This is Part 1 of 2 parts answering the question, “Will Restoration Happen in the Future from the Suffering God Allows?” in the larger question, “Why does a loving God allow suffering?” Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.
The presence of suffering is one of the major reasons why the world questions God. They ask, “If God is a loving God, why is there so much suffering?” They will further contend that either God is not aware of it, He is powerless to do anything about it, or He is not good. All of those statements are completely wrong, but are the reality for those struggling with understanding the character of God and all the pain and hardship that exist.
The unbeliever has rejected the character of God and struggles with hope, “…at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” (Eph 2:12 NKJ) In reality, likewise, many Christians struggle with hopeless thoughts and feelings due to circumstances. Paul admonished the Thessalonians who were worried about those who had died and had missed the Rapture, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.” (1 Thes. 4:13 NKJ) Though suffering and even death are very sad, there is a hope God offers to all who will come to Him and cling to it.
Our Hope is Restoration to the Lord
The one thing that every Christian should be taught and should cling to is that God is a God of hope! It is the hope that God is who He says He is and that His Word is reliable as He has given it. It is the hope that Paul declared while on trial before King Agrippa in his defense against the Jews,
6 “And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. 7 “To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. (Acts 26:6-7 NKJ)
Because of hope that we endure trials, knowing that they produce perseverance, character and even greater hope,
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Rom. 5:1-5 NKJ)
In fact, it is the Lord Jesus Christ who is our hope! Paul reminded Timothy of this in his first letter to him, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope,” (1 Tim.1:1 NKJ) This hope becomes the anchor of our soul; the promise that we will one day be transformed and restored to complete intimacy with the Lord and that every wrong will be righted,
17 Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil. (Heb. 6:17-19 NKJ)
This hope is not dwindling or dead, but living, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Pet. 1:3 NKJ)
Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.