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“How does one reconcile a completely perfect and loving God with a broken and sinful world?”
Part one of a two-part answer
This question is the heart cry of many who want to believe in an all-powerful God of love, yet experience seemingly irrational disappointment, tragedy and loss.
The assumption behind it, perhaps, is that an omnipotent God who wants the best for us would never permit anything bad to happen and that He should fix it right now.
All of us have experienced disaster or trauma at one time or another when God did not appear to intervene and rescue us.
For more than a few, this situation raised serious doubts about the nature, power and motives of God.
For better or worse, Scripture does not give us the whole picture. It does, however, give us enough so that we can find firm footing in times of trouble (see Psa. 18:1-2, 30-36). Here are two points to consider:
The Bible clearly teaches that God has begun the process of redeeming (or taking back) this broken world.
In one sense, He has not completed the process — there is still more for us to endure. But, in the death and resurrection of Jesus, He has overcome the world (Jn. 16:33); He has defeated death (I Cor. 15:1-8, 51-57); He has caused us to be born into a living hope that does not perish or fade away (I Pet. 1:3-5).
Second, God is doing more than we can know or see (Isa. 55:6-13).
Often His work is subtle—we may easily be blinded to it by our raw feelings and expectations for an answer that may not fit with His answers.
Consequently, it is incumbent upon us to quiet down and listen carefully in order to begin to glimpse His grace (Ps. 46:10).
More on this subject next week!