Your daily goal:
Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
(Monday-Friday, from my morning quiet time, I will write a short thought for that day which I pray God will use to motivate you to ‘GO’ for that day. Your objective is simple…to GO…to GO OUT and share the love of Christ with someone in that day….to GO and bear fruit …to be light to the world.)
Today’s Daily Light
Note for today… last week I mentioned that we would provide an essay, an article, on ‘evil’. If you will provide the work and brain power on your end…I promise that this series (9 parts) will stimulate your thinking and give you a better understanding of God’s sovereignty in relationship to ‘all’ things. Again..it will require some deeper mental/spiritual work on your part…but I promise that if you do the work..that you will be strengthened in your faith and walk. So here we go…..oh…I had prior stated that the article was written by John Piper. Actually…it is written by Joe Rigney who is a part of the Piper ministry team. Remember that this is an essay/article…providing it in parts will leave you hanging on thoughts or premises that the writer has not completed his points or framed his view…so be patient. blessings…dh
Confronting the Problem(s) of Evil
Biblical, Philosophical, and Emotional Reflections on a Perpetual Question
By: Joe Rigney, Professor, Bethlehem College and Seminary
Part I Where was God?
The question is always the same.
After the initial shock and horror subsides, after the news crews go home, we’re always left with the same question: Where was God?
Did he know it was going to happen? Was he aware of the shooter’s plans? Does he have foreknowledge, foresight, the ability to peer into what for us is the unknown future? Christians can’t help but say yes. God knows the end from the beginning. Indeed, he declares the end from the beginning (Isa 46:9-10), and this exhaustive foreknowledge is one of the distinguishing marks of his deity.
Was he able to prevent it? Was his arm too short to make a gun misfire, to cause an evil young man to have a car wreck on the way to his crime, to give an off-duty police officer a funny feeling in his gut that would cause him to drive by an elementary school? If God can’t prevent something like this, then what good is he? Why pray for God’s help if he can’t actually keep murderers from executing children?
But, of course, the Bible says more than that God could have prevented it; it says that it occurs “according to the counsel of his will” (Eph 1:11). Indeed, he works all things according to the counsel of his will. And when the Bible says ‘all things,’ it means all things: This ‘all things’ includes the fall of sparrows (Matt 10:29), the rolling of dice (Prov 16:33), the slaughter of his people (Ps 44:11), the decisions of kings (Prov 21:1), the failing of sight (Exod 4:11), the sickness of children (2 Sam 12:15), the loss and gain of money (1 Sam 2:7), the suffering of saints (1 Pet 4:19), the completion of travel plans (Jas 4:15), the persecution of Christians (Heb 12:4–7), the repentance of souls (2 Tim 2:25), the gift of faith (Phil 1:29), the pursuit of holiness (Phil 3:12–13), the growth of believers (Heb 6:3), the giving of life and the taking in death (1 Sam 2:6), and the crucifixion of his Son (Acts 4:27–28). (John Piper, “Why I Do Not Say ‘God Did Not Cause This Calamity, But He Can Use It For Good’”)
All things — good, bad, ugly, and horrific — are ordained, guided, and governed by the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.
Part II tomorrow.
Father…I pray that the readers will stay the course and that you will help them see how glorious, loving, wise, and truly perfect you are through this series. Amen
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