In the face of dreadful news such as a cancer diagnosis, many sincere Christian friends come to our side in comfort. “We don't know all of God’s purposes,” they'll advise, “but we need to be able to say, ‘Thank you God for this disease.’ The challenge is to believe without knowing all the answers.” Others will urge us to recognize that “God knows what he is doing,” as if cancer is God’s mysterious initiative. Yet others will suggest that suffering is deserved, either as punishment, or to improve us, or both.
The principal concern in all of this for us in the Roberta Winter Institute is the distortion in many people’s ideas about God. We are convinced that God is deeply concerned about disease and suffering, and not in the business—perish the thought—of inflicting us with pain to deepen our spiritual lives. “If that is God's initiative,” Ralph Winter once asked, “why did his Son go around relieving people of pain and suffering?”
Read more: The Why of the RWI