I recently received a copy of Randy Alcorn’s book, If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil, to review for WaterBrook/Multnomah Publishing Group’s “Blogging for Books” program. [Which, by the way, is an excellent program if you are a blogger and you love free books…] I hope to post the review of Alcorn’s book shortly after the New Year.
Having just cracked the cover, I read a perspective on suffering in the Chapter 1 that I thought was incredibly well stated and full of gracious, God-given faith. Alcorn cites an exerpt from a sermon James M. Boice gave at Philidelphia’s 10th Presbyterian Church shortly before his passing in 2000. Shortly after being diagnosed with liver cancer and 8 weeks before his passing, Dr. Boice stood before the congregation and said:
“Should you pray for a miracle? Well, you’re free to do that, of course. My general impression is that the God who is able to do miracles–and He certainly can–is also able to keep you from getting the problem in the first place. So although miracles do happen, they’re rare by definition…. Above all, I would say pray for the glory of God. If you think of God glorifying Himself in history and you say, where in all of history has God most glorified Himself? He did it at the cross of Jesus Christ, and it wasn’t by delivering Jesus from the cross, though He could have….
God is in charge. When things like this come into our lives, they are not accidental. It’s not as if God somehow forgot what was going on, and something bad slipped by…. God is not only the one who is in charge; God is also good. Everything He does is good…. If God does something in your life, would you change it? If you’d change it, you’d make it worse. It wouldn’t be as good.”