DEAR DR. GRAHAM: When a hurricane or some other disaster hits, then everyone suffers, whether they are religious or not. What difference does it make, then, whether or not we believe in God? Why bother believing in God if He treats everyone the same way?
DEAR D.S.: You're right, up to a point; God hasn't promised to those of us who are believers that we'll be spared from the sufferings and problems of this life. Sometimes we will be, but not always. Jesus wasn't spared from suffering and death, and neither are we.
But that doesn't mean it's useless to have faith in God. Isn't it better to face life's trials and hardships with God than without Him? Isn't it better to know He is with us to help us than to be totally alone when disaster strikes? Of course it is. Some of the saddest words in the Bible are those that speak of people who are “without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).
Furthermore, when we know Christ, our hope is not in this world alone. Instead, we know that someday all the troubles of this world will be over, and we will be safely with God in heaven forever. And someday all the things we don't presently understand will be made clear. Because of Christ, we can have hope now and hope for eternity.