By Mark Kuenzí
Often, we don't understand the circumstances of life. There is so much suffering; there are so many poor. We see the hardships of life, the evil of men, and the horrors of war all around us. Many things we don't understand. Sometimes in our frustration and lack of understanding we accuse God.
We ask, "isn't God all powerful and couldn't He stop all this evil?" Since the obvious answer to this question is "yes", why then does God not put an end to evil and suffering? The answer is "He will." The question is "When?" The answer, "According to His time table." The question: "Why not now?" The answer: “Because God has a bigger plan than what we see at this present moment, and He is long suffering. He does not want anyone to perish eternally. He wants all sinners to turn to Him away from their sin. He wants everyone to know Him and to have a close relationship with Him so He can bless them with the best things that this life and eternity have to offer.
In Second Peter 3:9 we read, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
Jesus said, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." (John 10:10, 11)
God pursues a relationship with sinful man through His goodness, tolerance, and patience. Romans 2:4 speaks of God's pursuit of man through His goodness and patience and of sinful man's rejection of God. "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering: not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance."
Many people do not recognize God's goodness, tolerance and patience toward them as sinful men. They do not turn to Him away from their sin. For these people, God uses other means to try to get their attention. Jeremiah 25:12 says, “I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity.” Here we understand that for kings and nations who do not respond to God's goodness, but continue in sin, God sends punishment as a consequence.
God chastens His own children as well. Scripture states, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?" (Hebrews 12:5b-7) Often, children do not understand that love is the reason their father and mother discipline or spank them. Parents want what is best for their child, and discipline is needed to guide them on the right course. Likewise, most people do not understand that God is a loving father who brings chastisement into the lives of His children so they will walk in obedience, close by His side, where they can experience the best that this life has to offer.
In Psalm 46:10 we read, "Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."Rest with confidence in the Creator of the Universe, who is good and loving and has control of every situation. Be quiet; "Be still and know"that God is God and that He and His righteousness will one day be exalted in all the earth by all nations.
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory" (Isaiah 6:3) This is what the Holy Bible teaches about God. God is holy; He is set apart from sin. God is wholly (completely) holy; He is completely good in all that He is and in everything that He does.
Be still and know God. Holy Scripture teaches us that "God is love." (1 John 4:8b) The greatest demonstration of that love was the offering of himself, as the Son of God to pay the penalty of our sin. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world: but that the world through him might be saved." (John3:16, 17).Christ died for us while we were still sinners. "But God commendeth (showed) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8). "Be still and know" that all of your sins, past, present, and future, have been paid for. Christ, the sinless son of God, died for your sins and paid your debt. Proof that His sinless sacrifice was accepted of God the Father is seen in His resurrection and victory over death.
"Be still and know"what Deuteronomy 32:4 reveals about God. "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he." Christ, who is God, is the solid immovable Rock on which we can place our faith for salvation and stand firm through all of this life's difficulties. "His work is perfect". As the all-knowing, all-powerful, Eternal One, everything He does is complete and sound. "For all his ways are judgment." In everything He does, He acts according to decisions weighted out by His righteous justice. He is a God of truth, without unrighteousness. He is just and upright.Be still and know God.
You and I cannot understand the big picture of life through the small pinhole of our perspective. But, when you come to know God and understand who He is, you will understand that you can trust Him and rest in His love and His plan for you - even when you don't understand.
Be still and know God. Believe Him. Trust that Christ alone has the power to save you from your sin and its wages, death.