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When God Does not make Scense - Where is God ?

 
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Johnny V



Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Posts: 25
Location: Marietta , Georgia

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:07 am    Post subject: When God Does not make Scense - Where is God ? Reply with quote

f God is, in fact, good, what is all this death I see everyday? And if God is gentle, what is all this suffering I see? I still ask those questionsóright now, more than ever, so my reading has expanded to the spiritual realm, as well, including theology, philosophy and wisdom.

I thought I would share this with you Tim. It is from Dr. Dobson, he says it better than I or if it does not help you let me know and I will be happy to discuss it.
People's lives have been dramatically impacted by circumstances that they can't explain or control. Many of them likely found themselves asking, "Where is God?" amidst the chaos. And natural disasters certainly aren't the only phenomena that can lead us to ask that question. Every day, people experience devastating, heartbreaking events that simply cannot be explained through the lens of human understanding. Whether you're a parent who has agonized as your child is diagnosed with cancer, or a young woman who has endured rape or abuse or a wife who has cried herself to sleep at night after learning of her husband's affair, we have all experienced times of intense personal pain. For those of us who embrace a Christian worldview and who believe that God is sovereign over all circumstances, these times can be especially challenging.
devoted an entire book to this subject several years ago titled When God Doesn't Make Sense. It attempted to answer, based on my own experiences and my understanding of Scripture, the question of how to reconcile the pain and suffering in our lives with the reality of a loving and merciful God.[quote] Certainly, none of us can explain why God allows cancer, abuse, tsunamis and other tragedies to impact ourselves and those we love. What is the appropriate response from believers in Jesus Christ during such challenging times, which eventually come to us all? What does the Lord expect from us when the pieces just will not fit?
If you believe God is obligated to explain Himself to us, you ought to examine the following Scriptures. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 25:2, "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter." Isaiah 45:15 states, "Truly you are a God who hides himself." Deuteronomy 29:29 reads, "The secret things belong to the LORD our God." Ecclesiastes 11:5 proclaims, "As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things." Isaiah 55:8-9 teaches, "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'"

When I was a boy, I heard a mystery program on radio that captured my imagination. It told the story of a man who was condemned to solitary confinement in a pitch-black cell. The only thing he had to occupy his mind was a marble, which he threw repeatedly against the walls. He spent his hours listening to the marble as it bounced and rolled around the room. Then he would grope in the darkness until he found his precious toy.

One day, the prisoner threw his marble upward--but it failed to come down. Only silence echoed through the darkness. He was deeply disturbed by the "evaporation" of the marble and his inability to explain its disappearance. Finally he went berserk, pulled out all his hair, and died.

When the prison officials came to remove his body, a guard noticed something caught in a huge spider's web in the upper corner of the room.

That's strange, he thought. I wonder how a marble got up there.

As the story of the frantic prisoner illustrates, human perception sometimes poses questions the mind is incapable of answering. But valid answers always exist. For those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ, it just makes good sense not to depend too heavily on our ability to make the pieces fit--especially when we're trying to figure out the Almighty!

I'm reminded of a church in Dallas, Texas, which was destroyed by a tornado some years ago. The twister suddenly dropped from the boiling sky and "selected" this one structure for demolition. Then it lifted again, damaging almost none of the surrounding territory. How would you interpret this "act of God" if you were a member of that congregation? Perhaps the Lord was displeased by something going on in the church, but I doubt if this was His way of showing it. If that is how God deals with disobedience, then sooner or later every sanctuary will be in jeopardy. So how do we explain the selective destruction of the twister? I wouldn't try. There are simply times when things go awry for reasons that may never be understood!



The apostle Paul referred to the problem of unanswered questions when he wrote, "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known" (1 Corinthians 13:12). Paul was explaining that we will not have the total picture until we meet in eternity. By implication, we must learn to accept that partial understanding.

Unfortunately, many young believers--and some older ones too--do not know that there will be times in every person's life when circumstances don't add up--when God doesn't appear to make sense. This aspect of the Christian faith is not well advertised. We tend to teach new Christians the portions of our theology that are attractive to a secular mind. For example, Campus Crusade for Christ (an evangelistic ministry I respect highly) has distributed millions of booklets called "The Four Spiritual Laws." The first of those scriptural principles states, "God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life." That statement is certainly true. However, it implies that a believer will always comprehend the "wonderful plan" and that he will approve of it. That may not be true.

For some people, such as Joni Eareckson Tada, the "wonderful plan" means life in a wheelchair as a quadriplegic. For others it means early death, poverty or the scorn of society. For the prophet Jeremiah, it meant being cast into a dark dungeon. For other Bible characters it meant execution. Even in the most terrible of circumstances, however, God's plan is wonderful because anything in harmony with His will ultimately "works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:2Cool.
So what am I suggesting--that our heavenly Father is uncaring or unconcerned about His vulnerable sons and daughters, that He taunts us mere mortals as some sort of cruel, cosmic joke? It is almost blasphemous to write such nonsense. Every description given to us in Scripture depicts God as infinitely loving and kind, tenderly watching over His earthly children and guiding the steps of the faithful. He speaks of us as "the people of his pasture, the flock under his care" (Psalm 95:7). This great love led Him to send His only begotten Son as a sacrifice for our sin, that we might escape the punishment we deserve. He did this because He "so loved" the world (John 3:16).

The apostle Paul expressed it this way: "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).

Isaiah conveyed this message to us directly from the heart of the Father: "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10). No, the problem here is not with the love and mercy of God. Nevertheless, the questions persist.

My chief concern at this point, and the reason I have chosen to write this book, is for my fellow believers who are struggling with circumstances that don't make sense. In my work with families who are going through various hardships, from sickness and death to marital conflict and adolescent rebellion, I have found it common for those in crisis to feel great frustration with God. This is particularly true when things happen that seem illogical and inconsistent with what had been taught or understood. Then if the Lord does not rescue them from the circumstances in which they are embroiled, their frustration quickly deteriorates into anger and a sense of abandonment. Finally, disillusionment sets in and the spirit begins to wither.

If you are among those people who have become disillusioned or confused about perplexing circumstances, I have written with you in mind. I know you are hurting. I understand the pain that engulfed you when your child died or your husband betrayed you or your beloved wife went to be with Jesus. You could not explain the devastating earthquake, or the fire, or the terrible tornado or the unseasonable rainstorm that ruined your crops. The insurance company said it was an "act of God." Yes. That's what hurt the most. The examples are endless. I'm thinking of a young man I know who was convinced the Lord would let him have the girl he desperately loved. He thought he could not live without her. The day she married another man, his faith was shaken to its foundation.

For the heartsick, bleeding soul out there today who is desperate for a word of encouragement, let me assure you that you can trust this Lord of heaven even when you can't track Him. There is security and rest in the wisdom of the eternal Scriptures. We will discuss those comforting passages in subsequent chapters, and I believe you will see that the Lord can be trusted--even when He can't be tracked. Of this you can be certain: Jehovah, King of kings and Lord of lords, is not pacing the corridors of heaven in confusion over the problems in your life! He hung the worlds in space. He can handle the burdens that have weighed you down, and He cares about you deeply. For a point of beginning He says, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).

Remember, too, that the Scripture warns us to "lean not on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5). Note that we are not prohibited from trying to understand. I've spent a lifetime attempting to get a handle on some of the imponderables of life, which has led to the writing of this book. But we are specifically told not to lean on our ability to make the pieces fit. "Leaning" refers to the panicky demand for answers--throwing faith to the wind if a satisfactory response cannot be produced. It is pressing God to explain Himself--or else! That is where everything starts to unravel.

My strongest advice is that each of us acknowledge before the crisis occurs, if possible, that our trust in Him must be independent of our understanding. There's nothing wrong with trying to understand, but we must not lean on our ability to comprehend! Sooner or later our intellect will pose questions we cannot possibly answer. At that point, we would be wise to remember His words, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9). And our reply should be, "Not my will, but yours be done" (Luke 22:42).

When you think about it, there is comfort in that approach to life's trials and tribulations. We are relieved from the responsibility of trying to figure them out. We haven't been given enough information to decipher the code. It is enough to acknowledge that God makes sense even when He doesn't (seem to) make sense. Does this approach seem a bit simplistic, like an explanation we would give a child? Yes, and for good reason. Jesus put it like this, "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it" (Luke 18:17).

Throughout our remaining days in this life, therefore, let me urge you not to be discouraged by temporal cares. Accept the circumstances as they are presented to you. Expect periods of hardship to occur, and don't be dismayed when they arrive. "Lean into the pain" when your time to suffer comes around, knowing that God will use the difficulty for His purposes--and, indeed, for our own good. The Lord is very near, and He has promised that your temptation will not be greater than you can bear.

I'll leave you with these wonderful words from Psalm 34:17-19:

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all.

This may help I can share with you that I have had the same questions an have been through great pains and sorrow, loss. Where was he and why is it happening.
Respectfully,
Johnny V
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Bermudagirl



Joined: 10 Mar 2005
Posts: 1533
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geez, you like long topics, do you? Wink
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