Religion helps us make sense of how we live out our faith and experience the role of Jesus as our savior. Tragedies, human suffering, illness and sickness are facts that we live with. Religion does not fix the underlying causes of these facts, but our religion inspires and encourages us to hold onto our faith as we look beyond our present situation to a brighter day.
In our faith in God, we find hope that He will heal our broken hearts and our diseased bodies, comfort us in times of tragedies and relieve us of our suffering. If our religion is all “feel good,” then we escape knowing what it is to truly experience God.
Jesus suffered spiritually and physically for us. He suffered for our sins so that we may know Him.
The Bible teaches us that in this life we will have trials and tribulations. There is no way for us to get around suffering in this life. Philippians 1:29 says, “It has been granted to you that, for the sake of Christ, you should not only believe in Him but suffer for His sake.”
No, religion is not to be all “feel good.” We will never understand Jesus’ birth, suffering on the cross, death, resurrection and second coming if our religion is all “feel good.”
Alberta McCrory, Gaines Chapel AME Church, Anniston
God’s grace will save us in bad times
I’m not sure how to process “feel good” religion in a world of child sex slavery and Sandy Hook slaughters. I have more questions than answers. There is no strength of human genius that can offer an adequate response to the places of deep suffering.
One thing is certain, our world is broken.
It’s broken in ways we have not yet imagined or can even grasp. Jesus said it is full of trouble. In response to the Connecticut shooting, John R. Coyne Jr. calls it clearly: “There is evil in the world. It’s beyond mental illness. Beyond gun control. It is evil.”
Beyond is right. There is no bottom to human depravity apart from God’s grace. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound ... that saves us from ourselves. Save us before we pollute the innocent and beautiful things around us.
Yes, there is evil around us. Often it lies within us.
The Bible foretells of a time coming when God will wipe away all tears. Creation longs for that day. Why not now? I don’t know. Why not here? I don’t know. Why 6- and 7-year-olds? I don’t know.
I know our world is full of trouble ... and waiting. I know it is darkest just before dawn ... and I tell you: Dawn is coming.
Brock Stamps, Harvest Church of God, Anniston