Big Q #1: How do I know if God is real?
This question I think everyone has wrestled with, even if you have been a believer for years. “Does God really exist?”
As I was talking to one of my friends about this question, he said something that struck me hard: “When you look at a painting, you think of a painter.”
We are wonderfully and creatively made. God has created you in His image; He is the painter, you are the masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (NLT)
I love this verse, because we can look at ourselves and see God exist because He made us.
The same is with the world around us… The sunsets, when the leaves change, and when the flowers bloom… that is God working and forming beauty. Psalm 19:1-4 says:
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.” (NIV)
When you look up in the sky and see the stars, or watch a sunset or sunrise, how can you not realize that something bigger than us must have made this all?
Finally, God shows His existence by the law that we all have written on our hearts. Romans 2:14-15 says:
“[Those] who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.” (NIV)
You and I each have within us a sense of right and wrong. When we see injustice, we are angered. When we see pain, we know something’s not right. When someone hurts us or someone we love, we want to see it stop. Where do you think that comes from?
It comes from God. Ever had that tap on your shoulder telling you to stop when you’re about to do something wrong? That’s God. Ever been compelled to do the right thing even when it doesn’t make sense? That’s Him again! God is truth, and there is absolute truth in this world. He made it, and we have it written on our hearts.
God’s creation screams His name and our conscience urges us that there must be something bigger than us. Even for the most logical of people, it takes more faith to believe that all of this is random than it does to believe in a God who made it all.
Big Q #2: Why do bad things happen to good people?/ Why is there evil in the world?
This is a great question! This question is super relevant now because of what was going on in our world with ISIS and the attacks on Paris. We don’t understand why bad things happen in this world and why they sometimes happen to the people close to us.
Maybe this same question came to you:
You didn’t plan for you parents to get the divorce…
You didn’t plan to get an injury your senior year…
You didn’t plan for your girlfriend or boyfriend to break up with you…
You didn’t plan for someone to pass away…
We never plan for the worst to happen, and when it happens it’s hard to see what God is doing. Many of us have asked, “How can God let bad things happen?”
What I would say about this question might be tough to hear: We will never fully know the answer to this question this side of heaven. That’s hard for me even to type out, but it’s true.
So here are three things to always remember when times get tough.
1. God is good!
In the good times, God is good. In the bad times, God is good. In the rough times, God is good. In the stressful times, God is good. When nothing is going right in your life, God is good. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. Remember that! God is good and He can bring good about in any situation. Romans 8:28 tells us that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NLT)
2. God is all powerful
God holds the whole universe in His hands. He is a bread giving, water walking, graving robbing, miracle working God. How many times in scripture do we see God controlling the storms, bringing miracles to His people? God is all powerful, he controls everything on this earth. He is never surprised when sometimes happens on His earth. Even when life seems chaotic God is in control. Isaiah 55:8 says:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways.” (NIV)
God has a greater understand than us, a higher perspective than us, and a more knowledge than us. He perceives things that we cannot, so we can trust that He is control.
3 . Bad thing happens
Maybe you are asking yourself, “well if God is so good, why doesn’t he just take the evil out of the world?” If He did that on Saturday at noon, we’d all be gone. We won’t live to see it because we all have what the Bible calls sin. At the very beginning of the world God created humans with the ability to choose. Some choose to follow God and others do not. If God simply got rid of evil and made every person love Him, he would reduce all of us to nothing more than robots. He loves us enough to let us choose.
In times of heart ache, in times of sadness, in times of pain you can trust that God is a God who can turn tragedy into triumph. Jesus was the ultimate example of this. He did not wrong, yet died a criminals death on a cross, all for you and me. Only God could turn that bloody cross into an empty tomb – Jesus rose from the dead and made a way for all people to find peace, hope, and forgiveness in Him.
Bad things do happen in this world, but we have a good God who loves us and is in complete control, even when we don’t understand.