Monday, May 25, 2009

The God Questions, Part 5 (cont.)

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 (NLT)

The Story that God is writing can be summed up in three Acts (as in a play). Each act tells one part of the story that God is writing. The great thing about God is that He tells us not only about the beginning, but he tells us what the end will be as well!

ACT I- PERFECT PARADISE
Why Didn’t God Create A World Without Evil & Suffering? Answer: He did
“Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! Gen 1:31
“...In the middle of the garden he placed (a choice) the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil... The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” Gen 2:8,9; 15-17 (NLT)

ACT II- PERFECT MESS
When bad things happen, we always ask... Why Is This Happening To Me? Who’s To Blame?

Answer #1 * God's fault. Job 2:9-10 (NLT), “His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die.” But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong.”
Answer #2 * Own fault & or someone else's fault.
Friend #1- Job 8:3-4 (NLT), “Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right? When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin.”
Friend #2- Eliphaz-- Job 15:17-20 (NLT) “If you will listen, I will show you. I will answer you from my own experience... The wicked writhe in pain throughout their lives. Years of trouble are stored up for the ruthless.
Friend #3- Zophar-- Job 20:4-5 (NLT) “Don’t you realize that from the beginning of time, ever since people were first placed on the earth,the triumph of the wicked has been short lived and the joy of the godless has been only temporary?
ANSWER #3* God's Perspective.
God is all good & He is all powerful & He has a morally sufficient reason for the evil that He allows. But He doesn't always reveal the reason, He simply tells us to trust Him!
 “Then the Lord answered Job... “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much.” Job 38:1-4 (NLT)

KEY THOUGHTS- Every Problem Has A Purpose. God uses problems to...
*Direct Me (Proverbs 20:30)
*Inspect Me (James 1:2-3)
*Correct Me (Psalm 119:71
*Protect Me
*Perfect Me (Romans 5:3-4)

God Promises To Walk With Us Through Every Problem.
“...The Lord has promised that he will not leave us or desert us.” Hebrews 13:5

ACT III- PARADISE RESTORED
God has not promised that we wouldn't have any problems, but He has promised to make all things new!
 “So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning... Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren. Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life.” Job 42:12-16 (NLT)
”No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9