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Recognizing Satan’s Voice
In the 1980’s Metropolitan Life adopted the motto, “Get Met. It Pays.” Why else would someone buy an insurance policy? If it doesn’t pay to own the policy why on earth would I want to fund it? The message of the contemporary church has sometimes been, “Get Christ. He Pays.” It’s obviously true that Jesus paid the ransom for sin, however, the message that Jesus makes everything in life work out the way it should is simply a lie. As we studied this morning it is the voice of Satan that finds expression in many unexpected avenues.
Questions related to why God allows pain and suffering are essentially intellectual queries. This is not to say that they are invalid; rather, it simply means they are questions that can be discussed and debated in the comfort of one’s living room. The question asked by the book of Job is a heart probing question that involves one’s whole being. The question raised by the author of Job strikes at the root of whether or not one is truly following the God of the Bible or has imagined God to be something other than who he is. The question is simply, “Will you follow God even if everything goes wrong?” Or, to reverse the question, “Do you only follow God because of the benefits you receive?”
C. S. Lewis struggled with both questions. In his book, The Problem of Pain, Lewis expertly analyzes the problem as an intellectual. He describes his former atheist position and then explains how, as a Christian, he now address the issues. After experiencing the gut wrenching agony of losing his beloved wife to cancer he wrote a different book, A Grief Observed. No longer was the issue of pain simply intellectual. He now had to decide if he would follow a God who gave no guarantees concerning earthly pleasure and happiness. This is a most difficult book to read because the depth of struggle to which the author sinks is so depressing that I found myself wrestling with the question. Thankfully, by the end of the book he decides to stay with God even without having his questions answered. May my faith sustain me to that same end.