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12-6-2016 Where Is God When Trouble Arises

“My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me, ‘Where is your God?’” (Psalm 42:3 NKJV).  Unbelievers taunt believers whose faith is being tested by asking: “Where was God?”  It is an ignorant question asked by cruel and heartless people that assumes: 1) God is limited.  Unbelieving Syrians challenged Israelites with: “The LORD is God of the hills, but He is not God of the valleys” (1 Kings 20:28 NKJV).  God met that challenge by defeating the Syrians. 2) That this test is “ungetoverable.” Believers simply say: “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair” (2 Corinthians 4:8 NKJV). 3) God is too removed to know our problem: “’Am I a God near at hand,’ says the LORD, ‘And not a God afar off?’” (Jeremiah 23:23 NKJV).  Prayers to God are answered by mountains of help!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#god, #questions-and-doubts

Why the suffering?

Did God’s plan of redemption make Jesus suffer, or did it know that he would?

Is it one or the other, or is it both?

From the prophecies of old to the sweat soaked prayer in the garden, aspects of each avenue can be seen.

Regardless of the answer to the above question(s), Jesus chose to suffer for us. He chose to lay down his life so we could have our life (John 10:15-18).

Some stumble in the face of such questions while others grow closer to God through it. But how should we react according to the suffering servant himself?

Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:25-27)

#life-questions, #questions-and-doubts, #suffering

Will There Be Universal Justice?

Many in the world struggle with the existence of evil, the abuse of the innocent and a lack of justice across multiple spectrums of life. The struggle can be so intense that it leads many to disregard any acknowledgement of the existence of a Higher Being. Even Christians can fail at times to keep our eyes focused upon the crown to be given after the race is over.

I believe the late brother Burton Coffman used some wise words concerning these issues. It’s a little lengthy for posts here, but I believe the read is worth the time:

“Great and terrible as the concept of eternal judgment admittedly is, the most profound necessity for it is evident. Most of the truly difficult problems connected with the life of faith, and with reference to the entire system of Christianity, are directly related to the doctrine of eternal judgment. Heaven, hell, eternal punishment, eternal joy, Satan, and the problem of evil – all these things pivot in the last analysis upon the scriptural teaching of the judgment. All of the problems, great and small, eventually fade into insignificance before the pressing question, “Is this universe just?” The underlying assumption of revealed religion as set forth in both the Old Testament and the New Testament is the concept of a just universe; and time and time again it is unequivocably declared to be just (Psalms 45:6,7). The father of the faithful, Abraham, idiomatically inferred it when he asked, “Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25). The existence of laws in the natural realm, the moral law within people, and the sacred revelation all alike proclaim the justice of the universe; and if it is not so, life indeed becomes “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” (Macbeth, Act V). Sanity in any true sense turns upon the question of justice in the cosmos. If the righteousness and justice of God do indeed establish his throne and undergird all things, then WE ARE SAFE; and every man shall receive the reward of the deeds done in the body (2 Corinthians 5:10); if not, then any true security of the soul is a fool’s dream, and man himself is but an infant crying in the night with no language but a cry!

But if the universe is just; if the righteous shall be rewarded and the wicked punished, AN ETERNAL JUDGMENT IS REQUIRED, a judgment in which all inequities and injustices shall be corrected, an eternal judgment presided over by infinite justice, wisdom, mercy, and love – in short, the judgment revealed upon every page of the sacred scriptures, or if not revealed, then certainly implied. The widespread neglect and apparent disbelief of this doctrine suggests that it is true of our generation, as it was of those to whom this epistle was first addressed, that we “have need again that someone teach us the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God” (Hebrews 5:12)” (James Burton Coffman Commentaries, Volume X, Hebrews 6:1-2; p.116; A.C.U. Press, 1971)

One part of scripture that I try to remember when my heart and mind ponders these issues is Psalm 73. While struggling over the existence of the wicked and their bounding prosperity over the righteous, the psalmist reminds himself and all of his readers about an extremely important point. He says in verses 16,17 – “When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me — Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.”

Although at times it’s hard to see and comprehend in this life, God’s word assures His people there will be universal justice one day; and this day will not have anything to do with any man-made court (Daniel 12:2, John 5:28-29).

#bible-commentary, #evil, #hebrews, #judgment, #justice, #questions-and-doubts, #resurrection, #the-wicked-and-the-righteous, #universal-justice