That, of course, is *the* question. People say, “How can you worship a God who permits suffering?”
If the God I believed in was a capricious pagan deity, the proper response is fear. But I don’t just believe that. I believe in the Blessed Trinity. I believe that
The singer asked, “What if God was one of us?” But He was. He was one “like us in all things but sin” (Heb. 4:15).
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; 5 the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. . . . 10 He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. 12 But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, 13 who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.(John 1:1-5, 10-15)
He is the image* of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
18 He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he himself might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness* was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile all things for him, making peace by the blood of his cross [through him], whether those on earth or those in heaven. 21 And you who once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through his death, to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him, 23 provided that you persevere in the faith, firmly grounded, stable, and not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, am a minister. 24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church (Colossians 1:15-24).
though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. 7 Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, 8 he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. 9 Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:6-11)
That’s the God I believe in, Charlie Brown.
I have come to the conclusion that the price of God’s glory is paid in the currency of suffering.