Part VI: Is God really there?

God is there. He understands what you’re going through right now.

A friend may try to comfort you and tell you “I know what you are going through”, but do they really know? I promise you that God knows. Only He can truly empathize–because only He experienced everything that you’re going through right now.

As God tests us in this life, it can be really hard to believe that everything we experience in this life is “for our good.” Just because you know the test is hard, doesn’t make the test any easier.

No matter how bad your day was today, someone had a tougher day than you: Someone had a loved one die. Someone was in a car accident. Someone lost their job. Someone lost their home. Someone did not eat.

On my dark days, I think of the Holocaust. I think of the sufferings of our Jewish Brothers and Sisters: Being separated from their families, being put in cattle cars, and being hauled off to death camps. No one can imagine the pain and suffering that they went through.

When I take a moment to reflect on their trials and compare them to my own, I walk away feeling incredibly ungrateful–that I should complain about such trivial things happening in my own life.

Lots of people try to make the argument “If God exists, why does God let bad things happen? Or, “If God exists, why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” Perhaps these are even questions that you’ve asked yourself.

A lot of the pain and suffering that happens in this world is a result of “Man’s inhumanity to man.” It is the sad result of people choosing to be evil, greedy, and selfish.

Please don’t fall into the camp of those who choose to blame God for the poor decisions of others. God does not start wars; People start wars.

Almost daily, we read about mass shootings. Don’t blame God. It is wrongful to blame God for the acts of an evil person. God did not pull the trigger. The person to blame for the shooting is the shooter–not God. God doesn’t shoot guns; People do.

Well, you may say “If God exists, why didn’t he intervene? Why didn’t God prevent it from happening?” That’s a fair question…and it’s not one that anyone (nor I) can give any satisfying answer to. However, I do know this….

Tragedy will test the heart of the perpetrator and the victim.

Perpetrator(s) need to repent of the thing(s) that they’ve done. They need to admit their wrong, apologize for it, make restitution for the wrong (if possible), and covenant (promise God) that they’ll never to repeat the wrong again.

However difficult, victim(s) should accept the apology of those who wronged them and forgive them. Choosing to withhold forgiveness does damage to you. It hardens your heart. You will never experience the peace that the Savior can provide until you whole-heartedly decide to forgive those that wronged you.

For weeks, months, years and, maybe even, decades, you will continue to carry hate for those who have wronged you. Long-after the perpetrator has forgotten about the whole incident, you’ll harbor hate for them.

The sooner you decide to “Let go of it”, the sooner you will start to heal and feel the Savior’s love. My advise is this: Forgive quickly.

Remember: You’re not perfect. If you want to be forgiven of the things you’ve done in your life, start forgiving others. Ask God for help to forgive. He has helped me. He will help you.

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