As sure as I am that God is real, I’m just as certain that evil is real. When I was a sophomore in college, I was discussing my grade with my Economics Professor and somehow we got on the topic of faith. “Nicole, if God is real, how come bad things happen to good people?”. Well, I had only been walking with the Lord a few months, and while I was passionately, undeniably, in love with Jesus, I was no theological scholar! (I’m still not!) I had no clue why bad things happened to good people. So, I made him a promise. “Professor so and so, I will have that answer for you by the end of the semester!” (Ah, to be that young and full of faith again). True to my word I met with him and we engaged in what I now realize was a pretty heavy theological discussion. God loves to use the weak things to confound the wise :)… I shared with him the story of Job (pronounced Jobe) and told him how God allowed satan to kill all of Job’s children, afflict his body and lose his possessions. Job had nothing. What stands out the most to me in this story is Job’s response.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:20).
WOW. I mean, really Job? You’ve lost EVERYTHING, for seemingly NO reason and through NO fault of your own, and yet you choose NOT to blame God? Not only not blame Him, but you choose to WORSHIP Him??? I went into more detail with my Prof, explaining how the fall of man opened up the door for all types of craziness to enter the world. Adam’s own son Cain killed his brother Abel as a result of this sin. Adam and Eve were the first grieving parents as a result of their own disobedience. They could not have possibly known the darkness that was unleashed from partaking of a certain forbidden fruit. Even now, our nation has been rocked by the senseless Connecticut school shootings, the “Dark Knight” movie theater shooting, and the man who ate the homeless man’s face. As I learn more and more about human sex trafficking my eyes become more opened to the debasement of women this so called business is creating. The loss of their humanity, as their bodies are used over and over again is heartbreaking. They lose the very essence of who they are, as the life drains from their eyes, pouring out in the form of tears. They live a life of imprisonment in their own bodies only to be discarded when no longer needed.
The darkness has been unleashed.
What I’m learning is that God does not promise the easy way. While all of these horrific examples of evil are just that, horrific, nothing compares to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He is the only man who was perfect. Other victims of such crimes were at best good men, women, children, but they were not perfect and blameless. Jesus Christ, innocent as He was, had his flesh torn, was betrayed, rejected, stripped naked, humiliated, shamed, and endured 6 hours of agony. And what was His response? Even greater than Job’s…”Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
The world is getting crazier and crazier. Men are calling good evil and evil good (Isaiah 5:20). But in the midst of the darkness there is light. Jesus Christ is the light of men (John 1:4-5) and He has made His body to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). Although Christ is no longer on this earth physically, His body is now called to carry out His ministry. So often we await His return, however His word says that the whole earth is groaning and waiting for the Sons of God to be made manifest (Romans 8:19). Christ is the firstborn of many brethren (Romans 8:29), meaning those of us who are now called Sons of God, are a replica of Him in our individual and corporate spheres of influence. We are to be like Christ and glorify Our Father just as He did. At 12 years old Mary and Joseph lost their son in the throng of family members whom they were traveling with. They found Him among rabbis and religious leaders, questioning them and learning. When his parents chastised Him, He advised them “Did you not know that I was about my Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49). At 12 years old He understood His purpose and calling. At 30 years old, He began His ministry. At 33 He passed it on to 12 men and a host of others who would turn the world upside down for the good of mankind. We are now the chosen. We are now the called. God has promised that where sin abounds, grace abounds even more (Romans 5:20-21). It is my firm belief that Christ’s body is this grace. We are His hands, we are His eyes, we are His feet.
So evilness is here and bad things happen to good people. But righteousness is here and God has not only promised us the return of His Son, but that His body would awaken, rise up and take the dominion He originally intended for Adam & Eve (Genesis 1:26).
As the world experiences the result of sin being unleashed, it is my hope that they are overtaken by the unleashing of the light and life of Christ through His members. Through us.
Just look at the history of His body to see what you are capable of:
32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.
Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted,[f] were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.
Amen! I was just reading about Job again last night. I also read about him in the book I’m reading..Joel Osteen made a good point that although Job made his statement of faith in the 10th chapter that “he was not delivered, healed and set free until chapter 42.” But in the midst Job knew that God grated him favor.
Yes we can see Job’s revelation of God expand by ch 42..I’m in luv wit verses 5 and 6…Job had faith prior to this encounter with the Eternal One, so much so that he fell on his face and worshipped in the midst of adversity (talk about faith, intimacy, and character!) but it wasn’t until he was face to face with His Maker that He saw his own unrighteousness and knew that in and of himself he was not worthy. That is the place Christ wants us in…face to face with Him. Focused. Surrendered. Trusting. 🙂