Many things happen – and seem to go wrong in this world. That’s a fact….. And in our sometimes rather bewildered state – we ask “Why”? and “Where were You God – when all “these things” happened”?….. ..
I can confess to having many such thoughts in those first years after being born again – and certainly I did not understand before (being born again)…… but as I have stated in a number of previous posts that “I have learned”- and then I would go on to share about some thing that had been a source of real frustration in my life – even after receiving Jesus as Savior (aka being born again)….. but the good part always was – that God did not give up on me (even while I was still blaming Him) – but He continued to help me to more and more understand….. until the frustrations began to melt away as I did begin to see the truth of the matter.
Even thus it has been concerning “this question of things going wrong – and where were You, God”?…… I do not have all the answers, but there are some things that I have learned and am very sure of – from which I will try to share with you today. I will start by telling you that this “question” we are looking at today – will fit into the category of “the sovereignty of God.”…… but probably not in the way many of you may think – so please “read on.”.
God the Father gave us “a voice”…… It is when we make choices – and when we look to Him and pray. You see – from the beginning, God gave man the freedom to choose…… And if God were going to violate that freedom He put into the hands of man – don’t you think that it would likely have been to stop man/Adam from eating of the “tree” that He had forbidden him to partake of??
But God had placed man on the earth and given him both authority and stewardship over it……..Genesis 1:28; Psalm 115:16. (And note that it was “stewardship” – not “ownership” of the earth that God put into the hands of man). But before God even did this, He set some things in place – some things that would insure that order not chaos – would keep these things operating according to the “laws” that He had set in place. The movement of – and the interaction between the heavenly bodies (the sun, moon and stars) and the earth – is one of those things (Genesis 3:14-18)……. Another would be the law of seed time and harvest/sowing and reaping – which is both a natural law and a spiritual law – (Genesis 8:22 ; Galatians 6:7-9). In other scripture – Hebrews 1:1-3 & John 1:1-18, we see that God not only made the world by the “Living Word of God” – but He also upholds it by the same. These things – and others – that even man’s best technology cannot match – God set in place and did for us because He loves us……. THEN – God gave man authority and stewardship over the earth……..and a little later, after man had chosen to move out ahead without God in his life – God gave us a way to connect back with Him (through Jesus Christ His Son).
My intent in giving this very basic explanation is not to bog you down in reading this post, but to set forth a foundation from the Word of God to help in the job of sorting out what part God now plays in our lives……. sharing some things that He does and does not do apart from our asking Him…… Because He set man in charge of the earth – there are things that God cannot do without violating His own charge. That we understand a little more about these things is very important……. It is important because it very much affects our faith….. Why??
Why? …. because if you see God as the “author” of – or even that He “allows” the hurtful and some times devastating things we see happen – then it will indeed be difficult for you to trust Him. Indeed many Christians endure a lot of painful destructive things thinking that it came to them because God is sovereign and He wants to teach them something……. when many times these things are the result of someone’s carelessness or ignorance/unawareness, or bad choices (ours or someone else’s) – and are things that God is NOT responsible for at all. Also…….
We have an adversary – which God warns us about – who comes to steal, kill and destroy…. those 3 things being “categories” of things for which he –“your adversary the devil (I Peter 5:8 and John 10:10) continually seeks to find an opening and a way to bring hurtful or destructive things into our lives”…… All the while God is looking for us to give Him an avenue to work in our lives to help and bless us – (Recall that He gave us authority over things on the earth – and also the choice – to invite Him into our daily lives – or not…… and James 4 tells us that “you have not, because you ask not”). God does not “invade” our lives unasked and unwelcome…… Unwelcome? are you kidding? No, I kid you not – there are people who have had devastating things happen in their lives and because they do not understand that other factors (besides God and His sovereignty) are at work – they blame Him and stay hurt and angry at Him – not realizing that the One they blame is not at all responsible for their loss and pain…… And that is the place where our potential to have faith that God is good and will answer our prayers is damaged!…… Our misunderstanding of His sovereignty is thus behind many failures to live a victorious Christian life….. because in our belief that God caused “the fire” or “allowed” the accident, we find ourselves feeling that we are helpless victims and powerless to do anything to prevent such things. We need to “think again” if that is what we believe.
Another example (and rather a silly one, but I give it to make a point) would be to jump off the top of a barn, then attribute that “accident” to God – when the fact is that there is a law of gravity that God did set in motion – but since it is rather inherent in us to “know” for our safety – not to jump off a cliff or the barn – then how can we lay the blame for doing so on someone else??
God gave us His Word in scripture…… to invite us to come to Him…… and to give us knowledge about things that are good – and things that will hurt us or bring eventual harm to us……. And that is where our individual (and corporate) choices make us accountable for things that happen on the earth and in our lives.
Indeed, God the Father gave us “a voice” in these matters…….. It lies in the choices that we make – and when we look to Him and pray – to secure from Him the help that we all need. True, I can’t always have much say over the choices you make, but God did give me a voice to have a say in the overall outcome of things that affect my life.
So…… where were You God when all these bad things happened??…. There’s a good chance that He was just one believing prayer away………