Why Me?: Reasoning with God’s Sovereignty in the Midst of Suffering

Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts
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The Sovereignty of God - Bill Johnson

Can you tell us about it? Have you noticed what a little child does when he trips on something and falls down? When you rush to help him up, he turns accusing eyes to you. You made him fall! It was your fault! We are no different when it comes to God and our problems. Who better to blame than the One who made us? This is probably the number one complaint that turns from a simple question into a smoldering rage against God and the Bible. God has never given us a tidy answer for why He permits suffering and disaster. But what we do know about God, not just from the Bible, is that He always has our ultimate best in mind.

Also, from the testimonies of those who have gone through deep suffering and pain, we hear He permits these things in our life, for our good. But the Bible assures us that God exploits all human evil and natural disasters for His own eternal purposes. What are some things we should avoid to keep bitterness from setting in and why? Snyder: We set ourselves up for resentment in several ways. It might be because our theology has been shaped by false teaching.

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Some pastors and believers are persuaded that even to admit a bit of disappointment or resentment toward God is an automatic fail as a Christian. This is a dangerous teaching and can easily lead people away from the faith.

subnapondie.tk Often only a good dose of reality leads us to a mature view of the God we worship. We need to avoid building on our own misperceptions of the character of God, and the way He works in the world. Unless something happens to interrupt this line of reasoning, the believer ends up alienated and full of bitterness against the very One who is their most innocent and faithful friend.

This truth is the oldest, longest-running witness. What is something you can share with us concerning this?

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Snyder: The Good News of the Gospel is that Jesus came to save all struggling with sin and guilt, to rescue and to deliver. Nothing is beyond the grace of God. As believers we are called to love people and point them to God. Our responsibility is to try to point them to Jesus, then allow this new, transformative relationship to bring all of life into His realm, and according to His will. This is true of every person everywhere, regardless of what they face. It is the position of being out of line with our God by virtue of our sin.

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The practical result of this in the spiritual dimension is this: the heavenly Judge removes our guilt and declares us free to go. For others, it takes place slowly, a zigzag process with plenty of ups and downs, advances and retreats. But, like a business graph, it shows a general upward trend, despite many advances and retreats.

CP: What suggestions do you offer people to help them avoid resenting God when tragedy strikes or He is silent? Snyder: One main thing my own journey has taught me is that we need to wait until the final act of the play to see how the story turns out. He will meet you there.

We want an answer right now, but He uses time to bring about His own purposes, and sometimes lots of time! But sometimes those silences become a straightforward no. What then? How do we understand a direct no from God? We also discover that God gets more accomplished with a no than a yes. God uses trials and tribulations to teaches us to rely on Him, or we would never grow spiritually.

We learn from our weakness how strong God is. What is Christianity? When it comes to sin and grace Keller nevertheless maintains a more Protestant perspective than Catholic which is no surprise given his Presbyterian stance. Just where can we expect to find reasons for God you ask? Well Keller will no doubt explore that in full in pages to come, but for now he reminds his readers that God is not an object one can find like discovering America or the moon, he much like William Shakespeare is the author of the most beautiful of all tales — creation.

Keller, like Van Till and William Edgar ask you as their reader to put on the spectacles of Christianity and consider just how much sense it makes of the world you live within. And as you learn to read the drama that is life afresh look back particularly to Jesus Christ, because this is one play where the author has managing to write himself into the drama as its center, goal, and purpose…. Strong rationalism miss Christianity not because they epistemology is leads them into the light of reason but rather because their epistemology is itself lacking the light of creaturely humility.

The next clue is the cosmic welcome mate where Keller basically makes the point that the presence of organic life in the form and complexity it is today makes more sense from the vantage point of a personal creator than chaotic chance. Not only does this point toward a supernatural, personal creator but the BIG FAITH commitment of science itself — continued regularity of nature — makes more sense with God in the picture than having him absent.

There is a Clue-Killer but Keller says its actually a clue in itself. What is not fair is to do what so many evolutionary scientists are doing now.

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God by John Piper

They are applying the scalpel of their skepticism to what our minds tell us about God but not to what our minds are telling us about evolutionary science itself…. It comes down to this: If, as the evolutionary scientists say, what our brains tells us about morality, love, and beauty is not real — if it is merely a set of chemical reactions designed to pass on our genetic code — then so is what their brains tell them about the world.

Then why should they trust them? Every one of them is rationally avoidable.

Why Me?: Reasoning With God’s Sovereignty in the Midst of Suffering

However, their cumulative effect is, I think, provocative and potent. What are moral obligations? Moral obligations is a belief that some things ought not to be done regardless of how a person feels about them within herself, regardless of what the rest of her community and culture says, and regardless of whether it is in her self interest or not. Still nevertheless most people are quick to say that there are some moral obligations that all people must have the right to freedom, life, and love.

One reason why people say we have these things is the evolutionary model of moral obligation. The model basically argues that there are certain values to yield benefits to everyone who practices them and that that is why it is in place universally, of course the problem is that history is replete with examples to the contrary.

Cultural relativism further aggravates the situation because it posits that no culture can set standards for others, of course even those within the field are setting moral values on their scientific pursuits that make an imposition upon the cultures. What about the difficult issue of human rights? Could even sin be a clue that God exists? Keller says yes indeed. First sin is a reason for hope, not just despair.

How Long, O Lord?: Reflections on Suffering and Evil

As we see how truly broken our world and ourselves are we can begin to appreciate just what kind of salvation a personal Creator would have to enact. Sin is seeking to become oneself, to get an identity, apart from him …. What are the personal consequences of Sin? One consequence is the loss of your true identity, and with that any sense of personal stability and peace. The real culture war is fought in the hearts of humanity that are ravaged by sin. These social dislocations are also part of the cosmic dislocation and corruption brought on by sin. Keller says;.

Sin is pretty bleak, right…sigh. What can put it all right? So the only solution is not simply to change our behavior, but to reorient and center the entire heart and life on God. Does that sound oppressive?