This is a gift-giving season. We have been given more gifts from God than we could possibly count. So…What are you giving God this season? In Ephesians 4:30, we are warned not to grieve the Holy Spirit. Given that warning, what can we “give” to God this season?
- Read your Bible daily (II Timothy 2:15)
- Pray for the brethren (I Thessalonians 5:25)
- Attend all the services of the church (Hebrews 10:25)
Abstain from the very appearance of evil (I Thessalonians 5:22)
- Love one another (John 133:34)
- Rejoice (Matthew 5:12; Philippians 4:4)
- Be faithful whatever the cost (Revelation 2:10)
- Teach others (Matthew 28:19)
- Do good for others (Luke 6:27; Hebrews 13:16)
- Be thankful, and show it (I Thessalonians 5:18)
Since we are warned that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31), let us strive to be a people who love God and seek to please Him. Since He has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3), shall we not do our best to show Him our appreciation and our love for Him?
A natural disaster struck Haiti not long ago and when such things happen, especially when such a tragedy brings thousands upon thousands of death, people wonder why a loving God could (would) allow such a thing. This was addressed in a BBC article by David Bain of the University of Glasgow. In brief, he took this age-old question with the prominent replies through history and tried to make sense of it; the way he ended his piece, he could not.
Can anyone make sense of it? Not from a purely human point of view. In life, there are practical matters of concern and there are theoretical matters of interest. This question of why does evil exist when a loving God can address that evil is of the latter categorization. Of practical value to us is the matter of helping those who have suffered a tragedy immeasurably.
Nevertheless, the theoretical interests are important to pursue. We try to make sense of things that seem incomprehensible. The problem with man, however, is that we are quite limited in our ability to answer. The atheist satisfies himself in thinking such an occurrence demonstrates that God does not exist. Quite the contrary, it does no such thing! This is nothing but a platitude of delusion.
Biblically speaking, God is “all-good.” By that I mean, the good that comes from God benefits man. What man does with that good is up to him, but it freely flows from God. God is also “all-powerful.” By that I mean, that whatever can be done God can do. If God is all-good and all-powerful, why does evil exist? Man can do whatever he wants with the good that proceeds from God. Since man misuses the good that comes from God, evil exists. The all-powerful nature of God has God dealing with the evil of man at what we know to be the Day of Judgment.
What about natural “evil”? Things (events) that occur in nature are not evil; they are natural. Evil exists only in relation to what man does with God’s good; thus, evil is associated with good in a moral sense, not a natural one. It is very difficult to make sense of what happened in Haiti; I am not smart enough to do so and, I suppose, no one else is either. One thing I will do, as Job did, I take consolation that God’s goodness is not something I will not question or doubt. The complexity of man’s situation on occasion seems incomprehensible, but in all respects God is in control.