Saturday, October 29, 2011

31 Ways to Live in Peace, Day 29

Believe That God is a Good God

I'd love to say that I am rock-solid in this belief, never questioning.  But the truth is this is something I wrestle with from time to time.  When I hear stories of war and famine and children dying and being abused, of cancer striking, families being ripped apart, of innocence makes me wonder.  Is God really good?  All the time?

In the times of my deepest questioning, I always come back to a question.  What if God isn't good all the time?  What is the alternative for me, for the world?  What hope do I have in this life (or for the next) if I can not, will not believe that the God of this universe is good?

Max Lucado, in his (wonderful!) book Its Not About Me, asks the questions more boldly than I ever could:

The tension at home. The demands at work.  The bills on you desk or the tumor in your body.  You aren't taken hostage, but aren't you occassionally taken aback by God's silence?  He knows what you are facing.  How do we explain this?

Maybe God messed up.  Cancer cells crept into your DNA when he wasn't looking.  He was so occupied with the tornado in Kansas that he forgot the famine in Uganda.  He tried to change the stubborn streak in your spouse but just couldn't get him to budge.  Honestly.  A bumbling Creator?  An absent-minded Maker?  What evidence does Scripture provide to support such a view?  What evidence does creation offer?  Can't the Maker of heaven and earth handle bad traffic and prevent bad marriages?  Of course he can.  Then why doesn't he?

...Your pain has a purpose.  Your problems, struggles, heartache, and hassles cooperate toward one end--the glory of God....Rather than begrudge your problem, explore it.  Ponder it.  And most of all, us it.  Use it to the glory of God.  

"And may I always hold in my heart the amazing truth that He is accomplishing His purpose in me, even if it takes a thousand sleepless nights and a lifetime of being refined through the pain. May I always run to the Light."
From So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore:

God has promised that his grace will be given according to our need and that not only will we survive by the skin of our teeth, if we trust Him and hang on to Him for dear life--grieving, yes, but as those who have hope--we will also thrive again.  We can give ourselves to something greater than painlessness.  We can give ourselves to purpose.

We must not let the enemy of our souls get away with convincing us that anything can utterly destroy us.  If we do, we will hand him an engraved invitation to attend our constant torment.

There is so much I don't know.  SO much I'm uncertain of.  So much that makes me wonder.  But sister, I'm certain of this.  I promise you, based on the authority of God Himself and centuries of witnesses to His faithfulness, if you will place your trust in Him, He will always--I said always--make sure that in the end you will look upon your foes in triumph.  No illness, loss, rejection, or betrayal will ever get the last word.  You will stand to your feet stronger than ever.    And oh, may your unseen enemy regret the day he set the crosshairs of his weapon upon your forehead.

This is a beautiful, must play it over and over song...

Shattered dreams are never random.  They are always a piece in a larger puzzle, a chapter in a loarger story.  The Holy Spirit uses the pain of shatterred dreams to help us discover our desire for God, to help us begin dreaming the highest dream.  They are ordained opportunities for the Spirit to awaken, then to satisfy our highest dream.  ~Larry Crabb


Andrea said...

One of my favorite songs!

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