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Why did God allow this?"
July 14, 2020

July 14, 2020 Issue #172

"Why did God allow this?"

It's a question as old as time and asked by every believer on this planet: "Why did God allow this?"

We singles ask it about our marital status, our health, and whenever we suffer loss. It's the subject of the biblical book of Job and what we'll be looking at in this issue of Inspire-O-Gram.

Atheists love to jump on this one. They ask why a good God would allow so much suffering, or they ask Christians how we can worship such a seemingly uncaring God. We stumble for words, trying to defend God, when we don't understand ourselves.

I have to warn you. This month's feature article doesn't contain the answers you expect. I've been wrestling with this question my entire life, along with people much smarter than me. My look at the subject is brutally honest.

Together, let's see what I learned when I asked, "Why did God allow this?"

What's better?

What's better than a friend who never deserts?
Who sticks by you when your whole world hurts?

Who holds your hand when your heart is broken?
Who comforts you with words unspoken?

Who takes your side when you're all alone?
Who stands unmoved like a mighty stone?

Who makes you laugh when you want to cry?
Who gives you hope when you want to die?

What's better than a friend through storm and strife?
Who died to give you eternal life.

~ Jack Zavada,, 2020 ~

What is the 'mini-life' and how can it help you?

On pages 174-177 of Hope for Hurting Singles, I explain how the concept of a "mini-life" can make coping with trouble much, much easier.

I learned this strategy when I was fighting cancer. It helped me get through the ordeal of radiation therapy, and I use it every time I'm facing a crisis.

Hope for Hurting Singles is packed with in-the-trenches principles I picked up in my 50 years in the single life. I know what works (like the mini-life) and what doesn't, because I found out the hard way, by trial and error.

But you don't have to go through that struggle. I detail the common mistakes singles make, so you can avoid them, and the smartest, most effective ways of dealing with common problems, such as

  • The 3 best ways to beat loneliness. (p. 6-27)
  • Whose approval matters most. (p. 33)
  • The hardest part of the Christian life. (p.51)
  • The real truth about your past. (p. 93)
  • The key to a great retirement. (p. 141)
  • The biggest myth about faith. (p. 155)
  • The true goal of every Christian. (p.186)

The paperback edition is $10.99 and the Kindle version is $3.99.

Holocaust survivor has QOTM on trust

July's Quote of the Month comes from Holocaust survivor, writer, and evangelist Corrie Ten Boom:

When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.
    ~ Corrie Ten Boom (1892–1983) ~

It's easy to trust God when everything in your life is peachy keen. The true test of faith, the faith that sustains you during the lowest times of your life, is when it feels as if God is absent. God never deserts us, but sometimes it feels that way.

Instead of your feelings, rely on the Bible. Satan can tamper with your feelings, but he can't change the truth of Scripture. Corrie Ten Boom learned firsthand that no crisis lasts forever, but God's love does.

By the way, everyone should know what the Holocaust was. If you don't, take a quick trip here.

When things go wrong, is God punishing me?

When you and I are trying to figure out why something bad has happened to us, one of the reasons we come up with is that God is punishing us.

Besides seeing myself as a bad luck person, I also thought God was up in heaven with a cosmic mallet, whacking me whenever I did something wrong. Sort of like a game of "Whack-a-Jack." It sounds silly, but this attitude is much more common than you might think.

We have biblical examples, especially the book of Job, chronicling the troubles of an innocent victim if there ever was one. But there are plenty of cases in which God struck somebody dead, from Er and Onan, Lot's wife, Nadab and Abihu, Uzzah, and Jeroboam in the Old Testament to Ananias and Sapphire in the book of Acts. Then there was The Flood. Somewhere in childhood we got the idea of a wrathful God, and it wasn't a big leap to imagine every bad thing that happens to us being from his hand.

Theologians would correct us by saying God only disciplines or corrects his children, because all the punishment we deserved was meted out on Jesus on the cross. That's true, but when you're suffering, discipline doesn't feel any different from punishment.

I turned the corner over a period of years when I got a clear understanding of who God is. He is a loving Father, not a vindictive judge. My own human father was a kind, loving person. God is much, much more so.

We have trouble reconciling the God of the Old Testament with Jesus of the New Testament, but the difference is Law vs. Grace. If you've ever felt that God is punishing you, try reading this.

Okay, you're now officially a 'special' person

Did you know you're in a select minority?

The vast majority of people who receive Inspire-O-Gram every month do not even open this email.

And, of the people who DO open Inspire-O-Gram, less than half read that month's feature article.

Those are some shocking numbers. My mailing list is maintained by my web host,, so I don't know who opens the newsletter or who reads the feature, just the numbers.

Frankly, I'm baffled as to why people who never open the newsletter don't just unsubscribe. It's easy to do. But that's them, and you're you. Thanks for reading.

I am curious. If you open these newsletters but don't read the feature articles, is it because you find them irrelevant? Don't have time? Or are you afraid the link may contain a virus or spam? I'd really like to know.

In the early years of Inspire-O-Gram, I used to get more feedback from the website and the newsletter than I do now. I attribute the drop- off to lower traffic and concerns over privacy.

Advertising revenue and ebook sales used to pay for the website's expenses, but they don't any more. I've been trying to build my traffic up again. Unfortunately, I'm waging a losing battle against Google's traffic-killing algorithm changes.

There's an old saying that we take for granted things we get fre'e. Maybe that's true. Don't worry. I'm NOT considering charging for this newsletter.

The reason I continue to operate the website and produce these newsletters remains the same as it did when I started 15 years ago. I want to share the mistakes and lessons I learned in the single life so younger singles can benefit from them. There was nothing like when I was in my 20s and 30s. Heck, the Internet didn't even exist then!

Some people who write mention my "ministry" to singles. I never envisioned it that way, but I do try to give the credit to Jesus Christ, not myself. I'm not always mindful in conveying that, and I apologize for when I forget.

If you're put off by having to use my contact form, let me assure you it's absolutely necessary in today's Internet climate to keep me from getting harassed by robot-generated spam.

However, your email does get forwarded directly to my personal email inbox, not a "junk" or business address. And since I have no staff, I will reply personally. Here's where you can email me: contact form.

It's a privilege to share the gospel around the world. People visit from countries I've never even heard of. What happens after they read articles on the site, I don't know, but that's the Holy Spirit's job. Mine is to tell about Christ's offer of forgiveness and salvation as clearly and attractively as I can.

I thought about that offer the other day while I was eating lunch. If someone told you you could live forever—after you transitioned (died)—how much would you be willing to pay for that? The Good News is that Jesus paid the entire price on Calvary.

Jesus proved this too-good-to-be-true offer is real when he rose from the dead. Without the resurrection, the apostles would have just gone back to what they were doing before they met Jesus. But they became evangelists instead and Christianity exploded across the world.

That's a good thought to close on. Being single is doable because we have Jesus now, and eternal life with Him to come.

I'll see you in August with a new Inspire-O-Gram. God bless you and be safe.

Jack Zavada

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