An encouraging and insightful new book answers one of life’s big questions

“Why do bad things happen, if there is a loving God?” is one of the most frequent questions people ask and that we receive as a ministry. Dr Carl Wieland’s latest book, Beyond the Shadows, is a powerful explanation of the biblical answers to the problem of death and suffering, from Carl’s own experience in the aftermath of a terrible car accident on the Australian outback. It doesn’t shy away from the tough questions, such as:

  • Why does God allow bad things to happen to people who love Him?
  • Doesn’t the existence of suffering prove that God doesn’t exist?
  • Why doesn’t God always answer prayers for healing?
  • Does God ordain evil and suffering? Couldn’t He change circumstances to prevent bad things?

The following is based on CMI-US, CEO Gary Bates’ foreword to the book.

In the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ is described as the Creator of the universe (Colossians 1, Hebrews 1:3). In addressing His disciples, He said something that applies to all of mankind: “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). And there is nothing surer than that. The world is full of pain, whether it is via natural disasters, mankind dispensing hurt on itself or the process of death that will eventually overtake us all one way or another. Are any of us truly reconciled with the death and suffering aspects of this creation, and if God is love, then why doesn’t He do something about it?

In my experience most people, Christians and otherwise, seem to constantly struggle for answers as to why bad things happen to them or their loved ones, as if we somehow should be exempt from such things. To be frank, I’ve heard many lame answers over the years like, “Well, we don’t know why God allows such things. We’ll find out when we get to heaven.” Something else Jesus said in the aforementioned passage was, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.” We may ask, how can one have peace just by knowing in advance that pain is coming? In the last part of this passage Jesus also pronounced “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Like the author of this book, I believe that only the Bible has the answer, but also that it will only make sense if we take in, try to understand and accept its big picture from beginning to end—Genesis to Revelation….

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