Monday, November 28, 2016

How to Understand God

You Can't.

Ok, I'm going to explain more than that, but that's the honest truth. The knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of God is so far beyond anything that all humans combined together can even possibly begin to scratch the surface of. The wisdom and understanding of God is unfathomable. The problem is how often we attempt to make God make sense to our little minds. In the scheme of eternity, we think our limited time on earth puts us on par with God.

Our first issue is we assume we know that is best. We have decided that all suffering is wrong, and therefore God shouldn't allow suffering. I have seen it said that "If God is all powerful, He is not all good, and if He is all good, He is not all powerful". This is because we assume we know that it would mean to be all good. No suffering, no hurting, no hunger or disease or poverty. We think we know better than God, so a world with no need would be perfect.

This assumes that we understand what things would be like if there was no suffering or need or pain or death. We believe we can fathom perfection, therefore God should give it to us because it would be better. We assume we know more than God. The reality is that suffering exists for our good. We become who we need to be and who we should be through suffering, through working and striving and making progress. The reality is, unless we are first perfect, the world cannot be perfect. If the world is perfect, then we would screw it up by being in it.

This brings us to the more complex issue, why He allowed us to be imperfect. God could have just eradicated Satan, but He didn't. He didn't have to plant the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil, but He did. He could have wiped out Adam and Eve and started over. He didn't. This is more of a conundrum than the first question. The first question is only asked by those seeking to disprove God, because the problem with the world is that people are sinful. The bigger question is why God allows us to be sinful.

In all honesty, every person deserves to be destroyed. We all are much better at evil than good. We do evil without thinking, it takes work to do good. We are not neutral creatures, we are selfish and hurtful and go things just to amuse our selfish and sinful nature. We deserved to be wiped out, but God is patient with us and allows us to continue on.

During our family Bible time the other night, my son asked me why God didn't wipe Satan out. My older boy and my daughter started giving answers they heard in youth group and Sunday School and from other people. I just had to shut it down, because we don't know. Yes, maybe the relationship inside of Salvation will be more intimate that God walking with Adam. Maybe there is merit in the way that judgment and salvation and redemption will bring God the most glory in eternity. I'm sure there are a myriad of answers, but the reality is, we don't know. If God told us, we probably still wouldn't understand. It would be like trying to explain outer space to a goldfish in a bowl.

So, next time you decide you are going to put God on trial and demand that He account for the suffering, just remember, you coudln't understand it. If He did solve the issues, it would require your irradication. Be thankful that suffering exists, God is paticent with us and we can grow and strive in hard time because He is faithful.

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