If you get rid of God, you still have your problems.
Sickness and evil still exist. The disciples doubted; they struggled with faith in the face of loss and fear. The Bible says many of them turned away and no longer followed Christ. In John 6:67-68, Jesus said to those who remained,
“Do you want to leave, too?”
“Lord, who would we go to?” the apostle Peter replied. “You have the words that give eternal life. — NCV
We have not solved our problems by running from God. The goodness of God is all around us. It only comes into question when bad things happen. So, now, when facing tragedy, we question God.
But what about all the days when there were no questions, when we were laughing and celebrating life? We have to put the sorrow and pain against the history of God’s goodness.
How can a good God allow evil? That is the question of theodicy, the virtue of God versus the reality of evil. God has given us a choice. Joshua 24:15 says,
If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. — NIV
With choice, the potential for evil exists because we can choose against the good. Freedom allows evil to exist, but we make evil happen. Choices have consequences. The decisions we make affect others.
That is why we need a sovereign God who can at least choose to intervene in the reality of evil in this world. If I am left to other people, then I’m subject to anything anybody wants to do, anytime they want to do it. But if I have God, then evil has to flow through His fingers before it can get to me.
Even when things seem out of control, I have hope that God is in control.
Like Peter, I ask, Where else could I go? If you take that away from me, I have no hope. I would rather cast my life with a God I don’t understand than with people.
For believers, the present is not life. This is only an introduction to life. If we keep that in mind while expressing our honesty to God, we can keep the right perspective in our pain. We can offer praise in the midst of our tears. Like the apostle Paul, we can pray at midnight while still in chains.
When the storm is raging, trust God.
Excerpted with permission from Divine Disruption by Dr. Tony Evans, Chrystal Evans Hurst, Priscilla Evans Shirer, Anthony Evans, and Jonathan Evans, copyright Dr. Tony Evans, Chrystal Evans Hurst, Priscilla Evans Shirer, Anthony Evans, and Jonathan Evans.
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Is there a storm raging in your life? Trust God. Are bad things happening? Trust God. Is this a season of tears? Trust God!