Really? How can you say God will supply our every need when people die everyday from starvation? Some of you have asked.
Before becoming a believer and a student of the Bible, I often asked this type of question. When I looked at so much heartache in the world, it was difficult for me to want to know God who was said to be loving and merciful, but allowed so much suffering.
I realize it can be very difficult to understand Bible verses and Biblical principles that appear to be out of sync from what we observe in the 'real' world. Most of all, I believe we are interested in relating Biblical truth to our personal lives. We need God to give us the gift of faith so we can trust Him. Slowly but surely, as we step back from our own struggle, we'll see God accomplish in our life what could never have happened without Him.
The more you come to know the sovereignty of God, the more tolerant you are of what you judge to be tragedies in this world. You begin to understand that God doesn't perceive the world, or our lives, in the same way we do. He has a total and complete plan. He knows the beginning and the end. We need to see through eyes of faith. He has woven together a beautiful tapestry, with every stitch in place. So often what we see is the underside side of the tapestry which is a tangle of threads and no clear picture of something beautiful.
The process of seeing the Bible as a complete picture of who God is and fitting all those words together to make something meaningful is what gives us hope. This is what intrigues those of us who love to study the Word and are called to share it with others. One of the most valuable truths I've learned from Scripture is that we, in a human body, are not able to recall Spiritual truth at will. I will always know that 3 x 8 = 24, but on a day to day basis, I can't always recall that "God works everything for good..."
Marriages dissolve, children are left without a parent, a friend is diagnosed with cancer, someone you love has heart disease or a child you loved and nurtured has become an alcoholic and has great difficulty functioning in life. Globally, you see people killing one another in the streets, a tsunami wipes out towns and villages, fires destroy homes, earthquakes crush people. . .how does God work this for good you ask.
When the Lord causes me to see by faith, I'm immediately aware that He has a perfect plan and knows what He's doing. We often stumble through the darkness looking for what seems right. God knows what is right. For some reason that I can't understand with my human mind, God has made stress, fear, anxiety, anger and depression a part of our human condition.
The Bible defines faith this way. . .
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see - Hebrews 11:1
'Walking by faith' isn't something we can do on our own. The Lord needs to produce this faith in us. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus is the "author and perfecter" of our faith. The Lord wants us to come to Him. He desires to have a relationship with us. If we could see everything as 'perfect', we'd never be drawn to God, and we wouldn't need the power of His Holy Spirit in us; we'd be our own God.
We judge this world with a human eye. God looks through a different lens. Do you ever wonder why Adam and Eve were told not to eat from the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil"? Why wouldn't God want us to know what is evil and what is good? Possibly, because we'd judge His plan. . .this is good, and that is bad. And of course this was the immediate result of eating the fruit. Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves. They had never worn any clothes and now, after having their eyes opened, they judged this to be bad. There is a metaphor in play here - their nakedness represents sin, and they wanted to hide it from the Lord, Genesis 3.
If I were God - a bit presumptuous of me, excuse the illustration, we'd all be living in a perfect world. I would be a terrible God. The Bible says we grow spiritually when faced with adversity. During time of trouble is when we most often seek the Lord.
Even though there are people in the world who are starving and brutalized by war, I can have a sense of peace knowing that the Lord has not lost control.
". . .according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. . ." Ephesians 1:11.
"All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16
"Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed." Job 14:5
If this is a difficult concept for you, ask the Lord to show you in His Word how you can have peace in a world that is never at peace. If we can view our time here on earth through the lens of faith we will be able to trust the Lord in all circumstances.
Thank you Lord that you are able to work all things for good. Help us to come to trust You and praise you for everything in our lives.
Bobbe Van Hise
- Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.