Saturday, July 07, 2018

God is never shocked

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Ezekiel 9-12Psalm 33

TO CHEW ON: "The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart to all generations ....
From the place of His dwelling He looks
On all the inhabitants of the earth;
He fashions their hearts individually;
He considers all their works." Psalm 33:11, 14,15

On April 28, 2012 three families traveling on the highway between Fort McMurray to Edmonton (Alberta, Canada) were all but wiped out in a head-on collision. In an instant nine (and a half) dwindled to two. Only the three year-old son of Pastor Shannon Wheaton's family and Mark Penny (whose pregnant wife was killed) survived the crash. The three family members in the other vehicle were also killed. (Read about the accident here.)

Why, we ask? To us the shattering of these families makes no sense. Predictable questions rise in our minds:
- Couldn't God have prevented the accident?
- Didn't evil triumph over good here?

In answer to that last question—yes. In one way every time someone dies evil triumphs over good. For death, from whatever cause, is part of the curse that came on earth because of mankind's first choice to defy God and do our own thing, i.e. sin.

But looked at another way, such happenings never shock God. He is aware of each event. He is more than aware. In a way, He planned them (or maybe better said, 'planned for them') in the first place:

"The counsel (that is the whole program for mankind in history) stands forever;/The plans of His heart to all generations" - Psalm 33:11.

Neither is He just a God of the big plan, but He knows each individual:

"...He looks / on all the inhabitants of the earth;/He fashions their hearts individually;/He considers all their works" - Psalm 33:14,15.

If God knows, plans and ok's each event in my life, your life, the Wheaton's and Penney's lives, from the wonderful to the tragic, and He is good, you and I need to keep trusting Him even in the circumstances that seem like they got away from Him for a minute. Because they didn't.

And so we find hope and comfort in the very God who permits tragedy to touch our lives. As Gerry Bridges explains it in Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts:
"All people—believers as well as unbelievers—experience anxiety, frustration, heartache, and disappointment. Some suffer intense physical pain and catastrophic tragedies. But that which should distinguish the suffering of believers from unbelievers is the confidence that our suffering is under the control of an all-powerful, and all-loving God; our suffering has meaning and purpose in God's eternal plan, and He brings or allows to come into our lives only that which is for His glory and our good" - Jerry Bridges, Trusting God Even When Life Hurts, p. 33.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to trust Your sovereignty and goodness in situations that feel all wrong. Amen.


Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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