This is Part 1 of 6 parts answering the question, “How should we live during the suffering God allows?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Parts 2-6 will follow tomorrow.
If we are going through suffering, does it matter, then, how we live? If we are going through affliction, trials and agony, then why not eat, drink and be merry (Greek Epicureanism)? That’s pretty good common sense ( from a humanistic standpoint, anyway!) and it has been around long before the Epicureanism of the Greeks. Around B.C. 300, this ancient Greek philosophy, taught by Epicurus, emphasized the goal of happiness and the rejection of gods and an afterlife. It taught the axiom:
- Nothing to fear in God;
- Nothing to feel in Death;
- Good can be attained;
- Evil can be endured.
Of course, this adage is a lie from the pit of hell! But it seems to have satisfied the longing of people all throughout history, and it is becoming even more prevalent in the present age.
Find All Your Answers In The Bible
We would be far wiser to look to the Bible for answers. Peter provided great insight to answer the question, “How should we then live?” First he recorded the urgency to reach people so they could be saved from their sins, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Pet. 3:9 NKJ) God’s waiting (longsuffering), requires us to endure our own suffering. One day the Lord’s return will come, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” (2 Pet. 3:10 NKJ) That will be a huge transformation of the earth and heavens! There will be a transformation of us also – at least at some point.
So then Peter asked the question of how we should live, “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness?” (2 Pet. 3:11 NKJ) This is the question that is answered as we study the Bible. This is the question we need to ask ourselves regardless of life’s circumstances. This is the question to which we will give an account to the Lord Jesus Christ, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:10 NKJ)
Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.