. . . .So much suffering and heartbreak . . . in this fallen world. . . .
Both my wife and I, it turns out, upon waking today, thought immediately of the suffering Christians, moderate Muslims--women, children and men--upon that mountain in Iraq, their images and cries in our minds' eyes . . . with thoughts and prayers sent their way. Besides food and water and clothing they need guns, swords and armor and to be defended and rescued . . . while the Godless one who could do something . . . instead coldly plays rounds and rounds of golf and rides his bicycle in his "mom jeans" enjoying the fresh waterfront breeze. . . .
In times such as this I am ever grateful for God's sovereignty. I abhor the interpretation which says that God is impotent against man's "free will" and the havoc it causes. I do not worship a God Who, knowing such things as this genocide might happen if He made this world, went ahead with creation but stands by wringing His hands, watching the purposeless horror unfold, counting on men and their various intentions to eventually fix it and choose a better way. . . .
Either God made a world where He wasn't sure how it would all go, dependent on the "free will" decisions of billions of fallen creatures . . . and is surprised at how awful it has all turned out. . . . Or, He KNEW how it would go--all the suffering, violence, lawlessness--and allowed it to go that way and is trying to make the best of it, but never so far as to contravene the creature's "free will". . . . Or, He has intended it to be like this . . . for a perfect, good, holy PURPOSE!
I worship the God Who is sovereign--all knowing, all powerful, all present--not surprised by any of it and, indeed, has a purpose for every single act and event that is occurring . . . and that "all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." --Rom. 8:28
Some forget that the most terrible thing that happens in this world . . . is not, for instance, the beheading of a child and putting her head on a stake in a Mosul park; or the rape and murder of Iraqi Christian mothers in the desert--but WAS the torture and execution of the wholly innocent Son of God, Jesus. AND THAT . . . the crucifixion of The Lord was precisely INTENDED and decreed by God Himself! There IS a divine and holy and perfect PURPOSE to ALL that God has decreed and nothing is outside of will, including the greatest crime and injustice in history.
We, of course, cannot see it properly or understand it all from our VERY narrow, finite, limited, fallen, selfish point-of-view . . . but thank God we have His Word which lets us know that He is in charge of it all and, whether we grasp it at this time or not, that we wait patently and thankfully for His plan to flesh out, knowing the ends of it will ALL accrue to His divine glory.
One thing always to keep in mind, when struggling with these things, is to remember that while our life seems at the time the all-in-all . . . extensive . . . intense . . . it is really but a brief flash--a speck of an instant--in the annuls of eternity. We should and can know that the worst of sufferings do not compare in the slightest to the glories and rewards that we will inherit (on no account of our own!) for the endless ages to follow.
I know that is easy to say when you are not suffering so badly yourself . . . but is also true that many, many believers who have been subject to the worst kinds of abuse in this world HAVE been able to realize this truth and have not cursed God in their time of trial, but have instead sang His praises and blessed Him to the end! And they have their reward!
It boils down to faith. Do we really have belief and faith that He has it all under control AND that it will end up glorifying Him . . . and that we have been created to share and fellowship with Him and His infinite glory? Or do we doubt and run to man's philosophies to justify our resentment and anger at such a God as this?
I believe their is nothing noble and worshipful in a God Who allows men's atrocities toward each other to persist, where He has designed a world that falls according to man's so-called "free will" while He stands back, basically exalting that creaturely "free will" above His own . . . allowing these horrors to continue . . . because (purportedly) man is delegated sovereignty in the realm; leaving it up to us (in our debased, fallen condition) to "choose" our way . . . and too bad if men, women and children get ground up in the process, but oh well, that's the price of allowing (for some reason hallowed) "free will". . . . Joseph Smith taught that man's "free will" was the ultimate ruling factor in creation and purposes of God--to the logical following that men can use their "free will" eventually to become gods themselves! [Which, by-the-way, is really what "free will" glorification is all about: that is, the wicked desire in fallen men to want to be in the place of God, making the sovereign decisions which are truly only His to make.]
Rather, I believe in the God of the Bible Who has all things under His control, with every single moment and event working together flawlessly (whether my fallen human mind and heart appreciates it now or not ) for a perfect, good, loving, just, glorifying PURPOSE that He is instigating!
Thus, while I suffer with the suffering now and may, in fact, be in their sandals someday myself, I can genuinely possess a confidence and peace and comfort and even gratitude . . . that His will is being done . . . in all things . . . for the good . . . because He IS good . . . and I have faith in that and in Him . . . knowing that He Himself SUFFERED and died for ME and saved me from myself; that I am bought, redeemed . . . that all is HIS and NOTHING is outside of His ownership and purpose . . . and that vengeance is His and all accounts WILL BE settled one day, righteously, justly--to ours and His great satisfaction!
God is the God and sovereign of ALL. Nothing and no one will escape His judgments and rewards. Faith in this gives me hope and peace and strength . . . to meet the day and the days to come. . . .