Ask Your Preacher
Why did God make pain?
If the pain you are talking about is the human body’s ability to feel pain, our pain reflexes are a healthy thing. Those who can’t feel pain have a disease called congenital analgia, and it is a devastating disease. As the parents of one child with this disease said, “Pain teaches; pain protects; pain can save you from a lot of bad things in life.” Our nervous system is a tremendous gift from God, and it is part of what makes us “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps 139:14).
On the other hand, if you are talking about the emotional trials, suffering, and pain that people go through on this planet – God didn’t do that. God didn’t create the world imperfectly. When God finished the world, it was perfect (Gen 1:31). All imperfection that we find in this world is a consequence of our sins (Gen 3:17-19).
Why are innocent victims allowed to be violated in this world? Are they sacrificial lambs or what? I see no purpose in, for example, young children being allowed to be violated.
All suffering is caused by mankind and sin. When God made the world, He made it to be good - it was sin that destroyed that perfect vision. All wickedness and evil brings pain to God and grieves Him and He will only endure it for so long. In Noah's day, God saw all the violence that was in the world and it made Him deeply sad (Gen 6:5-6). God gives mankind the freedom to make our own choices, but that doesn't mean it doesn't pain Him to see the evil upon this earth. God tells us that the only reason He endures it is because He is longsuffering and desiring to give as many people as possible the chance to repent and turn to Him (2 Pet 3:9). It is a dark and ugly world, and God's love is the shining light in that darkness (Jhn 3:19). All the blameless and forgiven will be comforted in His arms in heaven (Rev 21:3-4).
My question is how do we know God personally, and what is it like to know Him personally?
Seeking To Understand
Dear Seeking To Understand,
We know God through the Bible. The Bible tells us about God, and it tells us about His Son. The Word of God is so close an embodiment of God’s ideals that Jesus was called ‘the Word’ (Jhn 1:1-4). It is through the Word that we learn to trust God and place our faith in Him (Rom 10:17). When we read Jesus’ Word, we see the mind of the Father and the Son (Jhn 12:49-50).
Why did Jesus quite frequently refer to himself as the "Son of Man" (Matt 16:13) when it is so essential to our faith and salvation to recognize and confess him to be the "Son of the living God" (Matt 16:16-19)?
Dear Name Confusion,
Jesus was both Son of Man and Son of God – it is one of the great and awesome truths of the Bible. Jesus was completely Deity, and completely human at the same time. Verses like Jhn 1:1-3 and Col 3:15-17 make it clear that Jesus was and always has been God. He is eternal and existed before man – Jesus even said so Himself (Jhn 8:58). However, if Jesus had simply been God pretending to be a human, His sinless life wouldn’t have been nearly as impressive. Instead, we are told that Jesus suffered in all things exactly as all other people do – yet without sin (Heb 4:15). In all things, Jesus was a flesh-formed human just like the rest of us (Heb 2:17-18). Jesus often used the term ‘Son of Man’ because He spent a lot of His life emphasizing His humanity and empathy with the pains of mankind. Jesus spent little time pointing out His deity – His life did that for Him (Matt 27:54).
Hey guys, you don’t know how much your answers mean to me. I really appreciate it, and I have another question on my mind that burdens me a lot. Does God test us, or does He allow us to be tested? Is it something similar to temptation when He allows us to be tempted, but doesn’t tempt us?
Dear Trial Trouble,
The Bible says that God never tempts us to do evil (Jas 1:13). God never purposefully puts us in a situation with a desire for us to sin. The devil wants to devour you with sin, but God never does (1 Pet 5:8). However, God does put us in situations in order to find out what we are made of. God tested Abraham when He asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (Gen 22:1). God put Abraham in a position where he could succeed or fail – but the key is that God wanted him to succeed (Gen 22:14-18). Abraham was tried by God (Heb 11:17), so God could bless him. God may put us in circumstances that are difficult, but His desire is always to benefit us.
On the other hand, the devil tempts us for the purpose of destroying us – just like he did with Jesus in the wilderness (Matt 4:1). That is why God promises us that He will never allow the devil to tempt us beyond what we are able to handle (1 Cor 10:13). The devil tries to set us up for failure, and the Lord tries to set us up for success.