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Religion columnist Suzanne Ybarra is a regular contributor for the Woodburn Independent. Anyone interested in writing an editorial piece for the Worship page is encouraged to do so. Contact Editor Phil Hawkins at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Your life has a purpose. You are not alone. Your life is inside God's control.

Are you angry or afraid? Questioning God's goodness, power, or even existence? I want to help.

COURTESY PHOTO - Suzanne Ybarra, Woodburn Independent - Opinion  Faithfully:God is not doing this to you. Evil exists. Evil is like a roaring, fiercely hungry lion looking for someone to devour (1). Evil's existence is necessary because it allows us the freedom to make choices. But from the beginning, this freedom has been the occasion of wrong choices (2). Wrong choices can have life and death consequences; like driving the wrong way on a one-way street (3). To make matters worse, it's not always our choices which make us vulnerable to mishaps and disasters. Sometimes we suffer the consequences of someone else's wrong choices.

When we suffer, we may ask, "Why is God letting this happen to me?" We could answer ourselves, "Why not me?" Because no matter who suffers, it's always one of God's children. All of us are God's creations, all loved by God (4).

As God's creation, we are like a pot made by a potter. Is it the pot's place to ask the potter why he made him like he did? Does anyone have the audacity to question the Supreme Almighty? (5). But this understanding is not to be experienced like what Dorothy and her companions experienced with the Wizard of Oz. God does not rule with thunder blasts, intent on his own safety. And he's not a dictator.

God rules by love, for the purpose of loving relationship. We can't totally understand, but there are even purposes served by having enemies. We have times of joyful triumph. God tolerates (for now) those who are against him so he can show us his glory at work (6). Then the sweetness of God compels, strengthens, heals us.

"There's a purpose for your pain" is the thesis of R. Carpenter's book, "The Necessity of an Enemy: How the Battle You Face is Your Best Opportunity". Also, in Ephesians it says God needed this battlefield of life so he could show his victory over evil (7).

What do you think about what I've shared? Get strength by losing yourself in your love for God (8). If you can't do that, ask God to give you love for him. God is the source of our being and doing (9). Ask for his grace: his favor with you.

(1) 1 Peter 5:8; (2) Genesis 3; (3) Deuteronomy 30:15-20; (4) John 3:16-17; (5) Romans 9:20-21; (6) Romans 9:22-23; (7) Ephesians 3:6-11; (8) Matthew 10:39; (9) Acts 17:28.

Contact Suzanne Ybarra at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Anyone interested in writing an editorial piece for the Worship page is encouraged to do so. Contact Editor Phil Hawkins at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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