There is an ugly side to Christianity that we often ignore in churches these days.

Our lives are quite comfortable and our days are filled with good things. We meet with the Church on Sunday, go to our Biblestudies throughout the week, read our Bibles, pray, tithe, and occasionally we even tell people about Jesus and how loving Him will make everything different, it will make it better.

But what if it doesn’t?

Don’t get me wrong. I love Jesus and I know that loving Him will make a HUGE difference in the life of any person. But I’m also learning what that doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean life will be perfect and nothing bad will ever happen. It doesn’t mean everything is always going to make complete sense and all the questions will be answered to my satisfaction.

In fact, some pretty horrible things can still happen and you may not know why or what God is doing or even where God is.

The kids and I are reading a biography of the life of Adoniram Judson, one of the first American missionaries to Burma. If you want to read a hard book this is a great one for ya! He buried 2 wives, half of his 11 kids, was brutally tortured, thrown into a horrible prison for 20 months, and watched fellow missionaries go through equally horrific experiences themselves, all to share Jesus with the Burmese people. And God does move. By the time of Judson’s death, he had translated the New Testament into the Burmese language, started over 100 Burmese churches and witnessed thousands of Burmese come to know Jesus. Amazingly, through it all Adoniram Judson stayed faithful and obedient. Without a doubt, the man was used by God.

But his life was incredibly painful. So much so, that at times he asked God to let it end and take him to heaven. Can’t say I blame the man.

This is the ugly side we tend to ignore today. The truth we hide and act as if it doesn’t exist. We can’t control God. He does things outside of our understanding or our liking. He’s willing to allow His people to go through horrific events, all to spread His Name and His glory. And the benefit of being His servant, may mean greater hardship and greater suffering.

And somehow, that doesn’t make God evil. God’s goodness doesn’t change, no matter what His children experience. Because there is another side to this truth, another reality we tend to ignore.
– God walks through the flames with His people. We never suffer alone.
– God redeems the pain. Nothing is ever wasted by God. No tear, no heartache, no cry is ignored. God sees it all, hears it all, knows it all, and uses it all. When we let Him.

Therefore, we can have hope. As believers in a good God who is in control of everything we can live without fear. No matter what tomorrow holds, it’s going to be ok. Yes, horrible things can happen. People can die. Jobs can be lost. Sickness can come. Freedoms can be taken away. But that’s when we need to remember,

We serve a God that can make beauty out of anything, even the ugly.