In my previous post (see “If God is Good, Why Does He Allow so Much Evil to Happen?”), I talked about how dangerous and destructive misguided comfort has been for many people as it pertains to knowing and trusting God. I challenged the readers to really search the life of Jesus to see if what they have believed about God lines up with what we know about God through the scriptures. For those who have not done the search or are just now reading, I can give you a quick summary:
Every person that came to Jesus to receive physical healing was healed. There was one guy that knew He had the power to heal but was unsure of his willingness to heal. This summarizes many people who follow God. They acknowledge his power to heal but are wildly unsure concerning his willingness to do so.
However, Jesus answers this question once and for all by telling this leprous man, “I will.” So if God is the author of sickness and disease and uses such tools to teach people patience and perseverance, then Jesus was going against the will of His Father as He healed all those who came to Him.
The sad reality is that most of us have experienced some sort of tragedy or loss that brings up all sorts of questions when it comes to really believing in a good God. If God is good, why did he let my little brother die of cancer? If God is good, why are so many women, children and men sexually abused?
If God is good, why is there so much evil in this world?
These are good questions and most often come from a place of compassion for the hurting and confusion about the nature of God. I realize that not one blog post can address this issue in its entirety, but I do hope to shed some light on the gap between God’s power to save, heal or deliver us and his apparent unwillingness to do so. To answer this question, it will help to understand the WAY in which God has designed to exercise His will (willingness) on the earth.
When mankind was in desperate need of a savior, God had the power to simply wave His hand, shout “Be free!” from the heavens and – poof! – we would be changed. But He didn’t do it that way. In fact, from beginning to end, the Bible is filled with accounts of God performing His will through mankind. It has been and always will be God’s design to perform His will through mankind.
I would even go so far as to say that God will not act, in regards to the saving of mankind, apart from people. The reason being is that He has made it possible for mankind to be so connected to God that we, like Jesus, become conduits for His will being done on earth. Let me give you an example from the scriptures.
A father brought his epileptic son to Jesus’ friends in hopes that his son would be healed. The disciples were unable to heal the boy. Now if we paused the story right there, and the father went away with an unanswered prayer, he could have concluded (wrongfully) that it just wasn’t God’s will to heal his son and perhaps there was a higher lesson in it all. But before the father could leave, Jesus showed up on the scene and instantly healed the little boy.
Without getting into the nuance of the story, it is abundantly clear that God was willing to heal the boy, yet God was unable to exercise His will through Jesus’ friends because they still didn’t quite fully believe God was able to do it through them.
My heart is not to shame or condemn anyone who has cried out to God for a miracle and not seen it come to pass. I do however believe this can help us understand that even though God has the power and willingness to meet our needs, it doesn’t always come to pass. The reason being is that the human vessels He has chosen to express His power and will are still uncertain of their role and His nature.
Knowing that God has ordained that His desires are carried out by His own earthly children, the body of Christ, we should be slow to judge God’s character or nature based on tragedy or disappointment. I’m confident that we are living in days where the body of Christ is growing in its capacity to prove the will of God, but as we grow, let us be careful of placing God on the judgment seat of our disappointments.
Image via Ahmed Rizkhaan