Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Freedom to Find Peace

Satan mounted his rebellion through the power of one idea: God doesn't have a good heart. Though it seems almost incomprehensible, he deceived a multitude of the heavenly host by sowing the seed of doubt in their minds that God was somehow holding out on them. After the insurrection is squelched, that question lingers in the universe like smoke from a forest fire. Sure, God won, but it took force to do it. Power isn't the same thing as goodness.
From The Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge

It seems one of the biggest questions out there, among those who wonder whether or not God truly exists is: If there is a God, and he is all loving, then why is there suffering? I used to ask the same thing. Though I always believed, I never quite understood how a perfect God could allow so much imperfection and injustice. But after reading a couple of different thoughts/answers surrounding this question, it makes more sense.

If God stepped in all the time, that would get in the way of freedom. If he is truly good, then he wouldn't need to use force to attract people to him, like the quote above suggests. God also cannot contradict himself. If he is perfect, he cannot act in an evil way which is why he cannot cause of suffering. This means his motives have to be completely pure. In our freedom, we often choose to do wrong, though. Sometimes we even have good intentions, but mistakes are inevitable so long as we're stuck in our human bodies. But with God as our spiritual guide, we're given clarity, and the right decisions can follow.

Still, not everyone listens to his quiet voice, and suffering is usually the result of a decision made without considering perfect love (aka God). But some people don't want anything to do with him. Because of freedom, they have that right; God allows us to accept or deny him. As a result, there is a constant battle on Earth between good and evil; peace and suffering. So peace can only exist temporarily, and only in some places at different times. Of course, not all suffering is self-imposed or caused by sin. There are illnesses that bring pain to truly loving people. But the beauty of their situation is that if their hearts are in God's hands, they will know peace on this imperfect soil and in heaven.

In the end, isn't that what we all want more than anything? True peace that doesn't rely on the sun shining, perfect health, or flawed humans? Imagine the peace that comes with knowing beyond doubt that we are loved perfectly by a God who can do no wrong. I'm still working on fully embracing that truth. I think it's a lifelong thing. God isn't the one holding out on us, we're the ones holding out on him.


Anonymous said...

I have a friend who is struggling with this very thing right now because of all the gut wrenching things that are happening in her life right now. It's hard to accept that we live in a fallen world and bad things happen but God is still good, loving and always there. I think understanding this concept paramount to our relationship with Him otherwise we will quickly wither in the heat of life. We will suffer, struggle etc but He is there to help and give us peace in the trials of life.

Sorry to go off. Just been thinking about this very thing lots this week. :)

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