The brutal, mass shootings of innocent people. Horrendous atrocities are committed daily to young children. Women are beaten and abused. Young boys and girls are kidnapped and sold into slavery. Sex trafficking holds prey many individuals who are silently screaming for help. Yet they see no hope to escape the darkness they’re living in.
Unborn babies are brutally torn apart and discarded before they ever take their first breath. Meanwhile, many of those doing the killings may be popping Tylenol for a slight headache or ache they’re experiencing. Many of us throw away vast amounts of food while children starve because of negligent and abusive parents.
God-fearing families are facing the devastation of cancer, chronic health conditions, financial loss and death while the ungodly are prospering.
And, like Job, our hearts cry out, “Why, God?” “Why do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?” (Job 21:7) God, why do You allow this evil to keep plaguing our lives? Why don’t You DO SOMETHING?
We all declare that God has the power to do anything. Anything! So why doesn’t He? I have asked God this question many times in my life. Begging God. And some times God supernaturally performed a miracle. But sometimes it appeared as if He was silent. How could a God who truly loves me turn a deaf ear at the very time I needed Him the most? It makes no sense. After all, as loving parents, we desperately attempt to be there for our hurting children during their difficult moments. If God is love, why isn’t He demonstrating that love by doing something for me when I’m completely shattered and broken?
But if God is not truly all-powerful, all-loving, all-good and sovereign, then is He really God? If God’s power is limited by any other living thing, then this living thing is greater than God. If we, mere humans, can imagine a world without intense pain, brutal suffering and crushing loss, surely an all-powerful God could have created one.
So is God limited? Yes, I believe He is. But not in the same way we think of us being limited. We are limited because we lack physical power, mental ability, or godly character. God, in contrast, is limited to His all-good and loving character. God’s goodness prevents Him from lying, tempting or committing evil of any kind. God cannot sin. And God will never contradict Himself. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” (Jam. 1:13)
I believe God has self-imposed limitations. Since this earth is fallen, God has given Satan the permission to touch our lives. But we must also remember that just as in the book of Job, God still gives Satan specific boundaries. (Job 1:12)
2 Peter 3:9 clearly communicates that God’s will is for everyone to be saved. “…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” So why will not everyone be saved and make it to heaven? If it’s God’s will, why doesn’t He make it happen?
God gave man the gift of free will and choice. And I also believe God is limiting Himself. When you read the book of Job, you can more fully understand why evil prevails. After the conversation between God and Satan regarding Job, God limits Himself and removes some of His protection. He gives Satan permission to bring intense pain, evil and devastating loss to Job. Why?
I believe sometimes it’s the same reason God allows it in our lives. Satan accuses us of living righteously and serving God simply because of God’s favor and blessing. And unfortunately, too many times Satan is right. Dead on.
Many people are walking away from God and His word and ways because they feel betrayed by God. If they don’t receive what they think God owes, they’re done. When we truly love God for Who He is alone, our circumstances won’t destroy our relationship. If we can still proclaim that God is good after a devastating loss or during a difficult trial, it indicates we’re serving God for the right motives.
A shattered heart that experiences and proclaims God’s goodness usually indicates a saved heart. When we can’t express the goodness of God during our pain, we need to examine the true motives of our heart.
God DID, in fact, create a world without intense pain, brutal suffering and crushing loss. It’s called heaven. This is where God reigns supremely and and is unhindered in any way.
But then if God is all-knowing, why does He create individuals who will never choose to serve Him? Those who commit horrendous crimes and atrocities to others. Although I’m no great Bible scholar, I believe God chooses to limit His foreknowledge of our decisions and what eternal destination we choose.
God is love. Pure love. And He created us to love. Our love for God is exemplified in a greater way than the angels because of our gift of choice. Ultimate worship and love is demonstrated when we freely choose to worship God because of His character instead of His gifts. When we love God supremely in spite of the horrors we experience in this cursed earth, His love for us is magnified.
Satan is ravaging the earth now and inflicting unimaginable horrors on everyone. Including the innocent and righteous. But his time is limited. God isn’t simply standing by, indifferent, or lacking power, or uncaring. God is very active in His children’s lives. If you don’t sense it now, keep pursuing His heart, embracing His ways and obeying His words. He will reveal Himself to you. And remember His Son, Jesus, is interceding on your behalf. “…It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” (Rom. 8:34)
I’m eagerly awaiting for Jesus return when God will again magnify and reclaim His unlimited power, justice and love. But until then, I’ll continue to proclaim the goodness of My Father.
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)