Tag Archives: why do we suffer?

The First Shall be Last and the Last First

I learned something in church. “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.” It’s in the gospel of Mark and my pastor nailed it!

Jesus was the first human to succeed living in contact with God. Eve believed Satan in the serpent and failed. Adam tried but failed when Satan tested him through losing Eve. And every human since. But God became human, our do-over, our servant, or the last; and yet he was first to succeed passing every test Satan devised by trusting and depending on God. 

He was God–first in the universe, but died as a criminal, the lowest or last. And now he has been raised to the position of first in the whole universe. “All power and authority has been given to me.” He is now first in honor and authority because he laid power down and became last.

I’ve heard it many times, said it many times, but never truly understood it, not like that.

I just always thought it related to everything here is backwards. I’ve thought that for years. It is true because we were made to run on love and we don’t now, but have you ever wondered why everything is backwards?

Kids wonder. “Why do we have to go to bed when we aren’t tired and get up when we are?” Especially teenagers want to know this one!

And even little children wonder why they have to eat green food they don’t like instead of ice cream they do like. “Why do we have to learn to like vegetables? If candy and ice cream isn’t good for us, why did God make it? And if vegetables taste bad why did He make them?”

Good questions! And many more need answers, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” “Why do bad people make money and have everything they want?” “Why are evil adults allowed to hurt children?” Many of them never recover. Some of them act out their pain and shoot a bunch of innocent people.  Trying to make things fair?

Why does a loving God allow evil and suffering? The two don’t seem to fit together. Why don’t They destroy evil? Why didn’t they long ago? If you read the Bible you can read a long time before you come up with answers. Well not really. It’s there in the third chapter of Genesis, but it isn’t on the surface and it isn’t explained. Even when you get to the New Testament it isn’t explained. It’s being demonstrated.

Why?

God didn’t want it to be My word against his. They (three persons in one God) needed us to understand the war between good and evil that we are in the middle of. Tonight I just saw pictures from HUBBLE, our space camera, on TV. They were phenomenal. I knew it was a big place–100,000,000,000 galaxies! But seeing it is so cool! I’m pretty sure we were not the first world of beings created but the last. We were the grand finale, because we were a new order, given the gift of procreation! And yes we blew it.

We are some tiny speck of a planet in a small peripheral galaxy and yet we are the focus of interest because God came here and  became one of us! Wow! Our war story is a love story also, all the way through, and is better than any out there. You can read my version of the story in episode 1 of Love’s Playbook. But back to my question. Everything is backwards here because we don’t know how to live love. We were made to run on it, it is how we do best, but we aren’t so good at it.

I’m not talking romance, just love, the kind of perfectly balanced pure energy that gives to everything else. If we try to give to everyone it is usually from deficit called pleasing, or worse, because we don’t really understand love. And because we have dual natures.

This is probably all getting too heavy so let me just say that God is demonstrating the difference between love and evil so we can choose. In fact we must choose. God created us free to choose and that is why things don’t make sense here. That’s why evil is allowed with the suffering it brings. Because our failure requires that each individual chooses. And that is why freedom is so important. Love is only real if it is freely chosen.

Next week, I’ll share a love story that I’ve just finished writing for Love’s Playbook book 7. It is a metaphor of our story and answers the most important questions beautifully.

 

 

 

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Perfected through Suffering???

I hate suffering. My clients hate suffering. Everyone I know hates suffering. And that is healthy. Even God hates suffering.

We often think He wants us to suffer, but it’s not true.

His favorite things are love, joy, peace, carefreeness (is that a word?), laughter, rest, confidence, humor, kindness, mercy, compassion. So then why does scripture say Jesus was “perfected through suffering”? Especially since he was already perfect?

I believe it is talking about perspective. And since this is a blog on perspective, why not take this on.

I’ve been writing all about Jesus’ suffering on my God-in-a-Box blog this week. It’s heavy, sobering, amazing, and not very real to most of us, because it doesn’t make sense to a lot of thinking people. Why should he have to die so we don’t have to? Does God kill people? (Some of us don’t think so. But that’s for another blog.) Did God kill Jesus instead of us?

No. God didn’t kill Jesus–it’s right there in scripture–God let go. God stopped protecting Jesus, and as a man he died–evil killed him. Sin-which is separation from God–killed him. And that IS what God wants us to know.

We are separated from God on this planet. Not because God wants it that way, but because our first parents chose it for us. They said, “I don’t know if I can believe God; I don’t trust Him; I’ll do what I feel and think I should.” That made separation (sin) for them. For us it’s also become “I don’t believe there is a God.” or “I don’t need God and don’t want Him,”–and that will kill you because you aren’t made to live independently of Him. He is your source. He is life. And light, And love…everything good.

So is He everything bad too?

NO. Evil is the bad. God has no evil in Him. I think evil is a very big, very old, very long story. (One that I have shortened into 55 pages and it’s coming out next week on kindle, (God willing) under the title Love’s Playbook.)

And evil will kill you. It killed Jesus when he came here as a man. That is what the whole universe needed to know–the destructive nature of evil. God doesn’t want us to die, but being pure, stable energy, He does consume evil–unbalanced, unstable energy. So if you are evil, and come into God’s presence, guess what?

That is our problem. God doesn’t want to be away from us. But we became half evil when our world’s first parents chose it for us, and there was no way to keep us alive, unless we would choose against evil, and choose good. But how? We were quickly losing our power to choose by either not choosing, or by making poor choices. And then God’s adversary said God couldn’t forgive us because we are evil, and it can’t be reversed.

If God is anything, He is relational. And he loves intensely everything He made. But He wanted us to be able to love too, (love is a choice) so He made us capable of choosing. And believe it or not, we still are.

But who is going to choose God if they are scared to death of Him? If they think He is responsible for evil and death and suffering? Ah, I finally got back to our original topic.

That is how and why God came to be Jesus–perfected through suffering.

I see God as one office or position filled by three beings. One of those God-beings offered to transform into a human baby, become one of us, go through our life and death (the “second death” in scripture) to show the universe what God is like and what They will do for those They love. God was willing to become a man, not use any of His power, but live totally dependent on God as we can. I should say, as we get to.

That is why He had to be perfected through suffering. He needed to go through everything we go through and more. He lived our life without being contaminated by evil. He suffered–has EXPERIENCED evil–from our human perspective. That is how He became the perfect conqueror of evil and won the right to give us his triumph, if we choose it.

http://Godhelps.net/God-in-a-Box

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