From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
In every country throughout the world there are people suffering—it has been like this since the beginning. Personal pain has been with us since God told Eve she would have pain in childbirth. Some pain is visible, and some is intensely private. Suffering comes in all forms—physical, emotional, spiritual. Some people have their share of pain more than others, but all experience it; it’s part of life.
Every generation sees their era as filled with the greatest despair. Nothing seems to satisfy. Not politics, not education, not material goods. We are plummeting into a world where, in spite of wonder drugs and medical breakthroughs, suffering intensifies.
Without God’s guidance, our response to suffering is a futile attempt to find solutions to conditions that cannot be solved. Some who refuse to turn their hearts toward God search for Utopia and come up empty. Apart from the Bible there are no solutions.
While individual suffering has no respite and the collective suffering of our world continues, there are those who have found a refuge in the midst of the rubble. What is the difference between the paraplegic woman with the smile that lights a room and the millionaire with a suicide wish? Or what makes one person accept and keep his balance during a painful time, and another become a self-pitying whiner?
We cannot avoid suffering, but we can determine our response to it. God is not blind to our troubles and He waits to comfort us. He is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort in our troubles (2 Corinthians 1:3-4), and we should do likewise—reach out to others in need.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)