Friday, April 1, 2016

Thoughts on God

** Thoughts based on my latest reading of Mere Christianity by CS Lewis and a recent conversation with my friend Holly**

"There can't be a God because bad things happen."

Though I will fail to present my thoughts in such a clear manner as CS Lewis, let me begin by asking how do we determine what is bad? How do we know that cancer is bad? There must be a plumb line by which we are measuring all things. This may be good. That may be bad. But deep within us there is a standard of how we are to know the difference.

This weekend while having a conversation with an acquaintance we were discussing the upcoming elections and moral integrity of many, if not all, of the candidates. As far as I know this person is not a believer. Yet, there was a clear measurement of what is moral for him. He was basing his opinions of morality on something. But what? How do we know what is moral and right and good - UNLESS there is One who is behind all of this, who has given us that standard within the very fiber of our being to know what is right and wrong; good and bad.

Let's chase this a little further. In knowing the difference between right and wrong, we are daily confronted with our inadequacies and failures. We may say "Well, I can't help it; I'm not perfect." Yet again, where is the standard for perfection? Our standard for perfection doesn't come from anything we have cognitively assembled in our own mind. It is a standard of perfection that we know to be true in the core of our being, yet we fail to meet. We daily become aware of the fact that we are failing to meet the standard of this Being. This Being is God who has created the world from nothing rather than our creation being based on the happenstance of some atoms just colliding together (who would believe that anyway.)

However, it is only when God has revealed Himself to us that we will begin to realize the enormity and depravity of ourselves due to sin and the need for a Savior. We will recognize the greatness of our being wrong and needing to be made right. We will recognize that there is only One who can make us right because in ourselves we are sinful. The One we must look to in order to be made right is Jesus. And when we are made right, we are made whole. We have been redeemed and the debt of wrong is corrected. We stand in Christ - forgiven, saved, and right.

When we understand that God solves our spiritual problems through Jesus Christ by gifting us eternity with Him, our eyes will be opened to the hope beyond this world. We can look at the world and say "Yes, there are bad things happening here, but dang! there's so much better to come!" I don't want this to be it. I can't believe this is how our lives are meant to be forever- full of pain, turmoil and sorrow. I look to the day of glorification where this will not be the case. We can't miss that. God did not promise here would be free of trouble. That's why He constantly pushes us to look toward eternity. In looking to eternity, we are able to experience joy here as we know that His promises will hold true and stand firm. He will redeem. He will rescue. He has overcome. And He will lead us in a triumphal procession.

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