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I sometimes wonder whether I did something wrong in a past life
” said a friend of mine, as she reflected on all the troubles that had beset her family over the years. Like most of us, she’s looking for reasons, as she struggles to find some light at the end of a long dark tunnel.
But why don’t we ask questions when good things come our way? I suppose it’s easier to take good times for granted, whereas troubles have a way of grabbing our attention, and making us question things because we’d rather not go through them. When we seek explanations (join the dots) for things that happen, we soon discover how complex life is, and how little we know.
In the Bible, a good and successful man named Job had his life turned upside-down by one disaster after another. He lost loved ones, his wealth and his health in a flash. Some friends came to comfort Job, but the temptation to try to explain his situation was too great.
Job’s friends were convinced that he was suffering because of secret sins in his life, and implored Job to confess them to God so the suffering could end. They believed that
good people always prosper
bad people always suffer
– a type of Karma that explains all of life in terms of cause and effect. Job’s friends were partly right – because we often reap what we sow, and our choices do have consequences - but they foolishly thought that the whole of life could be explained by this formula.
Job declared his innocence – rejecting their accusations – and claimed that God would vindicate him if he could just present his case.
Then God turns up
, and rebukes the foolish friends, before giving Job his day in court – except that Job was not the one speaking. God pointed to His creation – stars, animals, seasons – and said,
“Can you do all this? Can you explain how it all exists and how it all works?”
God contrasts Job’s powerlessness and ignorance with His infinite power and wisdom, and shows Job that he has no idea what is going on or what is involved in creating and managing this world and universe. It’s as if God’s saying, ‘
I could explain how ALL the dots fit together, but you would never be able to understand i
We want God to fix everything and take away the pain – and He will one day – but His first priority is to save us from the consequences of our sin. The death and resurrection of Jesus demonstrates just how far God was willing to go to save us, and proves that this life is not the end of the story. God asks us to TRUST Him with the things we don’t understand, not just the things He makes clear.
, “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, so that whosoever believed in Him would not perish but have everlasting life. God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.
He also says, “
Come to Me, and find REST for your soul.”
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14 Nov 2019
You have captured the cusp of human nature
13 Nov 2019
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...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19
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