16 July 2005

A Reliable God?

Lots of folks wonder about God and the evils in the world. We see disease, poverty, racism, and cruelty of every description. Horrors abound all around and there seems to be no way for things to be different, to be really different. And so we wonder, "why doesn't God do something?
What do we want? I mean, what do we expect God to do? To stop the storm, to make sure no one gets afflicted with diseases.
Great ideas, but that's not what we really want. We want God to make our lives more convenient, more comfortable, more secure. We want our loved ones protected and the people we care about kept safe. The problem is that our God is reliable and that He is hard at work. Yes, trials, struggles do intrude into our lives. Keep in mind a couple of things.
First, we do not have the time perspective that our God works with. It was over 400 years that God's people were slaves in Egypt.
Exodus 12:41 GW After exactly 430 years all the LORD'S people left Egypt in organized family groups.
Yes, over 400 years God was at work and waiting for the right time. They, too, had to have wondered, they too had to have doubted. But our God is reliable. That's why throughout Jewish history their rites remind them what God had done in the past and that He would continue to work.
The other problem we have is that we misunderstand such Bible words as "comfort," that we think of a life of ease, a La-Z-Boy kind of life. But comfort in the Bible is God's help in the midst of the trials of life. It is God's presence in the Word and Sacraments that come to us for strength and hope. This is the cross of Christ that deals with our sins and needs.
Psalms 136:1-4 GW Give thanks to the LORD because he is good, because his mercy endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods because his mercy endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords because his mercy endures forever. Give thanks to the only one who does miraculous things- because his mercy endures forever.
This is where our lack of Bible knowledge, especially our lack of Old Testament knowledge, hurts us. God's plans were for hundreds of years and He accomplished them. This is not me setting one year and five year goals, this is our God whose goals last centuries. This is why God gave us all those long books of history. They are there to remind us of God's past reliability so that we can be sure of His intentions for us today.
And so our God is reliable. He is working for your good right here and right now. We might not see it clearly, we don't see the end, all we do see is what is going on right now. Our God is there for you and He is working. Trust Him in all of life's circumstances and know that He is active and reliable no for you, no matter what.
Doc Steve