts God gives to His church.4 Paul kicks off 13:1 with the gift of tongues when he writes, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” Some Bible students seem to have missed Paul’s point here and have interpreted him as speaking merely of eloquence in human speech, but clearly he is referring to the gift of tongues. After all, the last gifts mentioned in chapter 12 are tongues and the interpretation of tongues. And those same gifts are the main topic of chapter 14. It is quite logical, then, that Paul begins the intervening chapter by discussing tongues. The use of tongues that Paul is speaking of here is the gift of speaking a private prayer language.5 Paul says you can speak in tongues all you want, but if you don’t have love you are merely making a lot of noise.

In 13:2-3, Paul mentions five more spiritual gifts when he writes, “If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.” Prophecy refers to the ability to declare God’s truth in a powerful, life-changing way. Knowledge involves the deep understanding of the Word of God. Faith is the unique ability to trust God for great things. These three gifts are all from the Holy Spirit, and yet without love the person who has them is “nothing.” Verse 3 poses a problem because it asks us to ponder activities that we automatically consider noble. Giving to the poor is a good thing to do. And dying for your faith in Christ is the ultimate sacrifice. But as good as these things are, without love they do you no good. Paul declares that the greatest expression of spirituality is love. We could summarize these three verses like this: Without love…I say nothing, I am nothing, and I gain nothing.

Clearly, we must have love when we are exercising our spiritual gifts. So stop for just a moment and reflect on your spiritual gifts and your ministry in the local church. Do you do what you do out of genuine love for people? Or do you serve out of a sense of obligation? Do you serve because of the satisfaction you derive from ministry? Do you minister because you like honing your skills? Although no one has perfectly pure motives, we ought to be seeking to grow in our love quotient. Paul says that love is an action, not an emotion; therefore, we need to put feet to our love.

[After talking about the importance of love, Paul now will discuss how love behaves.]

2. Love is expressed by supernatural responses (13:4-7). Love is a word that can only be properly defined in terms of action, attitude, and behavior. Paul has no room for abstract, theoretical definitions; instead, he wants us to know what love looks like when we see it. Thus, he paints fifteen separate portraits of love. Yes, that’s right: in the space of four short verses Paul uses fifteen verbs, all of which have “love” as their subject. Our contemporary definition of love is that it is an emotion or a feeling—we love our jobs, we love football, we love pizza. In the biblical definition of agape, love acts, for love is an action, not an emotion.6 Verse 4 begins by summarizing the unselfish nature of love.

1) Love is patient. The Greek language has several words for “patience.” One signifies patience with circumstances while another is used only in reference to patience with people.7 The Lord knows we need both kinds of patience, but it is this second word that is found here. The KJV renders this word “long-suffering.” I like this! Paul seems to be saying that love doesn’t have a short fuse. It doesn’t lose its temper easily. A person who exercises agape love does not lose patience with people. Love never says, “I’ll give you just one more chance.” Love is patient.

The longer that I am in pastoral ministry, the easier it is for me to be patient with others. With every passing year, I recognize more fully that I sin against God and others. As God humbles me with my own sinful shortcomings, I find it easier to exercise greater patience with others. Loving people are willing to tolerate the shortcomings of others because they know they have faults too. As you mature do you feel more and more patient or do you feel you are growing more and more crotchety? God wants you and me to grow in patient love for those whom we minister to and with.
2) Love is kind.8 Patience must be accompanied by a positive reaction of goodness toward the other person. Kindness, however, is not to be equated with giving everyone what he or she wants. Sometimes love must be tough. In the context of the church, kindness may mean forcing an addict to go through the hell of withdrawal. Kindness may mean saying no to a spoiled child. Kindness may mean reporting a crime committed by a friend. Kindness means to withhold what harms, as well as give what heals. Love is kind, but often tough.9 Paul followed the two positive expressions of love with eight verbs that indicate how it does not behave.10

3) Love is not jealous.11 Jealousy implies being displeased with the success of others. Yet, true love desires the success of others. The best way to cure envy is to pray sincerely for the one of whom you are jealous. To pray for him or her is to demonstrate love, and jealousy and love cannot exist in the same heart.

4) Love does not brag. The root word for “brag” in Greek is very picturesque and is closest to our English word, “wind-bag.”12 Love is not an egotistical blowhard. Love is not big-headed but big-hearted. This means the more loving you become, the less boasting you need to do. The greater your spiritual gifts, the less prone you should be to brag. After all, the gifts you have been graciously given are from God. When you and I brag, we are demonstrating our insecurity and spiritual immaturity. Paul states that bragging is the converse of biblical love. Hence, we should pursue Christ so that we will be humble before Him and others.

5) Love is not arrogant.13 The term “arrogant” refers to a grasping for power. It is more serious than bragging, which is only grasping for praise. Arrogant people push themselves into leadership, using people as stepping-stones, and always consider themselves exempt from the requirements on mere mortals. Arrogance disrespects others and carries a distain for others. God calls us to serve others and be gracious toward them.

6) Love does not act unbecomingly.14 This word is best translated “rude.” There are some Christians who seem to take delight in being blunt, justifying it on the grounds of honesty. They will say, “I’m just telling it like it is.” But love doesn’t always tell it like it is; it doesn’t always verbalize all its thoughts, particularly if those thoughts don’t build others up. There is a graciousness in love which never forgets that courtesy, tact, and politeness are lovely things.

7) Love does not seek its own. Love is the very antithesis of insisting upon one’s own rights. Needless to say, this is a rare quality today. Ours is a society in which self-seeking is not only tolerated, it is even advocated. You can go to any bookstore and pick up titles like, Winning Through Intimidation, Looking Out for Number One, or Creative Aggression. But a self-absorbed narcissistic person cannot act in love. Love is not possessive, demanding, stubborn, or dominating. Love does not talk too much but listens as well. Love does not insist on its own way.15 It is always willing to defer to others.

8) Love is not provoked. Love is not given to emotional outbursts, is not exasperated by petty annoyances, and refuses to let someone else get under one’s skin. But, you say, when someone else provokes me, it’s not my fault. Yes it is. We don’t have to get irritated, and if we were exercising love, we wouldn’t. One English version translates this virtue, “Love is not touchy.” Do you know people who are so quick to take offense that you have to handle them with kid gloves? You try to avoid talking to them and when you can avoid it no longer, you carefully measure every word you say to make sure that you say exactly what you mean. But still the person seizes upon something and twists it to make you look bad. That kind of person knows nothing of agape love, for love is not touchy.

9) Love does not take into account a wrong suffered. Paul uses the normal word here for bookkeeping. Love does not keep a ledger of evil deeds. It doesn’t write down each injury done and keep the account open to be settled someday. I know some people who are accomplished bookkeepers in regard to injuries sustained. Love doesn’t hang on to reminders of wrongs. Who are you keeping a book on? Are there some ledgers you need to go home and toss in the fireplace?

10) Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness. One of the reasons I detest watching the news is that the bulk of stories concern people’s misfortunes and misdeeds. There is something in our human nature which causes our attention to be drawn to murder trials, FBI probes, natural disasters, and human tragedies. Love is not like that. Love takes no joy in evil of any kind. It takes no malicious pleasure when it hears about the inadequacies, mistakes, and sins of someone else. Love is righteous. Now, after eight sobering negatives come five glorious positives:

11) Love rejoices with the truth. When I was in seminary, I studied an ethical system Joseph Fletcher labeled Situation Ethics. Fletcher taught that any action—whether lying, adultery, or even murder—can be moral if it is done in love. However, I would argue that if an action does not conform to the truth of God’s Word, it can’t be done in love. Truth and love go together like hand in glove. Truth must make our love discriminating, and love must make our truth compassionate and forgiving. If our actions are in accord with agape love, we will always welcome biblical truth, never resist it.

12) Love bears all things. The phrase “bears all things” comes from a Greek word meaning to cover something. It is related to the word for roof—a covering that offers protection from the hostile elements. 1 Peter 4:8 says that love covers a multitude of sins. That is precisely the meaning here. Love protects other people. It doesn’t broadcast bad news. It goes the second mile to protect another person’s reputation.16

There are two very relevant applications: First, love doesn’t nitpick. It doesn’t point out every flaw of the ones you love. Second, love doesn’t criticize in public. This is perhaps Paul’s primary meaning. Love doesn’t do its dirty laundry for the entire world to see. That’s why I cringe whenever I hear a husband humiliating his wife in public or a wife making snide remarks about her husband. I always think, if they do that in public, what do they do in private? As a friend of mine once told me, “There are many times in my life when I’ve been sorry I opened my mouth. But there has never been a time I’ve been sorry I kept silent.” When it comes to needless criticism of other people, that’s excellent advice.

13) Love believes all things. Love is always ready to allow for extenuating circumstances, to give the other person the benefit of the doubt, to believe the best about people. Many of us have developed a certain distrust of people because of negative experiences. We have heard stories about how the person who stopped to help a motorist in distress was robbed or even murdered. We have been warned never to loan money to someone without a legal document guaranteeing repayment, even if the other guy is a Christian. But there are worse things than gullibility–namely suspicion and mistrust. Love always trusts. It is also useful to remember that even in a court of law the accused person is always “innocent until proven guilty.” Love says, “I am willing to wait for the evidence to come in before making my decision. I choose to give you the benefit of the doubt as long as there is reason to do so.” Some of us treat our loved ones in nearly the opposite way: “You are guilty until you prove you are innocent.”

I do not tire of repeating that people tend to become what we believe them to be. They either live up to or down to your expectations. If you treat a man as trustworthy, he will strive to prove himself worthy of your trust. If you tell a child, “Take a big swing. You can hit that ball,” he’ll go to the plate and swing like Babe Ruth. If you treat your wife as if she is the most beautiful woman in the world, she will be transformed before your very eyes. That’s what Jesus did. To vacillating Simon, He said, “You are a rock.” To a prostitute, He said, “Your sins are forgiven.” To a woman caught in adultery, He said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” It is the simple power of believing the best and not the worst about people.

14) Love hopes all things. The third phrase in 13:7 tells us that love “hopes all things.” This is simply a step beyond believing. The meaning is something like this: There are times in life when you face situations so difficult that faith is not possible. You would gladly give the benefit of the doubt but there is none to give. You search for the silver lining but the angry clouds overhead have no silver lining. Love has a positive forward look. Paul is not here advocating an unreasoning optimism, which fails to take account of reality. Nor is he just teaching the power of positive thinking. But he is suggesting that love refuses to take failure as final, either in oneself or in someone else. Love never gives up on people. And the reason the believer can take such an attitude is that God is in the business of taking human failures and producing spiritual giants out of them. And He can do it with you or your child or that impossible kid in your S.S. class. Of course, “always hoping” doesn’t mean that we sit back and just watch God do His thing. Rather it means that we get actively involved in the process as He molds the future according to His perfect plan. Love hopes and expects the best. Love never loses faith in other people and gives up on them but remain faithful to them, in spite of their shortcomings.

15) Love endures all things. The word “endures” is a military term that means to hold a position at all costs, even unto death, whatever it takes. The battle may be lost but the soldier keeps on fighting to the very end. The word pictures an army surrounded by superior forces, being attacked and slowly overwhelmed on every side. One by one your comrades fall at your side. Through the noise of battle comes one final command: “Stand your ground, men. And if necessary, die well.” So love holds fast to people it loves. It perseveres. It never gives up on anyone. Love won’t stop loving, even in the face of rejection. Love takes action to shake up an intolerable situation. Love looks beyond the present to the hope of what might be in the future.

No one can have a totally happy conscience after reading through these fifteen expressions of love.17

We are the opposite of 13:4-7 on every point.18 However, this love list defines God’s gift of Himself in Jesus Christ. If you go back through these verses and everywhere you find the word “love” substitute the word “Christ,” all these statements will still be true. The kind of love being described is love that has its source in God, and as we look at each of the phrases it becomes obvious that we’re defining a lifestyle that really is beyond our human reach. It is absolutely impossible unless we abide in Christ and ask Him to live His supernatural love in and through us. If you have never believed in Jesus Christ as your Savior, will you do so today? Not only will He give you the gift of His eternal love, but He will allow you to love the way God intended.

[Love is greater than any spiritual gift and love is expressed by supernatural responses. Now we will see that…]

3. Love is an eternal gift (13:8-13). In these final six verses, Paul will discuss the temporary nature of the spiritual gifts and the eternal nature of love. In 13:8, Paul talks about the temporary nature of gifts when he writes, “Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.”19 When Paul says, “Love never fails,” he means love never ends. The synonym for this expression is “love abides” in 13:13. These phrases serve to bookend this final section where Paul argues that the spiritual gifts will be done away with one day.

The reason that spiritual gifts like prophecy and tongues will come to an end is revealed in 13:9-10. Paul writes, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” Paul explains that we are limited in our understanding, but this will not always be the case. A time of perfection is coming! The “perfect” refers to the returning of Christ.20 When we recall that 1:7 pointed out the ongoing role of the gifts until the return of Christ, there can be only one possible interpretation of “perfection”—it is the life in the world to come, after Jesus reappears on earth.

Paul explains himself further in 13:11-12: “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” Paul explains that our understanding of God is indirect in this life. He uses two analogies: childhood and a mirror.21 In using the analogy of childhood, Paul is not suggesting that those who speak in tongues are childish and immature. Rather, he is adopting an eternal perspective and simply saying that there will come a time when the gifts of the Spirit will no longer be necessary.22

The analogy of the mirror implies that our visibility of Christ is indirect. In other words, Paul is comparing the nature of looking in a mirror to the relationship we will enjoy with Jesus when we see Him “face to face.”23 I enjoy looking at pictures of people, but if I had my choice I would prefer to spend time with the people that I am looking at in photo albums.

Paul concludes this chapter in 13:13 with these words: “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”24 For all eternity, we will enjoy these three attributes. We will experience God’s incredible love, we will experience a deep love for God, and we will love one another with a perfect love. We will also continue to have “faith” in the Lord for all eternity. But what about “hope?” What could possibly be the meaning of hope when we are in an eternity that has no pain or tears or sorrow? Will we hope for better days? Obviously not! There is one nuance behind “hope” that is applicable here, namely, a meaning of hope that is synonymous with “trust.”25 In eternity, we will continue to trust in God’s goodness in our lives and in His provisions for us. Hope in this sense “abides” or “remains,” as do faith and love. But the greatest of these is love, for love covers not only what we experience in our relations to others and to God, but what we experience from God Himself.

Today, how will you grow in your love for others? First, I would suggest that you cannot become the loving person you desire to be apart from a loving and vibrant relationship with God. This love relationship must be cultivated first and foremost. Second, you must love those nearest to you. This means that if you are married, you focus on your spouse. If you have children, you prioritize your children. If you are serving in a ministry, you love those children, teens, or adults. You strive to love your neighbors and coworkers. Once you have accomplished this, you will be able to better love the world around you. God has called us to love people. Jesus said that all people will know we are His disciples by the love that we have for one another (John 13:34-35).

Scripture Reference

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Galatians 5:22-23

Ephesians 4:26, 32

Colossians 3:12-17

1 Peter 3:8; 4:8

Luke 7:36-50

Luke 10:30-37

Study Questions

1. What are my motivations for doing the work of ministry (13:1-3)? Do I minister from a heart of love? How do I know that my ministry is built on love? Read John 13:34-35.

2. Would people describe me as a loving person (13:4-7)? Why or why not? What characteristics of love are presently true in my own life? What qualities are lacking? Read Galatians 5:22-23.

3. The love of God’s people often seems so fickle; yet Paul says, “Love never ends” (13:8a). Why is it so easy to lack endurance in love (13:7)? How can I be a person who is known for perseverance in love?

4. When I am at church, how do I express love for my brothers and sisters in Christ? Read 1 John 3:18. How would I describe the culture of our church? Is it warm and welcoming? If so, what have I done to contribute to this? Today, what commitment will I make to exude greater love?

5. What will it be like to see Jesus face-to-face one day (13:10-12)? Am I looking forward to meeting Christ? Read 2 Timothy 4:6-8. Do I have harmonious relationships within the body of Christ? Is there any relational strife that I need to deal with before Jesus returns? Read Matthew 5:23-24.

1 Copyright © 2007 Keith R. Krell. All rights reserved. All Scripture quotations, unless indicated, are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1977, and 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, and are used by permission.

Why Does God’s Creation Include Death and Suffering?

Why do bad things happen? Through the ages, human beings have sought to reconcile their understanding of an all-powerful, loving God with the seemingly endless suffering around them.

One prominent example of this struggle is the media mogul Ted Turner. Having lost his faith after his sister died of a painful disease, Turner claimed, “I was taught that God was love and God was powerful, and I couldn’t understand how someone so innocent should be made or allowed to suffer so.”1

Is God responsible for human suffering? Is God cruel, capricious, and vindictive, or is He too weak to prevent suffering? If God truly is sovereign, how can He let someone He loves suffer?

A World of Misery and Death

Each day brings new tragedy. A small child is diagnosed with leukemia and undergoes extensive medical treatment only to die in his mother’s arms. A newlywed couple is killed by a drunk driver as they leave for their honeymoon. A faithful missionary family is attacked and killed by the very people they were ministering to. Thousands are killed in a terrorist attack. Hundreds drown in a tsunami, while scores of others are buried in an earthquake.

Angry at God

How are these things possible if God really loves and cares for us? Is He a God of suffering?

Man’s usual response to tragedy is to blame God, as Charles Darwin did after the death of his beloved daughter Annie.

“Annie’s cruel death destroyed Charles’s tatters of beliefs in a moral, just universe. Later he would say that this period chimed the final death-knell for his Christianity . . . . Charles now took his stand as an unbeliever.”2

Is this the proper response? A correct view of history, found in the Bible, provides the answer.

Was God’s Creation Really “Very Good”?

In the beginning, about 6,000 years ago, God created the universe and everything in it in six actual days. At the end of His creative acts on the sixth day, God “saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

To have been very good, God’s creation must have been without blemish, defect, disease, suffering, or death. There was no “survival of the fittest.” Animals did not prey on each other, and the first two humans, Adam and Eve, did not kill animals for food. The original creation was a beautiful place, full of life and joy in the presence of the Creator.

Both humans and animals were vegetarians at the time of creation. In Genesis 1:29–30 the Lord said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food.”

This passage shows clearly that in God’s very good creation, animals did not eat each other (and thus, there was no animal death), as God gave Adam, Eve, and the animals only plants to eat. (It was was not until after the worldwide Flood of Noah’s Day—1,600 years later—that man was allowed to eat meat, according to Genesis 9:3.)

Plants are not nephesh.

Because eating a plant can kill it, some people claim that death was part of the original creation. The Bible makes a distinction, though, between plants and animals. This distinction is expressed in the Hebrew word nephesh, which describes an aspect of life attributed only to animals and humans. Nephesh can be translated “breathing creature” or “living creature” (see Genesis 1:20–21, 24). Plants do not possess this nephesh quality and so cannot die in the scriptural sense.

The original creation was very good. According to Moses in Deuteronomy 32:4, “His work is perfect.” Obviously, things are not like this any longer.

Why Do We Die Now?

If there was no animal or human death when God finished His creation and pronounced it very good, why do we die now? We see death all around us today. Something must have happened to change creation—that something was sin.

God placed Adam and Eve in a perfect paradise. As their Creator, He had authority over them. In His authority, God gave Adam a rule: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17).

Sometime after God declared His completed creation “very good” at the end of the sixth day, one of God’s angels, Lucifer, led a rebellion against their Creator.3 Lucifer then took on the form of a serpent and tempted Eve to eat the fruit God had forbidden. Both Adam and Eve ate it. Their actions resulted in the punishment that God had warned them about. God is holy and cannot tolerate sin in His presence. The just Creator righteously kept His promise that punishment would follow their disobedience. With the rebellious actions of one man, death entered God’s creation.

Ashamed and afraid, Adam and Eve tried to escape the consequences of their sin by making coverings of fig leaves. But by themselves, they could not cover what they had done. They needed something else to provide a covering. According to the writer of Hebrews, “Without shedding of blood, there is no remission [of sin]” (Hebrews 9:22). A blood sacrifice was necessary to cover their guilt before God.

To illustrate the horrible consequences of sin, God killed an animal and made coats of skin to cover Adam and Eve. We are not told what type of animal was killed, but perhaps it was something like a lamb to symbolize Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who would shed His own blood to take away our sins.

Genesis 3 also reveals that the ground was cursed. Thorns and thistles were now part of the world. Animals were cursed, the serpent more than the rest. The world was no longer perfect but sin-cursed. Suffering and death now abounded in that once-perfect creation.

What Does All This Have to Do with Me?

If it was Adam’s decision to disobey God that brought sin into the world, why do we all have to suffer punishment?

After Adam and Eve sinned and were banished from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:20–24), they began to have children. Each child inherited Adam’s sinful nature, and each child rebelled against his or her Creator. Every human is a descendant of Adam and Eve, born with the same problem: a sinful nature.

If we are honest with ourselves, we will realize that Adam is a fair representative for all of us. If a perfect person in a perfect place decided to disobey God’s rules, none of us would have done better. The Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).

A sin cursed world

As children of Adam, we all inherit Adam’s sin nature. We have all, at some point, disobeyed a command from the Creator, so we all deserve to die and suffer eternal punishment in hell. We must understand that not one of us is innocent before God. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Not one of us is worthy to stand before the Creator of the universe because we would each bring a sinful, rebellious nature into His presence.

In the beginning, God sustained His creation in its perfect state. The account of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness provides a glimpse of how things might have been in the original creation. The garments of the Israelites did not wear out, nor did their feet swell for the forty years they camped in the desert (Deuteronomy 8:4). God is omnipotent and perfectly capable of sustaining and protecting His creation.

When Adam sinned, however, the Lord cursed the universe. In essence there was a change, and along with that change God began to uphold the creation in a cursed state. Suffering and death entered into His creation. The whole universe now suffers from the effects of sin (Romans 8:22).

The sad things (e.g., the death of a loved one, tsunamis that kill thousands, hurricanes that leave many dead or homeless, etc.) that happen around us and to us are reminders that sin has consequences and that the world needs a Savior.

God took pleasure in all of His creation (Revelation 4:11), but He loved people most of all. He uses the deterioration of the created universe to show us the consequences of our sin. If we did not experience the consequences of our rebellion against the Creator, we would never understand that we need salvation from our sin, and we would never receive His offer of mercy for our sin.

Most people easily recognize that there is a problem in the world. We need to realize that there is One who has overcome this problem of death and suffering—Jesus Christ.

Is There Any Hope?

Sadly, the consequences for our sin are much worse than life in a cursed universe. In addition to living our lives in a sin-filled creation, we must all die physically and then face a punishment much more horrible than anything we have ever known: the second death. The Apostle John tells of a lake of fire called the “second death” that awaits all those whose names are not written in the book of life (Revelation 20:14–15). This second death is the final punishment for our sin.

Even though we rebelled against Him and brought punishment on ourselves, God loves His children and does not want them to spend eternity in hell. Our merciful Creator has provided a way to be reconciled to Him and to escape the terrible eternal punishment for our sin. This way of escape is through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ, who is God, came to earth as a man, lived a sinless life, and then died to pay the penalty for sin. The Apostle Paul tells us that “as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life” (Romans 5:18).

God is righteous and justly sentenced man to death, so we received the punishment we deserve. However, God exercised grace because of His love for us and took that punishment upon Himself as the payment for our sin.

Take heart! Christ did not remain in the grave. He showed that He has power over death by rising on the third day after He was buried. Because Christ clearly demonstrated His power over death, those who believe in Him can know that they too will live, and death will have no sting. In fact, the Bible says,

So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:54–55).

In Christ, those who have received the free gift of eternal life can look forward to spending eternity with Him in a perfect, pain-free place (Revelation 21:4). As the Apostle Paul wrote,

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8–9).

Some may suggest that if God really loved us, He would put us in a perfect place where nothing painful can touch us. However, He already did that once, and Adam rebelled. Given the same opportunity, each one of us would do the same thing. God demonstrated His love by dying for the world and rising again. All who receive the free gift of eternal life will spend eternity with Him.

Compared to eternity, the time we spend here in a cursed world is insignificant. God will complete His demonstration of love by placing those who receive His salvation in a perfect place forever.

The Restoration of All Things

The Fall and final restoration

The Bible describes death as the last enemy that will be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26). Revelation 21:4 says that “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Those who have received salvation look forward to the time when the Lord will revoke the Curse and restore the universe to a perfect state like the one it had before man sinned (Revelation 22:3).

The Lord not only loves His children enough to die for their sin, He also promises to fix the ruined world by creating a new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21:1). And just as the first Adam brought death into the world, Christ, as the “last Adam,” brings renewed life into the world.

As Paul wrote,

And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45).

The Alternate View of History

Those who reject the Creator must explain how the world came into existence without God.

Evolutionists and most other “long agers” believe that 13–14 billion years ago, a big bang caused the universe to begin from nothing. Galaxies, stars, and planets formed as matter—scattered across the universe—cooled and coalesced. About five billion years ago, the earth itself began to form. The earth, it is claimed, cooled for a billion years or so, water formed on the surface, and in this primordial ocean, molecules somehow arranged themselves together to form the simplest one-celled life forms.

The evolutionary story

Due to environmental stresses and other forces, directionless mutations, say evolutionists, led to survival advantages for certain organisms. These organisms gradually changed into progressively more complex organisms. The strongest organisms were able to survive and reproduce, and the weaker organisms died off or were killed by the stronger creatures.

This merciless process eventually produced ape-like creatures who evolved into man himself. Thus humans are the ultimate product (so far!) of millions of years of death and suffering.

This naturalistic view of the universe uses the fossil record as proof for the belief that creatures became more advanced over millions of years. This view teaches that the fossil record is a record of millions of years of disease, struggle, and death. The late famous evolutionist Carl Sagan declared that “the secrets of evolution are time and death.”4

Evolution requires millions of years of struggle and death.

Does This Really Matter?

Very good?

The Bible says that death came as the result of man’s sin. Evolution says that death has always been a part of nature. Can both be true? Obviously not.

If the fossil record represents millions of years of earth history, there must have been millions of years of death, struggle, and disease before man appeared, contrary to what Genesis teaches.

“Theistic evolution” is an idea that attempts to merge the Genesis account and the concept of millions of years of evolution. Theistic evolution postulates millions of years of death before God stepped into the process, at some point, and created the Garden of Eden. Theistic evolution requires God to call millions of years of death and suffering “very good.”

On the other hand, if the fossil record is the product of a catastrophic global Flood in which vast numbers of organisms were suddenly buried in chemical-rich water and sediment, the need to postulate millions of years of history goes away. God’s account of a perfect world ruined by sin and destroyed by a watery judgment (Genesis 6–9) is consistent with the fossil evidence in the world.

God’s promise of future restoration, “the restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21), would be nonsensical if evolution really happened. Only an original creation free from death makes God’s promise of restoration logical. A perfect creation cannot be the promised future restoration if no perfect creation existed in the past.

Two views of death

Where Do Caring and Mercy Come From?

While many evolutionists cry out that a loving God is inconsistent with this world of cruelty we inhabit, they conveniently overlook other things. For example, how does evolution explain mercy, charity, and caring? If evolution is true, the driving force of nature is “survival of the fittest.” Those less able to compete are destined to die. Any attempt to rescue these “less competitive” people would be to work against the most fundamental force of nature. The existence of doctors, hospitals, charitable organizations, and even a police force is contrary to raw evolutionary forces.

The evolutionist has no basis for moral judgments. If man is just the result of millions of years of evolution, our behavior is based on random chemical reactions. There is no ultimate moral code. All morality is relative. So if a person needs money, why is it wrong to rob someone? According to evolution, the stronger person should succeed. Might makes right. So, in the evolutionary view, such violence is a natural, and necessary, part of the world.

Those who have a worldview based on the Bible have a consistent basis for acts of kindness, charity, or caring. We are commanded in Scripture to love our neighbors as ourselves, to perform acts of mercy, and to care for the widows and orphans. If we take evolution to its logical conclusion, we will conclude that these widows and orphans should die because they are a drain on the resources of nature.

Only Bible-believers ultimately offer the world a basis to make moral judgments. Those who reject the Bible have no basis for morality.

What about Individual Suffering?

In John 9 Jesus addressed the issue of personal suffering. When His disciples assumed that a man’s blindness was the result of the man’s sin, Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him” (John 9:3). Jesus did not consider the man’s suffering to be wasted or capricious, because God would be glorified in the man’s life.

The book of Job tells the history of a righteous man who pleased God but nevertheless suffered the loss of his wealth, his ten children, and his health. His friends were sure his sufferings represented judgment for some secret sins, but God denied this accusation. Many people have taken comfort simply in knowing that their personal tragedies did not necessarily represent personal judgments.

Jesus demonstrated that His love for us is not incompatible with personal suffering when Lazarus was sick and about to die. “When Jesus heard that, He said, ‘This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’ Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus” (John 11:4–5).

Jesus clearly loved Lazarus and his grieving family, but He was able to see a purpose to suffering that they could not see. Christ clearly revealed to them that He had power over death (by raising Lazarus from the dead), even prior to His crucifixion and resurrection.

Jesus commented on the purpose of tragedy after the tower of Siloam collapsed, killing eighteen people. “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:4–5).

These examples show that it is not necessarily an individual’s sin that leads to suffering, but sin in general already has. God may use suffering as a reminder that sin has consequences—and perhaps for other purposes we do not fully investigate in this chapter. But the presence of suffering does not mean God does not love us. Quite the opposite—Christ came and suffered with us and took that punishment when He didn’t have to.

In times of suffering, Christians honor the Lord by trusting Him and knowing that He loves them and has a purpose for their lives. The presence of suffering in the world should remind us all that we are sinners in a sin-cursed world and also prompt us to tell others about the salvation available in Christ—after all, that would be the loving thing to do. We can tell people the truth of how they, too, can be saved from this sin-cursed world and live eternally with a perfect and good God.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:17–18).