September 23, 2016

Habakkuk 1:13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
you cannot tolerate wrong.
Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
Why are you silent while the wicked
swallow up those more righteous than themselves?

This is a question that every honest believer has asked in some form at least once, and probably several times. God’s grace and mercy are at times more mysterious than His judgments! The answer keeps coming back to what the Lord told Isaiah: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) In the human world there is something called “The Law of Unintended Consequences.” We don’t, we can’t, know every effect of an action. God, on the other hand, does know that, and this is why He never makes any mistakes, whatever they might look like to us. You could say that God took an enormous gamble in giving mankind free will, but that would only be from our perspective. Actually, He knew the mess that would ensue, and He knew what He would have to do to fix it all. This is why the Bible says Jesus was the Lamb chosen before the creation of the world to be our atonement. (1 Peter 1:19-20) Being anchored in time ourselves, we really can’t imagine what it is like for God, who is outside of time because He created everything, and even physicists will tell you that time can’t exist without matter. God allows things in the short term because of what effects and ripples they will have down throughout eternity. For example, no one grows, learns, and matures without encountering and overcoming difficulty. We don’t enjoy it at the time, but the results are good. (Hebrews 12:11) That’s why Jesus could say, with absolute assurance, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Rather than complaining, either about our own struggles or about how evil people seem to succeed, we need to submit fully to God on every level, trusting Him to be both perfectly powerful and perfectly good. That doesn’t mean we aren’t to be active in opposing evil; our learning to do that is one of the biggest reasons He allows evil. However, we are to be grateful even for the struggle, trusting that God will indeed use everything for good, and for His glory. (Romans 8:28)

I can express this truth without hesitation and know it is truth indeed, but that doesn’t mean that complaints don’t crop up in my heart! I am to operate in the truth I know, not insisting I know more than God says I need to and not trying to be in control. I am to submit my will to His, exercising the authority God gave mankind over the created universe (Genesis 1:28) and especially the authority that is mine in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord, (John 14:13, etc.) but I am not to try to take over for God. As has been said, if God is my co-pilot, then I need to change seats!

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You also for having made clear to me that at the moment, many things are not as You would like them to be. Help me indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You, submitting to You on every level so that Your Name may be hallowed and Your kingdom come as Your will is done in and through me, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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