Sunday, April 26, 2020

Why God Isn't Fixing This



Back when I was in high school, not too long after I began following Jesus, I remember talking with a girl my age about my new faith. She didn’t seem to have an interest in God, the church, or following Jesus. Out of an abundance of curiosity I asked “Why not?”

Then she told me a very sad story. Recently her grandma had died. After becoming ill, my new friend prayed for her healing. But her grandma never recovered and passed away. This left he angry at God. She asked, “Why would God let my grandma die like that? Couldn’t He have saved her life? I prayed to Him but He didn’t heal her. I don’t want anything to do with a God like that.”

I had no idea what to say. That question stuck with me for some time. Could God have healed her grandma? I suppose, yeah. He’s all-powerful and all-knowing. So why didn’t God roll up his sleeves, flex His muscles, kick down the door and fix this?

We have all asked that question. Why doesn’t God fix this? It’s a natural question in a hard world. And Romans 8 tells us that the whole world is suffering, “groaning” in fact, from pain.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. (Romans 8:22)

There are innumerable “groans” from all over the world.
Every COVID-19 patient death is a groan
Every lost job during this recession is a groan
Every natural disaster is a groan.

Everywhere I turn I see groaning and I’m reminded that this is not how the world is supposed to be.

Why God is not planning on flexing and fixing everything

In that same text, we see what God has no intention of fixing this. In fact, we see a very different plan at play. A strange solution if you ask me.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:18–21)

Did you catch that? What this groaning world is waiting for, according to Romans 8:19, is the “the children of God to be revealed.” For followers of Jesus to be glorified, whatever that means.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been to several places in the world, and I’ve seen my share of groaning. But I don’t think I’ve ever bumped into someone who said “You know what I’m waiting for? The children of God to be revealed. Everything in this life will be better when that happens.” I have never, ever, heard someone say that plan is the best way to fix the world’s groaning.

But it’s true. Here’s why.

God has flexed and fixed things already. Many times. And it never works.

He flexed and fixed this world back in Noah’s day. God made the tough call to destroy the whole world because of all the wickedness and suffering with a flood. And He started over with the most righteous man alive, along with his family. But soon thereafter the groaning continued...

Next He tried establishing a nation of people called by His name. With His law. With a fearless, faithful, meek leader (Moses). God clears out the barbaric people of Canaan and He gives his people the new land, promising them everything in their hearts. But soon thereafter the groaning continued...

Maybe all that was a lack of money and education. So God also found the wisest leader around, Solomon, and gave His people a killer economy. He makes them a recognized superpower in the known world. But within a few years there’s a civil war and everything falls apart again, and the groaning continued…

You get the picture. God could flex and fix it all. But that never works.

God doesn’t flex and fix. He fixes people.

As we suffer pain, and toil, and endure hardship, God is preparing us. He is preparing us for the day when the world will be made new. And we will be made new - given a new body and a new heart. And once we have been fixed, this world can be fixed, too, without spiraling right back into “groaning.”

It’s fascinating to think about all this.
What’s the point of this life if God can just “fix” us all now? (And why the suffering?!)
How is God preparing us for that day? (And what on earth do we need to be prepared for?)
What “glory” will we have? (Will there be red carpets all over heaven for me to walk on?)

In my next post, I’ll dig into these questions a bit more. Click below to see the next article:
What is the Christian Hope?

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