Why does God let there be illness when he could just destroy it?

You may have spotted a theme running through our blogs on the Sundays in November.  We've looked at various questions to do with suffering and struggle in God's world and why he allows it...

And today it's about sickness.  Why does God allow it when he could just destroy it?  I feel like if you've been following the blogs week-by-week, you can probably answer this one now.  So rather than answer it here, here's 10 questions to see if you've been paying attention to what the Bible says...
1. Did God create everything good in the beginning or did he make mistakes?
2. Is our world perfect right now or is it broken and hurting?
3. What about us and everyone else in the world?  Are we fine as we are?  Or are we each a little bit broken and messed up?  Are we perfectly good or do we all do things we should be ashamed of?
4. What about our bodies?  Do they always work perfectly and never go wrong or wear out?  
5. Did God stay distant and separate himself from us and our mess or did he come and suffer with us and for us so we could be forgiven and saved? 

6. Should WE stay distant and separate ourselves from people's mess and struggles or should we get involved and try to listen, comfort and help?  (If you're not sure, check out Dr Francis Collins - one of many Christians involved in researching treatment for the Covid19 virus)   
7. What about God's big plan to live with his people forever in a world without sickness, suffering or death?  How can we be part of it?
8.  And are we on God's plan B now because plan A didn't work?  Did we surprise God by going wrong?  Or did he know what would happen all along and he's still on plan A?
9. Can we ask God to heal and help us (through medicine, doctors, hospitals and even with miracles too) and trust him to be with us and take care of us whatever happens?  Or is he not interested or not powerful enough?
10. How do the answers to these questions help us when we face sickness or suffering?
Do you feel like you're getting the hang of what the Bible teaches us about this kind of thing?

It's still really hard to go through sickness or suffering or struggles though.  But, even when things seem out of control, we can trust that God is still in control and has perfect plans for us if we trust and follow Jesus.

Paul in the Bible suffered more than most, and here's what he said...
2 Corinthians 11:21-31

Whatever anyone else dares to boast about – I am speaking as a fool – I also dare to boast about. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have laboured and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?

30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised for ever, knows that I am not lying.
So Paul had been through a lot, especially for telling people about Jesus!  But he never felt completely crushed...
2 Corinthians 4:7-12

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Paul struggled and suffered and faced all kinds of attacks for serving and sharing Jesus.  But he never lost his faith in Jesus because he knew his life (now and forever) depended on him.  And Jesus taught him the secret of finding peace, even on his worst days.  Can you spot what it is???

Philippians 4:11-13

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.