True to His Word


As we passed the 10-year milestone of the 9/11 attacks last month, several questions likely replayed in our thoughts: How could a just and loving God have allowed this to happen? How could this abomination have possibly served His purposes? Where was He and why didn’t He stop it?

Although I’m sure our God is used to this kind of flack from the flock, it bears reminding that He is NOT the one who set this calamity in motion. Free will is a three-edged sword; our loving God allows it, our selfish nature corrupts it and our enemy exploits it. Until we fully acknowledge the pervasive influence of evil in our world, we will never come to grips with the brokenness and injustice around us. How can we possibly explain the events of 9/11 apart from the existence of evil?

In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis addresses the paradoxical nature of the problem of evil. Before he was a believer, Lewis could not reconcile his own convictions about right and wrong with a God who would allow innocents to suffer. “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”

Lewis’s conclusion drove Him to the feet of a loving, heavenly Father intent on walking with him through life’s unsteady terrain. But others have charted a bleaker course in response to their trials. Unable to make sense of the tragic death of his eldest daughter, Charles Darwin adopted the very austere belief that all of life’s outcomes are products of millions of years of competition, struggle, famine and death—and that this struggle will continue. This belief formed the basis for his famed work, The Origin of the Species. Media mogul Ted Turner, who grew up in a Christian home, abandoned his belief in a trustworthy God after watching his older sister lose her battle with lupus at age 17. And countless others have failed to accept the reality that God uses suffering to mold us into the image of His Son and make His loving presence known to us when we need it most.

On the following pages you’ll step inside the worlds of people who were tested by trial and confronted with a choice to either “curse God and die,” as Job was advised, or to blindly trust Him throughout crushing and inexplicable circumstances. In each case, God remained true to His Word: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

I’m pretty sure I can live with that.

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