I love teaching class at VOH. This week we have been studying the overall plan God has for all humans. In conjunction with that conversation, we have needed to discus suffering, because for so many here their life story has included that.
It doesn’t make any sense to the girls at VOH why a God who says he is good and loving would purposely ordain suffering. It doesn’t make any sense why a God who says he is working things for their good (Rom 8:28-29) would purposely choose broken hearts, divorced parents, trauma, abuse, eating disorders, self-harm, and terrible tragedy to be a part of life.
This week in class we have been systematically working through theological concepts and scriptural passages that have helped shed some light on this topic.
- Deut 8:2-3 says that God believes it is good for us to have to learn that we can not exist without him. Sometimes suffering is the best way to realize that.
- Psalm 119:65-72 says that our suffering helps us to embrace his righteous way of living, designed to keep us safe, and it helps us to conclude that God is good when he teaches us his statutes.
- I Peter 2:10-12 says that it is possible to live our lives even during suffering so differently that those who see us will end up glorifying our God in heaven.
We also talked a lot about the need to both trust God and believe that what he says is right and best. It’s so easy, especially when you’ve been hurt, to wonder if your authorities are really doing what is best for you or best for them. You never have to wonder that about God! His heart toward us is loving, gentle, compassionate, and very very gracious. He is a Rewarder, not a Hoarder!
Please pray for the girls in class this week. There are 13 residents from both Phase 1 and Phase 2 that are a part of daily classes from 9-11 AM. We are learning a lot, and some days are very very hard for the girls to embrace what God teaches. Please pray that their faith will increase, that they will be willing to work through hard things, and that they will trust their GOOD God’s heart!