Tuesday, October 20, 2020
When Someone is peels away your protection from harm,
is it evil or good?
It is evil … and it is God’s blessing.
On the day of prosperity be joyful, and on the day of adversity consider; God has made the one as well as the other, so that mortals may not find out anything that will come after them.
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
Words of Grace For Today
There are all sorts of explanations for why evil exists.
Prosperity is easy for humans to explain; we worked hard for our success and deserve the privilege and comforts afforded by our prosperity.
Adversity is also easy for humans to explain, as long as it is not their own adversity; they did not work hard but were lazy, or made mistakes because they were not smart, or were corrupt (like everyone else) and got caught, or took risks and had bad luck and were caught out … or … and on go the explanations.
Neither are right, necessarily nor primarily, nor are sufficiently correct to stand long on their own. The beginning of the real explanation for prosperity is that God blesses creation with some success. The beginning of the real explanation for adversity is that God blesses creation with some failure.
From there, why we and others enjoy prosperity or adversity, is a complicated mix of circumstances of time and environment and agency – a bit of our own, but mostly others’ agency.
Ecclesiastes’ explanation is interesting: God makes prosperity and adversity so that we do not know what will come in the future. That may well be. It teaches us that ONLY God can be trusted, not adversity (for example of our enemies) nor prosperity.
Paul in many and various ways points us to rely on God alone. Here he provides the reassurance that all things work for good … (which is blatantly not true, but he qualifies it with) for those who love God. Which is blatantly not true, for example all the martyrs through the generations, and all those Christians who have suffered at the cruel hands of others.
Paul is right though in a more profound sense: while the circumstances and suffering of our lives may not seem like they are worked out for good, ours or anyone else’s, God works in marvellous ways to bring blessings from evil. In the end God always will win, and therefore even when we suffer not, God will bring good out of it for us and for all others. In this way Paul is most certainly right. God works all things for good! for everyone.
Even our most evil, cruel enemies.
God is creator and always the victor. We are blessed to be God’s children, adopted by the sacrifice of Jesus.
There is a story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbours came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. “May be,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbours exclaimed. “May be,” replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbours again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “May be,” answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbours congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “May be,” said the farmer.
We can answer with the farmer, “Maybe.” With Christ we can answer to both prosperity and adversity: “It is God’s blessings, no maybe about it.”