The Orange Leader
Have you ever wondered why there is such an imbalance between the haves and the have-nots? Why many good people—honest, reliable, caring people--seem to suffer such crushing trials and misfortunes while it appears that those with few, if any, moral standards are having the times of their lives? I know that books have been written on this subject in an attempt to explain the ins-and-outs, the ups-and-downs of daily living but I personally find little comfort in the words of the so-called “experts.”
I have the greatest respect for the life and ministry of Billy Graham but even this great Evangelist has wrestled with this mystery and has probed for answers without satisfactory results. I find him saying, “I don’t understand the reasons for suffering and persecution. I don’t know why the churches in one part of the world endure terrible pain and deprivation while other churches are fat and rich and almost pain free. (Storm Warnings, pg. 117, 118).
Here is an excellent example: The story in question is found in the New Testament book of Acts, chapter 12. You may want to read the entire chapter for the full picture but the first four verses vividly sets the scene. Let me summarize: The Apostle James is put in prison by order of King Herod and almost immediately he is beheaded. The Apostle Peter receives the same treatment except beheading is postponed and, with the help of an angel, he miraculously escapes. I believe there are lessons to be learned and applications made to our lives, our circumstances, and it may provide some answers we desperately need to hear.
Once again, let’s hear Dr. Graham: “Perhaps you have faced pain or suffering you did not understand. You may even have become angry with God for allowing it to happen while others escaped such problems. Don’t let the acids of bitterness eat away inside. Instead, learn the secret of trusting Christ in every circumstance. Learn to say with Paul, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11-13). (Storm Warnings, pg. 117, 118)..