Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Life and the sovereignty of God

Life, I really am struggling to come up with something philosophical to say about life at the moment.  It's wonderful and dreadful all in one go.  We do live in a constant state of tension between the beauty of it and the decay of it.  

I don't believe in coincidence. The weekend, 29/30th of September,  I was speaking at a women's camp with my sister. The session I had the privilege to lead was a Bible study, Psalm 118.  The over riding point I was hoping to make in this study, is; God is sovereign over all, and we can trust Him because He is good and His love endures forever. And I believe that to my core, especially in the beauty of life.  My preparation started a month ago, a lot can happen in a month.

Two before ago a dear friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, it is a miracle they found it in the first instance and we are so thankful there are treatment options available for her. Within three weeks she went from active, presumed healthy woman to surgery and intense treatment.  Three weeks!  I guess that's a relatively gentle thought, for some life changes instantaneously.  In resent days, a young boy from my children's school was hit by a car on a crossing.  In an instant life can changed.  Where is God in circumstances like these? This leads us to ask questions of God, what kind of a God would allow... What kind of God do we serve?  This question is possibly the easier to answer because he tells us in his Word.

God is good. By good, we often mean behaves well, or doesn't bite, kick or steal, uses manners, doesn't do anything wrong.  But the goodness of God is vastly different.  God is good in nature, in essence, in total being, He is good.  
Spurgen writes, "He is always to be praised whether we are receiving anything from him or not.  Those who only praise God because he does them good should rise to a higher note and give him thanks because he is good. Int he truest sense he alone is good, "there is not good but one, that is God"; therefore in al gratitude the Lord should have the royal portion.  If others seem to be good, he is good. If othes are good in a measure, he is good beyond meausre.  When others behave badly to us, it should only stir up the more heartily to give thanks unto the Lord because he is good; and when we ourselves are consious that we ar far from being good, we should only the more reverntly bless him that 'he is good'."
In the most difficult circumstances to know that God is good, in essence and nature, he actually is goodness, that's what he is.  This can give us something near tangible to hold tight to, something to lean on, or fall back upon, someone to trust.  
Spurgen concludes, "We must never tolerate an instant's unbelief as to the goodness of the Lord; whatever else may be questionable, this is absoutely certain, that Jehovah is good; his dispensations may vary, but his nature is always the same, and is always good.  It is not only that he was good, and will be good, but he is good; let his povidence be what it may.  Therefore let us even at this present moment, through the skies be dark with clouds, yet give thanks unto his name."
To know God, to understand his ways are higher, so very much higher than my ways, this is such a comfort. The Bible tells us to expect hardships (Acts 14:22), and this was used as an encouragement to remain true to the faith, for the disciples of Paul and Barnabas.  Expect hardships.  Why?  In her book To Live is Christ, Beth Moore outlines why hardships are inevitable for us; firstly "God wants to give us eternal victory by working His glory in and through them (hardships)."  Secondly "Satan wants to bring us defeat by causing us to struggle and fall. Hardships are inevitable because of the glorious nature of God and the heinous nature of Satan."  

The 'why' and 'who' of circumstances and God is quite a work out for the old grey matter, and I by no means think I have it pegged.  But two things I do know; God is good, and time may tell us why, and if not, we can trust that He knows and his ways are higher so the view is better.

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