Give Thanks in All Things 1 Thes. 5:10
Just a suggestion. When planning that special trip for your family, don’t choose a town with a hurricane running through it-especially if you have a dog!
We were in the path of Hurricane Ian, and we got a hotel for the hardest hit night. This was Diesels’ first hurricane…and it did not go well-to say the least.
When he had to go ‘out’ he completely forgot the reason for doing so. When the winds hit him with the rain, he looked at me like-what fool takes their dog out in the middle of a hurricane!? I don’t mind my lips flip-flopping in the wind while my head wobbles outside the car window-but you don’t have to spray a water hose in my face at the same time. This cycle went on again and again throughout the night. I felt like Jackie Chan’s student in Karate Kid, wet clothes (wax) on, wet clothes (wax) off- repeat until you lose count.
His frustration mounted with mine. His look, hey-didn’t they outlaw waterboarding in the Middle Ages? My look-Ok, whatever I have done to you in the past…even though I don’t have a clue as to what it was…I have learned my lesson and I will never do it again. Please, dry clothes on for good!
During the night, I had to ask again…Lord, do you want me to give thanks in ‘ALL’ things?
Yes, we know what the answer was. And yes, the mood did turn serious.
As far as our house, it was spared when others lost everything, some even their family members.
We knew someone a few miles down the road- around 4 am a tree came crashing down on their home-smashed their bedroom like a tin can. Again, 4 am but they ‘just happened’ to be up-their lives were spared. Others were not so fortunate. Yes, Father, I can give thanks. Even though I went through a little frustration, I can give you thanks for sparing our home and our families around the city.
To see how devastating this storm really was, my nephew Nathan put together a video, with music that really is the theme of this article. Please see Video on Hurricane.
Why Does God Allow Trials?
Many would say, we will never know all the reasons difficult and sometimes tragic things happen in our lives. While this is very true, we are not left however with blank answers to some of the most important questions in our lives, especially to those who are genuinely seeking answers from the Lord. Matt. 7:7-8
Some trials are meant to strengthen us, make us grow, and increase our faith
James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Romans 5:3-5 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Trials at times can put us in a place where we cannot fix the situation we are in. They teach us to trust God, reach out to Him and watch Him work in our lives. If we have ever read the Old Testament, we become aware of how often the Israelites wandered away from the Lord…until they needed Him. The same can be true for us. Trials can strengthen our relationship with God because we are relying on Him.
Some trials are meant to help remind us what is truly important in life. This disaster for many on the east coast, not just in Florida-helps us realize what is important and what is not. Yes, I am pointing fingers at myself. While looking around my house, my office-the things I wanted to take with me were the simple things that brought the most meaning to my life. The gadgets, the different forms of amusement that can temporarily entertain us become sooo insignificant in a time of crisis.
Trials can also emphasize the fact it’s not ‘our’ achievements that are important to God or to us…but the greatest accomplishments in our lives are almost always focused on how we fulfill our purpose for God and mankind. This hardship that many experienced in Florida, the trials that have arrived in the lives of those reading this article -pushes us to strive to leave behind the unimportant things in our lives.
I had to skip some of my meaningless distractions and pray for the safety of those in danger. This is an important reminder for all of us.
Why Does God Allow Evil Things to Happen?
I will not say this is the single answer, because only God knows the complete truth in this area. I will however give one of the most important and complete answers as explained in His Word. It is sooo simple however, I am not sure how many of you will believe this answer.
God allows terrible things to happen on earth because if He stopped all the wicked things
-the crimes, the abuses, the murders, the rapes, the wars, the loss of life etc. it would mean He would have to come back and fix these terrible things
Yes, something He will indeed do- for all eternity.
Revelation 21:1-4 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Because God is absolute (His Holiness is perfect-sinless), when He does stop the terrible things, He will also judge all those who have ever done anything wrong, those who have ever harmed one another, lied to, violated in any way…even those who have committed wrongful thoughts and intentions against others Matt. 5:21-23, Matt. 5:27-28. Because of His absolute perfection, any wrong-large or small will be judged when He comes back. He will restructure a world with complete peace Is. 2:4 Is. 11:6 , and violence will be a thing of the past. All tears of grief will never happen again. See Above Scripture. See Understanding God
Yes, the Lords coming back is a double edge sword. The Lord will deal with all wrongdoing-all sin, large and small. Please see Matt. 25:31-46
This is Critical!
Since we all have sinned and stand guilty before a completely Righteous God
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
the Lord then is being merciful by postponing His return. He is giving mankind time for all those who will come to Him-the opportunity to do so.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise (His coming back to restore our world without tribulations and sin), as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
As mentioned above, since the Lord is absolute in every area, He is also all-knowing (omniscient) and knows the time when all those who will come to Him will be completed. See Rm. 11:25, Lk. 21:42
If the Lord stopped Hitler and WW2 and judged the evil during the 40s, we would have missed our chance at eternal life-at for those under 80 years old.
It can be said then, God allows terrible things to happen because He is patiently waiting to give those who have sinned (that would be you, me, the entire world-even those who committed the terrible crimes above) an opportunity to receive His precious gift of eternal life-becoming part of the family of God.
Understanding the ‘Big Picture’
Since the Lord is absolute and we are not-this usually becomes the greatest misunderstanding between God and man. See Understanding God Indeed, man was originally created in the ‘image of God’ (Gen. 1:27) but because man fell due to sin (Gen. 1-3), this separated us from God. We thus need to be restored back to our divine holy inheritance.
We cannot however obtain His perfect holiness on our own. Our sins need to become filtered out by His divine covering. Divine restoration cannot come from a sinful individual, it has to come from a Completely Divine Holy Source. This source is known as Emmanuel, meaning God with us. Jesus the divine Son from heaven-becoming man-our holy representative before God the Father. This really does shout, it ain’t complicated-we need God in order to be restored back into the ‘image of God’. If you are in the hospital and need a transfusion, do you want contaminated blood, or blood that you know is completely free from disease? Comprende?
While it’s not rocket science it is however the most important information in our lives…how we can inherit our place in the Family of God. Please see the links below.
He desires for ‘all’ to come to Him and be part of His family. He left the governing of this world to mankind, and we are not doing such a good job at it.
16 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD‘S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It is still vital to understand, while the Lord has given mankind our world to govern (above verse) He still commands us to govern fairly and with justice. He still blesses the nations that are just and fair and curses those who commit crimes and abuses. Deut. 28.
Yes, God can protect us while there is evil around us Ps. 91 , God can allow us to stand for righteousness while we are attacked by evil Jn. 15:20-but God will only destroy evil and tribulations when all those who He knows will come to Him finally do so. See Rm. 11:25, Lk. 21:42
The short, the reason God has not yet totally destroyed all the evil and tribulations in this world is because He loves us!
Put that in the Philosophy Books!
The Most Important Question
The most important question then is not-why does God allow terrible things to happen, but how can I become part of the family of God…
So when He does come back we won’t be judged along with those who have refused Jesus’ rescued mission, but will have been covered by the love of Christ’s sacrifice for us.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Please read the articles under knowing God-to see how we can join our Father who has prepared a place for you for all eternity. 🙂
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
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