As a child (1960’s) I attended my first football match, outside the ground I noticed an old man with a sandwich-board declaring “The End of the World is nigh”; was I fearful – yes, I was worried we’d lose, Ignorance was bliss.
Today the old man has been replaced by world leaders, with the help of an oppressive 24/7 media coverage, am I worried – No, Knowledge is bliss.
The truth is we have been in a war on terror since the time of Adam, The war I refer to is a spiritual war. Paul tells us, for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
In the past I have wondered like many people, why God allows things to happen, why has he not answered my prayers, or when faced with a crisis, you have heard the expression, “we’ve done and tried everything, now all we can do is pray” or “It’s in God hand now”. I confess I found my answers in scripture.
God does not control everything!
Does God control you when you get bitter, angry, do and say hurtful things-No, so if he doesn’t control us in those circumstances he doesn’t control everything?
God gives us a choice; he will not violate his authority, he will not force his will on people.
Yes, Bad things do happen through no fault of our own (problems with-Marriage, relationships, finance, security, work, health, addictions, fears ad infinitum), but we have been forewarned; “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy”.
However, God through his grace tells us: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly,” He warned there will be struggles but he is there for us: “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
There is a well-known saying, knowledge is power; and in scripture, I read “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”, do not let the world destroy you; we are Gods heirs.
Gods plan is to give us good things, he has bequeathed everything to us in his last will and testament, he has given us the powers of attorney, all we have to do is to take authority and exercise his will.
However Circumstances can conspire to make us doubt Gods Will. God gave Adam & Eve Dominion over the entire world, but the thief came; through doubt and temptation Adam surrendered all his authority to Satan.
Jesus, like Eve was tempted by Satan. Satan’s timing was perfect, the opportune moment, Jesus was alone, tired, hungry and physically weak; don’t forget Jesus was the word made flesh; Jesus become Man just like us.
Satan quoted scripture chapter and verse to Jesus; same tactics, to question his belief and trust in the word of God.
Jesus defeated Satan as a man, not as God, he said “It is written”.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and Jesus exercised his God given authority, it was God’s word that defeated Satan, and Jesus’s faith and belief in the word.
It is hard to have faith; did you know Jesus could do no mighty works due to their unbelief.
I must stress the reason bad things happen, is not a result of one’s lack of faith.
The disciples struggled with their faith and they had Jesus with them.
In Luke: John the Baptist had a crisis of faith, Jesus directed John back to the written Word of God. John was well versed in scripture, he himself had quoted from Isaiah and Jesus had just fulfilled what Isaiah had prophesized in scripture.
It is written “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”. If I was to read the Gospel as one would a Will, it would read like:
To ______ You are forgiven and healed, you have All the power over the enemy, you have my helper who will shew you things to come, you can ask in my name and I will provide, I will never leave you, you have authority to move mountains (problems) when you trust in my word (whosoever shall say) and do not doubt.
To list all of Gods promises would exceed this page.
“God is not a man that he should lie; hath he said, and shall he not do it”
Trust in the word of God, The written word of God will direct your path, KJV- Proverbs 4:20 -27
(This article was originally published as part of St David’s Messenger in April 2018)