Dear Covenant Church Family,
I do hope to see all of you this Lord’s Day. The following is a question that I received recently along with my answer. By the way, I received permission to share it with you. I thought it might be interesting to some of you.
Dear Pastor Scott,
I have a question from your sermon the Sunday before last, Nov 30.
You mentioned that God “gave a man MS” which eventually caused him to repent, etc. This confuses me because I have never thought that God GAVE people illnesses, diseases and problems. I have consoled myself with the idea that instead, God ALLOWED things to happen. To me this is a big difference. If this is true, then it implies that God would cause wars and other bad things to happen (like ebola).
Could you explain what this all means?
You ask a good question! And it is a question that many have debated for a long time. We know that God is not the author of evil for there is no darkness in Him at all. See 1 John 1:5. But, he does ordain all things that come to pass and he uses all things for the glory of his name. Think about the most important event in all of history so far… the death of our Savior upon a Roman cross. Did the Lord just allow that to happen or did he make sure that it happened? See Acts 4:27-28. In a mysterious way known only to God he works everything out in this world according to his purposes and for his glory… even the evil that takes place such as you mentioned like wars and ebola. see Proverbs 16:4 and Isaiah 45:7.
When I mentioned my friend who had this disease… my friend saw it as the mercy of God because it was at that time that my friend saw his mortality, his responsibility before God, his life of sin, the glory of the cross, and ultimately his need to repent and follow Jesus. That is why his favorite verses in the bible were from Psalm 119. Look up verses 67 and 71. He believed that God used that disease in his life (which eventually killed him) to be the very thing that God used to wake him up to see his need for Jesus.
May we be consoled with the fact that our Lord doesn’t just allow bad things to happen, but that he has ordained all things to happen for our good and for his glory. That doesn’t mean that living in this fallen world is easy. It’s not!! But, his grace is sufficient for us and it reminds us to not get comfortable here as we keep our eyes on Jesus and on the “better home” that is coming, a heavenly one. That place where there will be no more bad things like diseases and wars and murder and divorce and death and the list goes on.
Hymns for Worship:
#195 Joy to the World! The Lord Is Come
#211 God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen
#295 Crown Him with Many Crowns
“The Passion of Our Lord”
Main Idea: Humble submission to the passionate authority of Jesus to restore and reform our lives for the praise of His glory.
1) His Passion for Reverent Heart Worship (vv 12-13)
2) His Passion to Heal Our Needs (v 14)
3) His Passion to Hear Our Praises (vv 15-17)
May God Bless you,