All of us will have had conversations with individuals about suffering, and for many it is the unconquerable stumbling block to trusting in Jesus; an axe to grind against God and clear evidence that he doesn’t exist. The question, “If there is a God why do we suffer?” is one that every individual, at some point, has wrestled with. One that I’ve personally had to confront as I deal with a long term injury.
We rightly desire a world put back together, a world without sin, where suffering does not exist; a world that because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross is coming. Revelation 21:4 says, ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’.
That truth is being held out to those suffering across Africa who have little or no knowledge of just how much Jesus suffered for them. On page 10, one individual writes how sharing the compassion of Christ in an Islamic context offers hope and exposes the lie that ‘even acknowledging pain and sorrow would be an instant fail’.
We as Christians aren’t immune to suffering; on page 22 Andrew Beckham shares a tribute to his wife, Anna, who went to be with Jesus last year. The difference is that in our suffering, we know Jesus cares, sympathises, and walks with us. We remember that, ‘suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope’ (Romans 5:3-4).
Please pray with us that the hope of the gospel would be calling many to Christ.
Ben Edwards, Operations Manager