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Good God, Bad Problems July 7, 2010

Posted by theronwatson in Uncategorized.
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Mark 15:25-39
It goes something like this, “how can a good God allow bad things to happen?” It is called “theodicy.” It is the perplexing question of evil. It has been the downfall of many would be believers. If they could get past this hurdle then they would surrender their lives wholly and completely to the Lord, or so they say.
The examples are far ranging and typically hypothetical. “If God is so good, why did ‘this’ happen?” Then the accusations start. “He could have prevented it.” He certainly could have, but He didn’t. Now what? Or the philosophical questions start. “Perhaps God is not able to stop ‘this.’” Some question God’s motives saying, “if He could have stopped it but didn’t, then He is not loving.” Or, “if God could not have stopped it, then He is not all powerful.” These are all very one sided arguments.
What if there were more to the story? What if God is more like a loving parent than an incapable twit or angry tyrant? Parents know the difficulty of getting their children to do right. Children do not always understand their parents’ reasoning. Some children do what their parents tell them without too much complaining. But, some children question everything their parents tell them to do and not to do. Children would rather eat chips and drink soda. Parents have to instill good eating habits so the child will grow up to be healthy. Children would rather play video games inside all day. Parents have to instill a healthy lifestyle so the child will grow up to be strong and healthy. Children would rather skip their homework and stay up late. Parents have to teach the children the fundamentals of work and responsibility. Parents have to instill good habits in their children’s lives. Parents are called to such. If a child does wrong, the parents are often
questioned. In order for a child to have good character traits, parents have to lead the child in the way they should go. Sometimes children don’t understand. Parents know the reasons why they require the child to do these things. They are older and more mature. In their wisdom, they know there is meaning for everything they do and do not do.
If earthly parents know better, perhaps God who is our Heavenly Father knows better. If earthly parents who cannot see the future but still work to avoid dangerous and unhealthy lifestyles for their children’s futures intend better, perhaps God, who knows all things and sees the end result from the beginning, knows exactly what we need and do not need. Perhaps the promises of the Bible are true, that He knows our needs, that He intends all things for our good, that He really does love us more than anything else. Maybe He knows more than we give Him credit. That’s called faith.
What if God is able? What if God is loving? What if these things must happen for reasons beyond our comprehension? What if God really is working out all things for our good and we just don’t have the eyes to perceive it. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Just as a child does not always understand their parents’ motives, we do not always understand God’s motives. We are not called to be Christians to follow Christ for a life of ease and comfort. Anyone can do that. We are called to lives of commitment and devotion at all costs. We are called to follow even when we don’t know where He is leading. When we can’t see the end result, faith is required.
The people who watched Jesus hang upon the Cross of Calvary did not understand what God was doing. The Chief Priests thought they had won. They thought they had silenced the trouble maker. People hurled ridicule and insults at Him. He was chastised even as He hung there. They did not understand what He meant when He said if the Temple was destroyed He would rebuild it in three days. We do. The disciples did not understand when He told them He was going away and they would see Him no longer, but in a little while they would see Him again. They did not understand how their grief would turn to joy. We do. We have the benefit of looking back through the filter of time and seeing the outcome. They could not understand how the Father could turn His back on His own Son. And, neither do I. Except to know that I am the benefactor of that ultimate expression of love. “He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all–how will He not also, along with
Him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
What would it take for you to believe?

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