Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hi, Girls!

It's been a while since I've posted,
but I want to continue this thought
on God's goodness.

Do you believe God is good simply
because
the
Psalmist tells us so
in Psalm 145:9?
Or has your knowledge
of His goodness
become more intimate?

There was an evangelist named Charles Templeton—
who was extremely popular and used mightly of God
way back in the 1950s.

After years of amazing ministry
and seeing God move in peoples' lives,
he simply walked away from his faith
and became an agnostic.

"I looked at the world," he said
"and it doesn't seem to me that it spoke
of a God who could be described as
father. It seems to be a universe
indifferent to man and to all
of God's creatures."

In other words . . .
If God is so good, why is there so much
suffering and evil and horror in the world?

Why are babies born deformed?
Why do people rape and kill?
Why are thousands starving to death each day?
Is God really good?

This is a question that haunts humanity.
Is God good?

What do we say to our friends when they're
honestly asking this question?

And what's the word for ourselves
when WE struggle with tragedy and difficulty?

Girls, whenever we have questions about the character of God,
we need to look to Jesus for the answers.

When we look at Jesus, we see that He freely
acknowledged the problem of pain
and the existence of evil.

"Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil," He taught us to pray
(Matthew 6:13).

"In this world, you will have tribulation," He said (John 16:33).

"There will be trouble; you're going to have problems."

Charles Templeton (the former evangelist) asked,
"Why is God doing this?"

But his question was misdirected.
God is NOT the author of confusion. (1 Corinthians 14:33)

Man brings harm upon himself when he rebels against God,
when he ignores the ways and Word of God,
and when he violates the commands of God.

Why, then, doesn't God obliterate the devil,
destroy the demons,
remove temptation?

I'll stop here.
I'm going to give two answers to this question
on Wednesday, Jan. 6.

But first, I want some feedback from you.
How does this hit you?

You are loved!
Susie Shellenberger

11 comments:

  1. Last summer, when I was on a YIM trip to Ukraine, the van we were riding in ran over a block used to keep trucks from moving (you know, those wedge-type things). It damaged our fuel and oil lines, and we were sitting on the side of the highway for 2 hours around midnight.

    A few days later, I found out that had the block hit the underside of the van 4" in another direction, it would've set off a deadly chain reaction. Chilling.

    In my journal, I wrote, "We were kept safe--God is good." Then I began to wonder, how can I say that God is still good when bad things happen? We say that God is good when good things happen, or when bad things don't happen. Yet, children still grow up in broken homes or with alcoholic families, and wonderful 16 year olds die in car accidents. We can't say that God is bad in those times--that would contradict His nature.

    I struggled with how to reconcile this reality. During those few weeks in Ukraine, I'd been reading in the Psalms about how God is our solid rock, our fortress. I realized that I would never know the answers this side of heaven, and that all I could do was to simply crawl into the lap of Jesus and hold tight to Him and worship Him.

    As I journey through life, I see how I am still hurting, how I am still tempted, how I am still uncertain, in various areas. In these times, especially now, as I begin thinking about what next year holds for me, I realize that I MUST rely completely on God. I must surrender everything to God, giving Him all the control, because only then will I have peace. Without these obstacles, I'm sure I'd go through life without paying attention to God, or giving Him the glory.

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  2. I like that, Jessica. Thanks for sharing it with us! Mission trips are life-changing, aren't they? I'd love for you to pray about joining SUSIE Magazine on our "Never the Same" missions trip to Antigua, Guatemala this summer! You can get all the info at: neverthesamemissions.com

    Your friend,
    Susie Shellenberger

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  3. This post came at just the right time for me. Yesterday I found out that a friend of mine's dad died. Their family is one of the most amazing families I know, and it really hit me how fast life can change. Even though it wasn't a shock that he died (He had cancer for the past two years), it really hit close to home for me. Last night my thoughts went crazy as I questioned why this would happen to such a neat family. I finally realized, that while I don't understand why right now, all things happen for a reason and even the hard things God can turn for good. I am trying to just trust God that He knows what he is doing and let go of trying to control what happens around me.

    KK from IA

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  4. I think I believe God is good sometimes just because its the right thing to believe as a Christian but sometimes I think really. . is God good?? I think sometimes Gods defenition of good is not our defintion. For me, moving to Iowa from arizona was not good and I was kinda mad. I look back on that now and htink . . .if I had not moved to Iowa who knows where I would be spiritually because at my new church that is where I truelly gave my life to Christ. I also made some amazing spiritual friends who have helped me a lot in my walk with the LOrd.
    abby
    kk, sorry to hear about your friends dad.

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  5. Totally agreed with your comment Abby. That is so true, and that is what kept hitting me today as I went to the funeral. As I sat there wondering why I good guy like this had to die I realized that even though I don't understand God's plan (and believe me, I am having a hard time accepting this one), I know it is what is best. I just seeing people suffering, and I also realized today that God does too. There are so many questions that are left unanswered, at least until we get to heaven, but that is where faith comes in as we have faith that God knows what He is doing.

    KK from IA

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