May 2009 - Vol. 30

God Is In Control by Jon Wilson, continued

There are, of course, hard questions here. Is it God who is making evil happen in the world? Is he just allowing evil? Why do innocent people have to suffer? There are no easy answers. It does seem clear, though, that God is not asking for an unexamined assent to his rule, nor should we ignore these issues and set ourselves up for disaster when we come face to face with them in our own lives. At the same time, we need to learn to live with the tension and ambiguity that comes from having finite understanding. We have to hold firmly to the knowledge that our God is a good God, one who hates evil, and who will right every wrong and dry every tear in the consummation of his kingdom.

Which leaves us, I suppose, with one final question: Why the hard times? Hereís where the rubber hits the road. If we say that God is in control of difficult times, and that he is using them to accomplish his purposes, are we also willing to say in the same breath that he is good and he loves us? Can we trust that his judgments are merciful? The passage 1 Peter 5:7-10 implies that our anxiety is linked to pride, and that a proper humility before the Lord will be coupled with peace and trust.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. . . . And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
When we see ourselves as in control of our own lives, a form of pride, we are more prone to worry and anxiety. God wants to humble us, to show us our place before him. But he is doing this so that we can be peaceful and content, relying on him, the true source of our provision. Reminding us that he is in control in the midst of a chaotic, unstable world is one way that he can bring us peace and contentment. So even in the midst of our busy lives, in which we do our utmost to fulfill our calling as Godís children, he wants us to trust him, be at peace, and be still before him.

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