By Greg Forde (guest blogger)
Whenever we experience a tragedy, we turn to God for comfort. Aware of His sovereign power, we pray to Him for strength to overcome our struggle. We seek His help to move forward. Yet, some of us question God for allowing a tragedy (like the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut) to happen. We sometimes ask (perhaps not vocally, but silently), “God, why did You allow this murder to happen?” The ultimate answer, of course, is because He is sovereign and does whatever pleases Him. The psalmist says in Psalm 135:5-6: “the LORD is great….Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth.”
To some people this answer is not comforting; and therefore, they look for another answer, ignoring the fact that God is in control of everything. Ironically, they want strength from God but deny that He has the power to control everything. They cannot accept that it was God who ultimately took the lives of 20 children and 6 adults in Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
In Genesis 50:19-20, at the culmination of Joseph’s journey from a pit to a palace, he comforts his brothers who sold him for 20 pieces of silver: “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
Here Joseph describes how the all-powerful God used the evil work of his brothers for their good and for God’s glory. In God’s wisdom, sovereignty, and providence He utilizes evil to accomplish His holy purpose. We see this truth at Calvary in which God was pleased to use the evil of the cross to conquer the Devil. God used the death of His Son to bring eternal life to those who believe in Him.
So, you may ask, “What is the good that comes from the Newtown shooting?” We do not know how God’s plan will continue to unfold, but we do know that God, in His awesome power, can use this event to get each of us to turn our eyes to the cross of Christ.
Remember, God wants more faith. He wants not just a lip service in our homes, schools, and government, but a true return to Jesus Christ. We are not afraid to turn to Christ on our terms, but are we willing to turn to Christ on His terms?
With his wife Pat, Greg Forde resides in Alto, Michigan and serves as an elder at Dutton URC, Caledonia, Michigan.
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