There were so many things I wanted to write about for the past few weeks. but I was lazy, and didn't want to seem inconsistent, so I avoided posting up a 'reply post' regarding my last post... I gave myself a hard homework, and ended it with this major, oftentimes unfathomable question: ''Why did God create people whom he knew were 'destined to perish'?
A particular key event led me to seriously consider this question. Though it had passed my mind before, but there's a distinctive different in 'just thinking about it' and actually sitting down and looking for a satisfactory answer. I don't think the answer I got is quite satisfactory yet, but I believe it has bulldozed a huge chunk of doubt in me, and has affirmed my faith in the most part.
1) When I became more interested and concerned in humanitarian affairs, I also started to face a lot of hard questions. Reason being that humanitarian affairs had to do with humanity, and humanity-whether we like to admit it or not- is constantly facing a harsh and cruel reality. Take poverty for example, half of the world's population live in poverty - and that is less than $2.50 per day. Though some people, through unwise decisions and holes they dig themselves into, become poor and are unable to relief themselves out of a vicious financial downfall. But most of the those who fall under the poverty line are not poor by choice, but poor by default. In sub-Saharan Africa, Middle-East, parts of Asia and even Europe - people find themselves in financial ruins because of debt handed over to them by their parents, grandparents, community, or their government. As global citizens, teachers, students, economists, leaders, the appropriate questions would seemingly be: ''What can we do to resolve world poverty?'' or ''What are the steps we can take in order to eliminate extreme poverty from the face of this world?'' The Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations, while hopeful, still has a long way to go before we can witness the extinction of extreme poverty in this generation. And as Christ followers, the appropriate question we can raise before the God of all creation would then be: ''Why, being as Sovereign as You are, can you allow this to happen?''
The easy way out would be to throw our hands up in the air and say, 'Well, sometimes God just does inexplicable things.'' or ''He has His will with the way things are.'' or ''If we have an answer for everything God does, then what makes him God?'' But up until recently, I think I was lazy and maybe afraid to challenge God, to ask Him hard question, and to dig fervently for a solid answer. Sometimes I feel like I'm just scratching the surface with my faith, and when nothing resounds from the other side I simply shrug my shoulder and move on to easier questions.
These past few months, I've been attending a Bible Study with my Pastor, and whether he did this intentionally or not, he shook us with such intensity, that we could not help but awake from our 'lazy faith', and looked intently for answers to questions on suffering, evil, and God's sovereignty amidst all of this.
And what I have learned is this:
A. We have to first grasp who God is, and what His Purpose is for creation. God reigns over all, and He is complete and perfect in Himself. He does not lack in anything, and did not require anything more. He chose to create the world and us in it, in order to demonstrate His Glory, and for us to worship Him.
B. We have to recognize who we are, in comparison to the God of the universe. He did not create us because He needed us, or because he was lonely. But oftentimes, as it is with human nature, we tend to regard ourselves higher than we should. We deserve to live, we deserve to have this car, this house, this degree, this family, this health... the list goes on. And when things go wrong, when we lack in the things we think we deserve to obtain, we immediately turn to either the person next to us or society as a whole or God of the universe and demand to know why.. God has a purpose for us, and maybe he took things from us in order for us to play an unique role in his plan. We look at humanity sometimes as if it's invincible, and something great - but by doing so we fail to recognize that God is greater than us. When we use our perspective and shake our fists at God demanding to know why He allows bad things to happen to good people, it's a perfect depiction of Roman 9: 19-23:
19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—
It's so humbling and so hard to accept at first, but that's why whenever I have trouble swallowing this fact, I need to return to point A and reflect on who God is.
C. We must have faith and know that God has his perfect plan for us, as it says in Romans 8:28: 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
I don't think I am through with asking God 'why?', but I'm pretty sure that I'm at peace with God being sovereign over all..
This has been a long post and it is in dire need of thorough editing. but I'll leave it raw and maybe come back to it with PART II.