Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Sovereign

Have you ever been extremely sorrowful, almost lost for the disrepair of your state seemed beyond hope, yet you were at peace, even satisfied, with your circumstances?

The world, for the most part, does not understand joy. It operates in the context that joy is synonymous with happiness, contingent on the relative pleasantness of one's state.

I am approaching this point of sorrowful yet at peace.

I am joyful.

I base this joy on my knowledge of God. Life sucks. People suck. They disappoint eventually. God is altogether not disappointing, so far as He is faithful, pure and good. I know that in Christ, God has revealed a glorious love, one that leaves any benefit that this world can offer in want.

The million dollar question: how can such a loving and perfect God allow such deplorable conditions to exist? Why not rid our condition of evil? Going further back, why allow sin to exist at all? Could He have not prevented it in the first place? Is He not responsible, via neglect, for sin and evil? How can we trust and worship a god who sovereignly chooses this scenario?

I have plenty of thoughts on this? None of them commandingly demands adherence. I think what satisfies my angst is a picture of God that He revealed to me, one of impeccable beauty, power, love, healing, reconciliation... The purpose of the mess is to reveal the infinite worth of the Absolute. A glass of pure water cannot be appreciated and enjoyed for its inherently good quality unless one has known experientially of a muddied, metallic water. We cannot fathom the glorious perfections of God unless we knew intimately Depravity. But the analogy fails when considering the lack of power that water has to illustrate what emotional baggage such an experience has on the participant; God, in contrast, is powerful to make right our circumstances for his recipients of mercy.

Still, why some and not all? Why send anyone to Hell? How unfair is that? We are quick to call foul, never realizing that if this was his design, we would never have the free will we so desperately treasure, to choose him or not (if one wanted to reject salvation, they couldn't if all were saved). Our human agency is rendered inconsequential and meaningless, void of any value unless humanity maintains responsibility, a free and independent will exercised by the soul, apart from God's determining. Is it not our choice to rebel that led us to this mess, and ultimately our fault, not God, for our state? Can we rightly say that the sun is at fault and the cause of the dew to settle at night for lack of its rays presence (Edwards' argument)? Likewise, can we blame God for not upholding humanity, preventing a Fall from grace? Is He not just to punish such rebellion in the way He determines sovereignly, just as He is sovereign to choose to prevent or not our demise?

To the one who has no concept of God's infinite greatness and love, the problem of evil is an unconquerable mountain. To those that glimpse this, and have a notion that this universe and all that is in it is designed and purposed to display a Great God, the problem of evil is a bit more inconsequential (Phil 3:7-11).

I have joy because my God is becoming increasingly lovely in my comprehension of Him. What is man that you are mindful of him? How great is our God for making relationship with Him possible!

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