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Archive for May, 2015

Does Everything Really Happen For A Reason?

Assuming God is the cause of everything that happens in our life can turn some away from God. Do we want to give the impression that God causes evil that leads to so much suffering? People say in good or bad times “everything happens for a reason,” referring to a Creator behind-the-scenes. All the suffering in the world is not God’s will. God getting you that job suggests others didn’t get the same job because of God. I am not condemning those who have made this comment. Our words though can unintentionally confuse some as to what God is really like.

The comment “everything happens for a reason” can imply God willed such an event to bring something good from it. God doesn’t plan tragedy. God doesn’t cause a person to get drunk and then drive and kill your children. God doesn’t put the thoughts of rape into the heart of the rapist. God much prefers people live selflessly and not make decisions that harm themselves or others. Can we respect God if this isn’t true? I understand it brings comfort for many to believe God is in control, but the baggage is too much for many. God doesn’t have to control to be in control.

In the beginning God allowed humans control and the freedom to choose. If God had not given freedom we would charge God with a different set of accusations by not creating the “best” world. Authenticity, the highest good in relationships, is impossible without freedom. Not even God can force true love. God interference may prevent a superior world from developing as a result of the moral improvement of free creatures. It is still true though that God will walk hand-in-hand and empower us to respond to suffering to bring good from what was intended otherwise.

Suffering is inevitable in a world where freedom is part of the creation. God did not even spare His Son of such potential consequences, though Jesus’ suffering was undeserved. The truth is I have become a better person, more aware of my character flaws, during suffering than prosperity. Suffering enables me to be more sensitive and serve others in similar situations. Miracles turned heads but Jesus’ suffering turned the hearts of billions of followers. Martin Luther King’s suffering moved the scales from the eyes of many how they tolerated bigotry. Those who have suffered undeservingly can help others better who have suffered similarly.

One may argue this is just semantics but let’s not imply God secretly orchestrates evil so good can be accomplished. God much prefer His children choose good from the beginning. We might be more sensitive to others by saying “I was grateful to have God by my side in this tragedy. I was fortunate to recover but I knew I would be made whole someday regardless.” This implies God never wished suffering or death in the first place. Athletes might convey they are appreciative of the opportunity to compete win or lose. God accepted the consequences of freedom and chose to lead as many as possible of their own volition to a paradise intended from the beginning. The only way we may be able to defeat evil in our world, other than destruction, is for individuals to persevere and overcome evil.

Does God Think We Are All Wretched?

It may be difficult for some to understand or get close to a God who is portrayed as thinking we are totally worthless. Christians often say things like: we are totally wicked in God’s eyes; God only loves me because of the blood of Jesus. Old timers may bellow “how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!” Such words don’t necessarily convey God’s heart and thoughts. Thinking we are despicable may lead to giving up. God desires perfection for our own sake but surely celebrates our victories along the way. Human love isn’t better than Godly love.

I understand why some feel wretched if they murdered someone. But, the Apostle Paul murdered but eventually became a hero in God’s eyes. Many on some days manage to love others like they want to be loved. Does God hate us because we aren’t perfect?  I am good if you believe God detest every aspect of your lying soul and that draws you close to God. Others may have a hard time understanding why human love seems better than Godly love. I have always loved my children to the core despite their faults. I simply hope they change harmful ways for their sake.

God isn’t always thinking ill of us any more than our human parents because we fail to obey for our best interests. God simply grieves selfish choices because of the pain it will cause His children. Sin only effects how we feel about our relationship with God. God simply desires a friendship so to help us to be the kind of person we deep down desire to be, but God never forces Himself on others for obligatory love is neither authentic or desirable. The truth is God is the perfection of the human parents we have always desired.

God could have overpowered others to change the world; instead, God loved others culminating at the Cross in hopes to influence. Jesus identified with us by walking in our shoes, even facing undeserved suffering, to better understand how difficult it is to live selflessly in a world where one is free to love or hate others for their own gains. Gloomy uncertainty as to God’s favor does not conquer battles against self-centeredness or long-standing habitual sins in our lives. God loves you wholeheartedly and longs to help you discover true happiness. 

It is suggested that babies are sinners before they are even born because of Adam’s sin. Is this really God’s view? God does not hold us responsible for another’s person sin. A fair reading of Romans 5:12-21 implies Adam’s sin was not transferred but certainly influential, as parents have the power to influence their children positively or negatively. Sin came in the world through Adam but Adam’s sin didn’t come into us. We are born in sin but not with sin. Babies are not guilty of sin before the age of accountability. But, the truth is that the influence of sin is so powerful that only one person has ever managed to live a totally unselfish life.

God doesn’t just love Christians and is waiting for non-Christians to believe. God loves all and hopes to persuade all that His love is in their best interest as any parent would. You weren’t created to worship God so shut up and give God the glory. God didn’t create you for a one-sided relationship. Most parents have children to share life with. God loves you and doesn’t just see you as evil without putting His Jesus glasses on. God would love to earn your respect and help you become the person you want to come. God only desires for you to be able to look back on your life without regrets.

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