Christians have never believed in a God who doesn’t allow bad things to happen to good people. Christians believe the worst possible thing happened to the best possible person.

When we’re in the midst of pain and suffering, it can feel like we’ll never be happy again, nothing good can come from our circumstances, and there’s no reason to continue living. But those are lies. God can redeem, use, and work through our pain. And when he does, we eventually have the opportunity to comfort others. There is a “Fellowship of Suffering.” People who’ve suffered are uniquely equipped and qualified to comfort people who are suffering.

Jesus told his followers that unavoidable trials aren’t aberrations; they are expectations. They can actually serve a beneficial purpose. Why? Because God can redeem, use, or work through the undeserved, unavoidable, circumstantial trials in our lives. But in order for that to happen, we have to believe and persevere.

What do you do when there’s nothing you can do? Relationally, financially, professionally, physically, or academically, It just is what it is. There’s nothing you can do to change your situation. Challenging circumstances can make you jealous or resentful. They can make you angry with God. They can breed discontentment. But the problem with discontentment is that it can drive you in self-destructive directions that will eventually leave you with regret. So, what is the secret of finding contentment even when times are tough?

Every once in a while, we run into people stuck in unchangeable, unalterable, in-the-meantime circumstances who get to the place where they’re able and willing to receive their circumstances, their afflictions, their illnesses, their losses, and their disabilities as coming from the hand of their heavenly Father. How do these people maintain extraordinary faith despite extraordinarily difficult circumstances? Where do they find the peace that characterizes their lives?

What do we do when our circumstances are so challenging there’s no way forward and no way out? We have problems for which there seem to be no solutions. We have questions without answers. During times like these, we’re tempted to run or give up. We’re tempted to give in to jealousy, resentment, and anger . . . especially anger toward God. That’s because when life gets hard, it feels like God is absent, apathetic, or angry. But what if he isn’t? Is it possible to hang on to joy, hope, and patience in the meantime?

Inconceivable

The Church is remarkable. And against all odds, it changed the world. There is still a great deal that needs changing. By God’s grace and with your help, perhaps we can be a small part of bringing about that change.

Following Jesus’s crucifixion, his followers expected what anyone expects after someone dies—that they would remain that way. But one of Jesus’s followers, John, gave an eyewitness account that summarized the main event surrounding Christianity: Jesus rose from the dead. In this seventh and final sign John documents, he makes the case that Jesus is exactly who he claimed to be.

At different points in our lives, many of us wonder why a good God would allow bad things to happen. And without a clear response, that dilemma could cause us to question God’s existence altogether. The gospel writer John documented an occasion where Jesus not only brought his friend Lazarus back to life, but demonstrated how God can exist in the midst of a world of evil and suffering.

There are many products we buy, use, and put our confidence in without having all the information or fully understanding how they work. In the Gospel of John, we see a man begin to follow Jesus based on limited information. This man, who was born blind, said he only knew one main thing—and that one thing was enough to make him curious about who Jesus really was.

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