Longview church of Christ
1401 Eden Dr. 
Longview, TX 75605-4104

903-236-0988
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Where is God?

With everything that has been going on in the world this year, from the wildfires out west, to the rapid succession of tropical storms and hurricanes in the gulf, or the COVID virus that has been challenging our lives and replaced normalcy with chaos for many, the question is inevitably asked, “Where is God in all this?” In the political realm, when evil seems to gain the upper hand in the matters of a nation, some ask, “Where is God in this? Why would he allow such things to happen?” The nature of the questions implies God must not exist, or he must be weak and ineffective, or even worse, perhaps he is evil himself to allow evil to exist.

Of course, God is not evil, nor does he engage in any form of evil. He is a holy God (1 Pet. 1:16), and only responds from pure motives (Jas. 1:13). Nor does God distance himself from his creation, in that he is unaware of what is happening or unavailable to care for it. Paul reminded the Colossians that all things were made through God in Christ, and that in him all things consist, or hold together (Col. 1:16-17). The answer to the question, “Where is God” then, is where he has always been, in charge of all his creation.

The question is still raised, though, if he is in charge, then why do all these things happen? God has created humanity with free will, the ability to choose how one lives. He created us able to make decisions for ourselves, whether to serve him or live for self, to live in sin. Sin comes with consequences, altering how creation functions, bringing its own curse on creation in general and each of us specifically (Gen. 3:17-18). Paul wrote, “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it,” (Rom. 8:20), and adds, “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now” (8:22). Sin is the reason our world is filled with evil and all its consequences.

So, where is God in all this? He is fulfilling his eternal purpose, as he has always done. Paul reminds us, “What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, ‘That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged’” (Rom. 3:3-4). The psalmist reminds us, “God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne” (Psa. 47:8). The theme of Revelation is that God’s purpose will be triumphant, no matter what humanity does. There is a day when all sin, all evil, will be dealt with in his righteousness (2 Cor. 5:10). Until then, “Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other. I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose’” (Isa. 46:9-10).

God reminds us, “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isa. 55:8-9). The question is not if God is still in charge, but whether or not we are willing to trust the sovereignty of God. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil” (Prov. 3:5-7).

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”

Robert
w creation, as the old man of sin has been crucified and we now are pleasing to God, as we keep walking in the light so the blood of Christ can keep on cleansing us of our sins (2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 6:3-4; 1 John 1:7).

When we come to God in prayer, through the cleansing of the blood of Jesus, we are not far away from Him, but brought near (Eph. 2:13). We are children of God, and He our loving Father, who seeks to mold us in His image, that we can inherit the promises He extends through Christ, especially of eternal life. We don’t have to worry whether God will reject us if we are in Christ, as we can approach Him freely, pouring out our hearts, the needs we have for ourselves and others. We can know He hears, that He helps us in our needs. As Paul encouraged the brethren in Philippi, “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

In times past, the pagans thought they had to multiply words upon words to get the gods attention. They would physically hurt and cut themselves, but the blood they shed could do nothing to reach imaginary deities for help, much less the one true and living God. What a difference Christ makes in our lives. We can offer any and every need, the concern of our hearts, whatever is filling our minds, and know in Christ God is there to help, provide, comfort and care, and help us mature in our walk with Him. We can boldly come to Him at any time, with any entreaty. Thank God for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, what He offers to us, what we can be in Him, the access He affords for what we need to live for eternity. “This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him” (Eph. 3:11-12).

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”

Robert