Pastor David Platt’s Powerful Response to Pain, Evil and Chaos
In a world in which evil and suffering can sometimes feel totally overwhelming, how do we, as Christians, ground ourselves and continue to push forward and do good?
Pastor David Platt and his wife were faced with just that conundrum. He details how God guided him through these questions in his new book, Something Needs To Change: A Call to Make Your Life Count in a World of Urgent Need.
The book details a week-long trek in a country in the Himalayan mountains that represented “a collision of urgent spiritual and physical needs” — needs that left Platt deeply convicted.
“God just broke my heart for the needs of those mountains,” he told The Pure Flix Podcast during a recent interview. What was his biggest takeaway from his first trip there? “Something needs to change. … I can’t go on with business as usual if these are realities in the world.”
Listen to Platt share his powerful story:
They’ve Never Even Heard Jesus’ Name
His trip to the region came after he and his wife attempted to adopt a child from the area. That adoption was not in God’s plan, but Platt ended up meeting a native of the country and traveled there with him instead.
And he was deeply impacted by what he saw and experienced. It’s a place Platt described as both desperate and isolating.
“The did some research in some of these villages a few years back, and they found that half of the kids in these villages were dying before their eighth birthday. … One of my worst fears is that something would happen to one of my kids. I can’t imagine that being an expectation for half of them,” the father of four said. “[There’s] just poverty and dying of preventable diseases and then the byproducts of that — with trafficking. Like, traffickers just preying on families in that kind of poverty.”
“Most, if not all, the people who you interact with in those mountains have little to no knowledge of Jesus,” Platt said. “They’ve never even heard His name.”
Wrestling With Tough Questions
His new book was a result of his personal struggle and dependence on God to work through how he could help alleviate these struggles — complicated issues that should call all believers to some important questions.
Platt explained that Christians need to wrestle with these eternal curiosities: “If I believe in Jesus, then how does that affect the way I think?” and “If God is good, why is there suffering like this? And why does He not stop it?”
Platt had to wrestle with some of those questions. In this book, he tries to “come out from behind the stage, so to speak, where I preach on a weekly basis, and just say, ‘How do we reconcile some of these things we see in God’s Word with the realities in the world?’ And then, what does that mean for our lives?”
In the end, Platt said it all boils down to one final question: “Is Jesus really the hope of the world?” Platt, who believes Christ is indeed this hope, noted that someone had asked him how he could believe in God with so much suffering in the world — and he offered an impassioned response.
“My response was, ‘how can I not?’ Like, to say there is no God means that — ok, so, we’re just random products of chance. And, in the end — there’s evil, there’s good, but no justice in the end? It’s just over?” he said. “That’s not true. There is justice in the end and there is hope that this world is not all there is. And the evil in this world will not have the last word.”
A Step Further
Platt said there is grace and eternal life, and that God has given us a path through Christ to find these things. His book, Something Needs to Change, helps us all process these important realities.
If you’re interested in taking it a step further than just reading his new book, Platt encourages others to visit Radical.net — a site dedicated to helping Christians find other individuals and organizations helping out around the world.
Billy Hallowell has worked as a journalist and commentator for more than a decade. He is the director of communications and content for PureFlix.com, the former senior editor at Faithwire.com and the former faith and culture editor at The Blaze.