Growing in the Lord

Is God picking the next president?

I’d wager its a safe bet a majority of us all will be very unhappy with the next Presidential selection.

But, while He certainly isn’t causing terrible things to happen, God can and does redeem and use even terrible situations.

Let me unpack each of those briefly.

GOD ISN’T CAUSING TERRIBLE THINGS TO HAPPEN

Some people say that God is causing everything that happens. Christian philosopher Jerry Walls calls this a “pious confusion” – pious because it aims to glorify God, confused because it ends up attributing all evil to God’s pre-scripted “Plan A.”

Consider Hosea 8:4 – “they set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval…”

Also, Jeremiah 18 and Isaiah 5:4 solidify the case that God can work for our good yet we refuse to receive the good from His hand. “What more could I have done for my vineyard [Israel]?” says the Lord, “why, when I looked for good grapes, did I find only bad?”

“Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is not even a shifting shadow.”  God may judge us, but this is in response to our sins, and He delights in reversing His declarations of and intentions for chastisement (see Jeremiah 18).

GOD CAN AND DOES REDEEM TERRIBLE SITUATIONS

We need look no further than our own lives to see that this is so. But looking beyond our own situations, we see that God’s redemption of all mankind arose from the most terrible crime ever committed: Jesus’ unjust sentence to death.

Fifty-three days after Jesus was executed (and 50 days after He rose again), Peter preached a sermon convicting the men who carried out the very crucifixion: “You crucified and killed [Him] by the hands of lawless men.” On that very day, this rebuke and God’s grace convicted the hearts of over 3,000 people, who chose to turn to God’s mercy and grace from the very Man whom they had killed. The sermon that convicted them was preached by the very man who had fearfully denied Jesus just seven weeks prior.

Sometimes the worst mistakes of our lives are the catalysts for our greatest growth. Let’s pray that will be the case on a personal and national level.

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