Can someone suffer a tragic loss and still trust God’s promises
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|If God exists, why is there evil in the world? What is evil? Where did evil come from? Why doesn’t God intervene and stop all evil? How can physical evils such as earthquakes, tornadoes and cancer be explained? Is there a good reason for the existence of hell on which even some atheists would agree? What about those who have never heard the Gospel?
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 8, Cat. No. EVL
Keywords: All Powerful God, God, Comforter, Grace of God, Tragedy, 2 Corinthians 12:1-21,
- Ankerberg: When you listen to someone talk about pain and suffering, you want to hear from someone who has actually experienced evil and suffering and gotten through it. Dr. Geisler tragically lost his daughter just a short time before we taped this interview, and in light of that, I asked him what he had discovered about God’s promises and the very things we are sharing with you. Listen:
- Ankerberg: And people that are listening right now, they probably want to ask you and say, “When you went through that and you went back on the very things that you’re explaining to us, did it work for you? Does it still make sense? Was it helpful for you? Is this something that really is what people need to latch onto?”
- Geisler: I remember that very well, John. I remember saying to Rabbi Kushner, “I empathize with you. I sympathize with you. But you know, your God is not the kind of God that can give you any ultimate comfort in this because you are not even sure you’ll see your son again because you didn’t even believe that he would live on after death for sure.” And I said, “Your God is not all powerful and He can’t bring good out of evil. So the kind of God you need is the kind of God who is in the Bible, who is all powerful and all good and all knowing and can do something for your situation.” Never knowing, at the time, that I would go through things that probably are as equally difficult or worse than Rabbi Kushner did. Since that time, in 18 months we lost a father, a mother, a sister, a brother-in-law, and our two closest friends. And I had been a pastor for years and I had comforted people in their sorrow and in their suffering, but I wasn’t ready for the biggest evil that ever hit me–when our daughter died a tragic death just two years ago. And it’s just something, John, that you have to experience to understand. It’s like a hundred-foot tall tidal wave coming at you and you know you can’t swim. And I had to cast myself on the grace of God and trust that what I believed was really true. “My grace is sufficient for you,” the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12. And I would wake up at night singing songs on the attributes of God–“God is light; God is good; God is eternal; God is gracious. It is well with my soul. Peace like a river”–all these great hymns of the faith that talk about the attributes of God–were the only comfort I had, because everything human had evaporated. The best things around me–father, mother, brother, sisters and now, daughter, that tragedy was so great in our lives that we tested the grace of God. We tested the character of God. And we found Him to be faithful, absolutely unimaginably faithful to us. And the grace of God brought us through that difficult circumstance, only because I knew that God was all loving and He had a good purpose for it. He was all powerful and He was going to bring something greater out of it. And I was going to see my mother, my father, my sister, brother, daughter again someday in Heaven because He could resurrect the dead and is going to resurrect them. And that was the strength that kept us going and we made it through that very difficult circumstance.