Tuesday, January 30, 2007


When suffering enters a christian's life we sometimes question God, "Why is this happening?" It is somtimes hard to grasp God's reasons why as a child of His we would suffer so much. When a family member, a friend or a child dies it is so hard to understand. When someone close dies without knowing Christ, even after witnessing to that person so much, we sometimes still ask why, even though we know the reason why?

Well I was reading John Piper's book on Desiring God and the first chapter kind of answered these questions so clearly. Here is a part in the chapter Mr. Piper used Johathan Edwards understanding about it.

Jonathan Edwards struggled earnestly and deeply with a problem that stands before us now. How can we affirm the happiness of God on the basis of his sovereignty when much of what God permits in the world is contrary to his own commands in Scripture?

How can we say God is happy when there is so much sin and misery in the world?

Edwards did not claim to exhaust the mystery here. But he does help us find a possible way of avoiding outright contradiction while being faithful to the Scriptures. Putting it in my own words, he said that the infinite complexity of the divine mind is such that God has the capacity to look at the world through two lenses. He can look through a narrow lens or through a wide-angle lens.

When God looks at a painful or wicked event through his narrow lens, he sees the tragedy or the sin for what it is in itself and he is angered and grieved. "I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the LORD God" ( Ezekiel 18:32).

But when God looks at a painful or wicked event through his wide angle lens, he sees the tragedy or the sin in relation to everything leading up to it and everything flowing out from it. He sees it in all the connections and effects that form a pattern or mosaic stretching into eternity. This mosaic in all its parts-good and evil-brings him delight.

God sees the whole picture, we don't. He wants us to trust Him and know He has a purpose in all that happens in our lives.

Faith endures as seeing Him who is invisible (Heb. 11:27); endures the disappointments, the hardships, and the heart-aches of life, by recognizing that all comes from the hand of Him who is too wise to err and too loving to be unkind. But so long as we are occupied with any other object than God Himself, there will be neither rest for the heart nor peace for the mind. But when we receive all that enters our lives as from His hand, then, no matter what may be our circumstances or surroundings—whether in a hovel or prison-dungeon, or at a martyr's stake—we shall be enabled to say, " The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places" (Ps. 16:6). But that is the language of faith, not of sight nor of sense.

—Arthur W. Pink



Jungle Mom said...

Thankyou for sharing this. My family and I have had a very hard year and a half. We see another "bad stretch" ahead of us. But when one realizes we are just a little piece of the mosaic, it is easier to rest in His sovereighnty.

Baptist Girl said...

Hi Jungle mom,
Yes it does make it easier, God is with us through it all. We will keep you and your family in our prayers.

Psalm 2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.


luvvom said...

My family has also been learning to trust God through unexpected medical bills and also spiritual trials that He has been putting us through. He has been tearing down the old and building up the new and it is a painful process but one that is sweet as we feast at His table. Thank you for this post.

Baptist Girl said...

Hi luvvom,
Yes trials can be sweet when we realize He has a purpose for it even if we cannot understand it sometimes. I need to remember that more. I will be praying for you luvvom. Your blogs are vey God honoring and very encouraging, thank you for them.