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Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Reason for Everything

You should check out the link above to Ryan Miller's blog. He's obviously hurting and trying to make sense of the loss of his friend. I understand and maybe too well.
 Miller gives a well meaning, yet misguided  attempt to answer the question "does everything happen for a reason ?"  To be fair, Miller's blog contains some biblical truth and paints some beautiful pictures of grace. While he accurately points out the bad things happening to Christians are not a lack of faith, he fails to draw biblical parallels and passages to back up his statement "will" and "desire" are interchangeable. Miller suggest there isn't   necessarily a reason for everything. He says, "For many circumstances, there are NO reasons... it's just life!"  Yet, God offers an explanation and Christians should know better.  Even for Christians, life can sometimes stink, but there is a reason.  Every circumstance is a result of the original sin. God gave us a paradise and we blew it. While God never desired us to sin, by giving us a right to choose in first place, His will allowed it. God never desired slavery for Joseph but His will allowed it. And He saved the world through it. God did not desire a cross for Christ but His will allowed it . And He saved the world through it. Just because you don't see a good reason for a tragedy , doesn't mean God doesn't have one. 
Miller also says,"To define God’s sovereignty as one who controls all things, circumstances and people is essentially a borrowed pagan theology," The bible is filled with examples that dispute this.  It's not a pagan but rather John who says, " Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created ." Revelation 4:11.  All things were created for His glory. That includes even what we find disgusting. Likewise, according to Paul, the potter has power over the clay. Romans 8:28 declares "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28  NIV ." How about the entire book of Job ? God declares His continuing involvement in creation while stating since He is God he owes us no explanations.  
Later Miller further laments,
"it grieves my heart to know that our theology can damage others in the wake of loss and the burden of life when friends go through cancer or the sudden loss of their child, etc. ".  Perplexing it is, how Miller could think the idea of God using our losses for His glory would damage already broken hearts. Just because we don't understand something doesn't make it untrue. You could know every human idea about the crucifixion but never understand why beyond it was God's will. Does that make it untrue? Would it make it more or less palatable? 
The blog continues with his personal ideas that seem to include a need to get God off the hook for allowing bad things to happen to "good" people. Miller makes  an ill attempt at claiming God isn't all controlling. As if that were true, God would seem more merciful. 
God does not need our understanding.  He doesn't need our defense. He doesn't need anything. God owns it all. Everything. Right down to our skins. He can do whatever he wants because A. it's all His and B. He's always right. That's why we can trust Him with the details we can't control.
Enormous comfort can be found in the fact that God is God, and we are not. 
Is there a reason for everything? I sure hope so. I hope God is the reason for everything. That's the only way this mess makes any sense. Something larger and more majestic than we can fathom is at work in the microscopic and the mundane.   Where is the comfort in not believing there's a reason for our pain?  For sure  God leaves nothing to chance but instead He gives purpose to all things for His glory. Even the disgustingly ugly hurtful things. How else could this be true? "
... them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." Isaiah 61:3

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