There are some people who appear to believe their faith in God means they have some sort of immunity from harm.
What I am saying is they seem to understand that faith offers them some form of protection from the nasty things in this world and from anything bad happening to them.
This means that, when some misfortune does come along, they are thrown into even deeper confusion, because it seems to them that their faith has not been strong enough.
This can then add to the hurt and pain they are naturally experiencing.
There are also people who use the terrible things that happen in the world, and which we read about in our newspapers or see vividly on our television screens, as an argument against the existence of God.
If there is a loving God, they say, then He would never allow such things to happen!
A similar argument is used by people who say they have prayed but their prayers have not been answered, because they did not get the response they wanted.
Now this is a huge and complex issue and debate about it has raged down through the ages.
Whole libraries of books have been written on the subject but, often, they don’t appear to get us any nearer to finding an answer.
In this season of Lent, in which people in the churches approach Easter, we concentrate on the last week of Jesus’ life on earth.
In this, we reflect on the opposition he encountered, the suffering he endured, and the death he died.
What we find in this is that things, for him, took an unexpected turn and didn’t go the way anyone would have anticipated.
In Jesus, we understand, God shared in all it means to live a truly human life.
Suffering and pain were part of this experience, just as sorrow, sickness, disappointment and grief are part and parcel of our experience.
Even Jesus did not have immunity from the bad things in this world.
The world is imperfect and, therefore, bad things happen.
Often, they happen to good people who do not deserve to have to endure them.
What faith does provide is a strength and assurance which can carry us through the bad times and offers hope and promise even in the face of great adversity.
A knowledge of Jesus and a trust in his promises can enable us to come through the trying and difficult experiences of life.
Faith is a help to all who live in this world and a belief in God offers comfort and peace in the troubled times.
God is here for us, even when it doesn’t seem that He is, and knowing this does not give us immunity, just the ability to get through our troubled times.