HOW DO WE MAKE SENSE OF BAD THINGS HAPPENING TO GOOD PEOPLE?
Sickness, desease, brokenness, disaster, death, wickedness, all evil, unrighteous living and any form of sin… are definitely not God’s will for us or form part of His Covenantal blessing for us. But, we live in a fallen world and are therefore subject to it.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE
Sin came through a choice that man made, in the freedom God gave him to choose. God in His desire to have a relationship with us created us with a free will, enabling us to make our own choices.
He gave man a choice to choose to Love Him and to choose that by his free will. He did not enforce it on us… therefore, He gave man by default also the choice to reject Him and to sin. LOVE is a choice; no enforcement can apply.
AUTHORITY LOST AND GAINED
Adam chose to disobey God’s instruction and through His choice, all of creation became subject to that choice, which plunged all of mankind into a fallen and sinful state. From our birth we are received into this fallen, sinful world.
In the Garden of Eden man also lost his authority. At that point this was handed over to satan. When God send His Only Son to earth – for the redemption of mankind back to the heart of the Father, God gave ALL AUTHORITY back to Christ.
Therefore, as we step into God’s redemptive option to choose Christ, to be IN Him and to receive the New Covenant Position that He attained for us, we also regain our place of authority; but this time it is only as we are In Him.
(Again, we are sharing IN PART)
THERE ARE 2 PARTS TO THIS STORY
a. OUR PART
The word says: ‘Because of a lack of knowledge (of God) my people perish… that calls for all areas of our lives to be subjected to the knowledge of God.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge,...
COMMENTARY ON THIS SCRIPTURE ; Mathhew Henry’s Commentary
“The people strove with the priests that should have taught them the knowledge of God; justly therefore were they destroyed for lack of knowledge, Hos_4:6.
Note, Those that rebel against the light can expect no other than to perish in the dark. This can also serve as a charge upon the priests, who should have been still teaching the people knowledge (Ecc_12:9). …so there was no knowledge of God in the land; and because there was no vision, or none to any purpose, the people perished…” Pro_29:18.
In application to the context of the title to this exposition re. “…Life’s Quest in Trials…” we now come to “The knowledge of God”:
The knowledge of GOD for victorious living
As Christ fills ALL things with Himself, we desperately need His knowledge of Himself to be revealed to us in the different situations and areas of our lives, enabling us to live our lives in the full knowledge and revelation of WHO HE is FOR US in every trial, situation and quest.
18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.
As the crown of God’s creation, we should constantly be looking at our Creator for wisdom and guidance in everything pertaining to this life He granted us. Yet, we have rejected Him, and often are still not interested in learning from God, His ways.
Man would rather follow his own discretion and human acquired knowledge – through his God given intellect, than to yield to our Creator’s Manuel & obediently submit to His statutes and Holy Spirit – within us – for guidance & His ULTIMATE wisdom.
Most of us suffer from a severe plague of pride, stubbornness and self righteousness. Even when earthly wisdom comes our way, from any avenue but our own preferred place of submission, we would get severely aggrivated or self righteous. We would rather stay in rebellious stubborness than to humble ourselves & follow good advice. Funny enough this happens mostly on the topics of health, relationships, finance and faith; where life’s biggest challenges also lie.
Knowledge of God through Spirit Revelation
We can sought out God’s REVELATORY WISDOM and also gather intellectual KNOW-HOW and knowledge on any given area of FAITH & LIFE in general. Such to help us in this physical life as well as in the “working out of our salvation”.
The knowledge of God, sought out in His presence through the Holy Spirit’s help – bring His wisdom & His revelation for every situation and quest we face in life. This will lead us steadily through the many processes in life towards the reward of eternal life.
GOD IS LOVE and because of that LOVE, He created man to have fellowship with us, eternally. He gave us life to love us & be loved by us and to fascilitate His rule and reign here on earth. Surely He would not have created us with thie mission at hand just to leave us stranded in our own weaknesses, without help or ability to live this life to the full. He also gave us life to LIVE for the honour and glory of His Name and therefore grants us His wise council on creation and our quest. See Ps 139:13-17
13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
Apart from our own choices, only God knows why one would become a king and another a pauper… why we are who we are, and why things befall us…
OUR SON-SHIP IDENTITY
Our Tongues play a VERY NB part in our IDENTITY, WELLBEING and DESTINY.
God created by words/sound. He has given us the same ability to create in the power of Jesus’s Name.
The demonic forces and workers of evil, iniquity and unrighteousness, have the same ability to design & create through their evil exploits. Therefore our words of life – in agreement with what God says about us and our circumstances need to replace and be actively part of our desitiny.
Our lack of understanding our position as SONS (dual gender) of the MOST HIGH GOD, restrains us from taking up our authority and to step into reigning with Christ. This position of reigning and living through His authority in us, can only happen as we STAY ABIDING and HIDDEN IN Him.
We often move out of His boundary of GRACE, BLESSING and AUTHORITY through our ignorant choices, rebellion – that is as witchcraft – and sin; as well as our lack of the knowledge of God.
In our Son-ship identity we need to know God (to know God is eternal life), and to know our position in Christ – which is a mystery, NOW REVEALED to us through the Holy Spirit ( Col 2 to 3 ).
This knowledge of God enables us to stand and live by our new identity IN HIS FINISHED work on the cross and IN Him; where we are seated at the Right Hand of the Father, hidden IN Christ.
When we move outside this hidden SANCTUARY of God’s knowledge, strength, wisdom & grace, our lives are exposed to the radar of the enemy.
As Christ was loved by the Father, we are loved and covered in EXACTLY the same love of the Father… (Jhn17). Everything He provided Christ with – to live His purpose – is at our disposal. We ought to embrace this in a Father-Childlike relationship; to experience the Father’s love here on earth in preperation of our eternal abode. We can and should then also extend it to others.
OUR Son-SHIP IDENTITY has been secured in the LOVE of the Father. Just as HE loved Christ, He loves us. He therefore redeemed, sanctified & glorified us to a SON-SHIP position; of which Christ is the first-born.
b. GOD’S PART
CHRIST came to earth to restore mankind back into a relationship with the Father. , through a New Covenant.
HIS REDEMPTIVE WORK is PERFECT.
He suffered. He conquered sin and death. He rose and ascended.
He now intercedes constantly for us. He is our Advocate in the Heavenly Courts.
His bountiful grace is helping us through this life.
He suffered on earth; we will also have part in His sufferings…
Dying was the HIGHLIGHT of His ‘CAREER’… Dying to self – that comes through all these trials that we experience – HELPS US towards that place of salvation from self, towards salvation in Christ, and towards eternal life; then eternally with Him.
Because of His love for us, knowing our frailty & sinful nature, God also tests us to see what is in our hearts, in order to present us one day tested & standing firm in His own righteousness. ( See Eccl 7 below)
ALL THINGS FOR THE GOOD
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Yet, our disobedience does hamper the process; but as we choose Christ, the END-END result is a secured VICTORY by the Blood of the Lamb.
Everything works out for the good of those who love God and are called for His purposes. As we endure, overcome, learning obedience through suffering, as CHRIST did – and keep on STANDING IN HIM, who fills all things with Himself, we mature towards the full stature of Christ within; until Jesus comes.
As we choose HIM DAILY… we will ‘make it’, to receive the price.
11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance, And profitable to those who see the sun.
12 For wisdom is a defense as money is a defense, But the excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it.
13 Consider the work of God; For who can make straight what He has made crooked?
14 In the day of prosperity be joyful, But in the day of adversity consider: Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other,
So that man can find out nothing that will come after him.
AS we draw wisdom from the Almighty and gain insight and guidance through His ways, laws and statutes, our lives become subject to His council on straight and narrow paths; following the prompting of Holy Spirit, to lead us unto life & life in abundance.
This is our quest to follow after His Holy Spirit within us, towards wise living.
c. THE GREATEST REWARDS
The greatest reward will also be to help others towards salvation, encourage all to endure together and to give hope and ENCOURAGEMENT – for all to KEEP ON STANDING.
Our privilege, as His Bride, is also to take HANDS in CREATING SPACE and AN OPPORTUNITY for GOD TO SHOW HIMSELF GREAT, CREDIBLE, FAITHFUL and FULL of LOVE to all of mankind.
Sometimes our misery is the stage for that to happen… it’s not our choice.
d. THE GOOD NEWS
While spreading the GOOD NEWS of the GLORIOUS ETERNAL SALVATION that awaits all, who have died in Him – is that sickness, disease, hardship and suffering is not God’s will for us. God promises to be there by our side in and through it all. (Math10) He promises to be there and take us THROUGH THE VALLEY of the SHADOW of death. The word says that the enemy is LIKE a roaring lion… he is not one… he only SOUNDS like one!
These difficulties that befall us from time to time are part of our fallen creation. A creation that cries out to be redeemed back to the Glory of God and for the sons & daughters of God to be revealed.
e. TO OVERCOME
They have OVERCOME him by the BLOOD of the Lamb, the WORD of their TESTIMONY..
and they did not love their lives… Rev.12v11
HERE in the latter part… lies another KEY answer in HOW we perceive LIFE’S QUESTS.
How much do we ‘cling’ to our lives?
Have we given our lives back into HIS HANDS and do we ENTRUST it completely INTO HIS ALL-KNOWING, ALL-WISE and LOVING CARE ?
Will we therefore follow His instructions; to receive life… in abundance?
What is life in abundance then?
Is it maybe just to live in the reality & experiential place of His CONSTANT PRESENCE & PEACE in ALL things; – THAT PEACE that surpasses all understanding.
f. GRACE! GRACE!
Not one of us can do this in our own strength or wisdom….
Therefore, we should STAND, STAY and ABIDE in HOPE, COURAGE and FAITH to progressively ENTER by GRACE, His place of REST for our lives, through all these trials.
FOR it is TRULY ONLY BY GRACE that we live and have our being…
In part …
From my heart…