Why is there suffering in the world: A Response to Brother Zack Mayul

Posted: June 6, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan, Manyang David Mayar

By Manyang David Mayar – Bor, Jonglei State

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Wednesday, June 06, 2018 (PW) — At the beginning of this year, my brother Zack Mayul and I engaged in one of very important discussions about New Year celebration. According to my brother Zack, each new day, each new month and each new year comes with a lot of suffering, too much injustices and all sorts of troubles to the people living all over the world. And for that reason, he finds it useless to celebrate New Year.

When I replied to him in disagreement, he remained silent and only promised to reply later in the year. This week, Zack revisited the discussion and reinforced his argument about why he thinks there is no reason to celebrate on New Year Day.

In his response – “Assessing our New Year’s prediction: A response to Manyang David Mayar”,  he talked about the suffering that people are still witnessing now in 2018. He argued that all the troubles and hardship of 2017 are still being seen today in June 2018.

I am really very delighted with the way he kept his promise. He has done exactly what he said five months ago and that is, without doubt, very commendable. Yes, he is right. We are almost half way through the year – our very New Year some five months ago. As I reply to him, I would like to pardon me to talk to Mr. Zack Mayul directly. Thanks.

My dear brother Zack

While it is disheartening to hear that there is still suffering and injustice, wars and conflicts under the sun in 2018, I tell you with high degree of honesty, that I am not surprised. I knew some of those things would happen and will continue to happen because that is part of the physiognomies of living on this dark world.

I feel like discussing something about why there are a lot of suffering in the world today because it seemed to me like you don’t really have an idea about it or perhaps you might have just forgotten the origin of our suffering. I pray that this will help calm your heart and find a reason to be thankful to God. I hope this will also help my other brothers and sisters who have the same feeling like Zack.

A world without suffering

When God created the world, there was no suffering. The first human beings on earth – Adam and Eve, were happy and enjoyed their time in the presence of God. They could not get sick or feel hunger in their stomach. They had everything they need just right there. There was no death, war, corruption or injustice. Unfortunately, they chose to listen to the lies of Satan and they were separated from God.

Finding themselves on their own outside the presence of God, the first couples quickly found themselves in hardships of the world. They became hungry and had to work so hard to find food for their hungry stomach.

Corruption kicked in when Cain decided to keep for himself good grains and give to God bad grains. God was not pleased with Cain sacrifice and always rejects his offerings on the alter. That led to the question of justice.

Cain thought God was unfair to him. That sense of injustice in Cain’s mind led to jealousy. Cain became jealous of his brother for finding favor in God’s eyes and not him. And Cain jealousy led to the first murder when he decided to killed his own brother Abel. From that time, troubles and suffering slowly started to fill the whole world as a result of the wrong choice of the first human beings.

In the same way it deceived Adam and Eve, Satan is still working now, day and night, continuing to deceive the descendants of Adam. And each time we go with what the devil tells us, we begin to see more suffering and sorrows in the world.

But why do I suffer even when my ways are right with God.

You may argue that you have not contributed to any of the suffering now happening in the world. Yes, you may not be rebel or that corrupt government official, you might have not killed any innocent life but I must tell you, sometimes, we suffer for the wrong choices of our leaders and wrong choices of others. And if we suffer for the wrong choices of others, that is not our fault.

Have a look at what happened to Paul in his boat journey with the Roman soldiers on their way to Rome. In this journey Paul was a prisoner and he had appealed to appear before Caesar in Italy. Before they took off to Rome, Paul had this warning:

10 “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.”11 But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. (Acts 27:10)

The Bible clearly said leaders of the voyage had refused to listen to Paul’s advised. What did Paul do? Shouted and put a gloomy face on? No. He kept cool and remained thankful to God even though he knew very well that he is going to suffer for what he had foreseen. The Bible said, when they reached midway in the sea, a great storm and wind started and terribly shook the boat just as Paul had warned.

Paul had to suffer with them although he was innocent and although he had given them warning not to sail. Sometimes, we are like Paul telling our leaders and those in power to avoid this and that and when they fail to listen we pay the price by getting ourselves in too much suffering. But that can’t really be a reason why we can’t be thankful to God for giving us new day, new months and New Year.

The only cure to our worries

My brother Zack, instead of worrying ourselves to death and ruin our thankfulness to God for giving New Year, Paul says the best thing we can do is to ‘cast all those worries on God because he cares about us’.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV).

And that is what proactive people do. They ‘cast their anxiety on the Lord’, put a smile on their faces and keep going. They don’t walk around looking defeated and weak. They don’t stop to cherish and welcome new days, new months and New Year simply because there is a bad law that has sentence a young innocent girl to death, a bad political agreement which has failed to stop war in South Sudan and all other sorts of worries in your mind. I am sure you haven’t stopped eating your food, because someone somewhere is going hungry.

Jesus also add another interesting part to this in Matthew 6:25-33 when he said:

“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? … Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (ESV)

We add nothing by worrying ourselves of all the injustices of the world. We choose to trust in the Lord and do small little things within our reach to change our lives. When you become that person who strives to change something affecting your life, your family and your community, that is when we begin to realize that we are trying to live the life we desire – the life of peace, the life of love, the life of justice, etc.

And in case you can’t do that, Jesus has this invitation for you. “Come to me all of you who have burden and I will give your rest”. Jesus is aware of all the burdens we carry and he has invited all of us to find our rest in him. If you still have the burden and worries, my brother, that is perhaps your burdens are still on your back. And this invitation is for you.

Your concern for other suffering people in the world

You mentioned that your love for other suffering people in other parts of the world is your utmost concern for not rejoicing even in gifts that God directly gives you as an individual. My brother, I am sorry to tell you that your thinking is just an illusion. In other words, it is like chasing after the wind. The world is so big and full of sin to have total peace instantly.

Nobody has ever done it. I mean, nobody has ever brought the whole world to a complete silence of peace – not even world super powers like the US, Russia, France just to name a few. Jesus – the son of Almighty God didn’t even bring a total peace to the world when he was here.

When Jesus came to the world of sin, the world of injustices, the world of corruption, He only focused his attention to what His goal and mission was. His vision and mission was to offer his life once and for all for the sake of our suffering. But Jesus didn’t stop everything at ago. Suffering continued to happen. Even when his nation – Israel was conquered and was under the Roman rule, Jesus wasn’t bothered even though his disciples wanted him to established a worldly kingdom. When he died, his disciples continued to suffer, all the time in jail and most of them were killed.

Story of the ten virgins

In one of his interesting stories, Jesus told of a story of the ten virgins who went out to meet a bridegroom. In the story, Jesus said five of the ten girls were wise and the other five were foolish. The wise had oil in their lamps and the foolish had no oil in theirs. The foolish girls ask the wise ones to help them and share some oil with them but the wise girls replied:

“No, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves (Matthew 25)

The wise girls didn’t worry themselves about the carelessness of the foolish girls for not having oil in their lamps. Instead they focus their attention to their mission and their happiness with the bridegroom.

God always gives each one of us a reason to live, a reason to smile and a reason to be happy. We can’t allow the injustices of the world to empty our lamps and leaves our heart dry without any oil to light up our lives.

What I was telling you in January, which I am still repeating now is to let that light shine in you. The world may demand to put your light off by all sorts of hardships it brings, here and there, but like the five wise girls, you have the right to say no and keep what God gave you for you to remain happy and be thankful to Him.

Rejoicing in our Suffering

My brother Zack, as long as the world will keep moving in its own direction and trust in the lies of Satan over God desires for us, suffering is here to stay. We will continue to suffer as long as we continue to make wrong choices. 2019 will come and the world will just be what it is today in 2018. 2020 will come with the same suffering. But the good news is Jesus coming back.

When Jesus returns, He will fully establish his Kingdom and there will be no more suffering, no more wars, no more injustices, no more corruption and so on just as it was in the beginning. We will then have a complete peace that stays forever. But as we wait for the full establishment of His Kingdom, we need to learn how to navigate through the troubles of the world.

Paul puts it correctly in his letter to the Romans here below.

“…….. we rejoice in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” – Roman Chapter 5:1-5 (ESV)

Suffering isn’t something new. And instead of halting your celebrations for the New Year and ruining your happiness because you are waiting for a day when total peace will return, then my brother, I must say, you need to have faith in God and He will pour his love in your heart and you will have peace. Until then, you will learn to rejoice and celebrate even when you or the world is still in suffering.

I pray that God will help your heart to understand his plan for you. Amen.

Manyang David Mayar is not only a journalist proclaiming political news, he is also a journalist proclaiming Good News of the Kingdom of God. Reach him at manyang.davidmayar@gmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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