Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Powerless God I Could Not Praise

"This, then, is of faith, that everything, the very least, or what seems to us great, every change of the seasons, everything which touches us in mind, body, or estate, whether brought about through this outward senseless nature, or by the will of man, good or bad, is overruled to each of us by the all-holy and all-loving will of god. Whatever befalls us, however it befalls, us, we must receive as the will of god. If it befalls us through man's negligence or ill-will or anger, still it is, even the least circumstance, to us the will of god. For if the least thing could happen to us without God's permissions, it would be something out of God's control. God's providence or His love would not be what they are. Almighty God Himself would not be the same God; not the God whom we believe, adore, and love." Mary Wilder Tileston

A friend of our family's recently experienced tragedy. One of the young men at her church died in a car accident. In a conversation with my mother, she rationed that "God did not want it to happen." This made my stomach turn. In painful times when we cannot understand and when our emotions run high we can see absolutely no good whatever in the situation. Our human minds, small and limited, grasp only what we see and therefore we say that if God is good then He mustn't have had anything to do with this great loss. But what we do not realize, what we have difficulty accepting, is that God is both good and sovereign. For the non-church rats in the crowd, sovereign means in control. He is the author of our lives. Romans 8:28 says "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose." This is a great comfort, for if God was just good and not sovereign, then life is nothing but chaos. The deaths and hurts and sorrows and losses would all be meaningless, with no benefit in the end. If God is good and not sovereign then I have no protection whatsoever. If God is only good and not sovereign then I have absolutely no guarantee in my salvation. Personally, the thought of a good God with no control is terrifying to me. I would rather rest in the fact that He knows the number of my days, that He has my good in mind. A powerless God I could not praise.

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