When an individual experiences a horrific event where evil triumphs and good people are harmed, or when a random, unexpected event results in destruction and death, it is a natural human tendency to ask, “Where was God? Why didn’t He prevent this?” If you’ve been asking similar questions, don’t feel bad about it. God knows the motivation behind your questions is pain. He’s eager to comfort you, strengthen you, and help you better understand what you are experiencing.
There are two things we know about God: He is “supremely good” and He is “supremely powerful.” But wait a minute. If God is supremely good, certainly He wouldn’t want bad things to happen. And if He’s supremely powerful, He certainly would be able to do what He wants – and keep bad things from happening.
So…why do so many bad things happen in a world ruled by a God who is so good and so powerful? Here’s why…“
For God so loved the world…” You’ve heard that line before, right? God loves the world, God loves you and God loves your husband – at a depth and with an intensity that exceeds our understanding by infinity. His love isn’t the sentimental, syrupy love that we see in the movies or daydream about. It’s a love that is wise, selfless and freeing. It has eternity in mind and not just the here-and-now.
“Control freaks” are also characterized by depth and intensity. But they don’t care about you–they have their own agenda. God is the opposite of a control freak. Because He loves you, He’s not going to force you to do anything. He’s not interested in a race of puppets that will do what He says when He pulls the right will. If we are forced, it’s not love at all. It’s physics: simple action and reaction.
So from the very beginning God has deeply desired that we would decide on our own to respond positively to His loving overtures. Love cannot be coerced.
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