Writing to the church at Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul
1 Thessalonians 3:2-4:
we sent Timothy…
to strengthen and encourage you as to your faith, so that no one would be
disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been
destined for this. For indeed when we were with you, we kept telling you in
advance that we were going to suffer affliction; and so it came to pass, as you
we sent Timothy…
He said it was their destiny to suffer
affliction! What if God let you know in advance that it was your destiny to
suffer affliction? Would you still follow him?
You say, "Well Smooth, God doesn't operate that way." Doesn't he?
Think about the life of Job.Job was a very
wealthy righteous man who loved and followed God. One day Satan goes to God and
says, “The only reason he loves and follows you is because you are so good to
him.” And so God allows Satan to bring more and more trials and affliction into
Job’s life. He lost everything: cattle, sheep, camels, servants (all of his
livelihood). Even all of his children were killed. Later he lost his health. He
lost everything. And he had no idea why. He was a righteous man putting God
first in all things. So why would God do this? A couple of Job’s friends come
to see him, and they all have their theories as to why God would allow these
things. Most of them have to do with some kind of sin being in Job’s life. But
Job knew that he was righteous before God, and he couldn’t make sense out of
what God was doing. So finally, Job cries out,
“Let the Almighty answer me!”
Essentially he said, “God
why did you allow this to happen to ME?” And several chapters later, God
answers, and says:
"Who is this that darkens my counsel
with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.
Job "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off
its dimensions? Surely you know! Who
stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid
its cornerstone- while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted
for joy?"Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the
womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when
I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, 'This
far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt'?
"Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place?
The only answer that God even gave Job was, "You can't get it. You can't understand me or my ways. You don't have the perspective that I have, and I don't have to explain myself to you."
As a part of his larger plan, sometimes God ALLOWS terrible things to happen. He never causes it, but sometimes (even many times) he allows it to happen. And when he does, he does not owe us an explanation. He's God we're not.
You say, "Well Smooth, you're proof texting. You've chosen to focus on one passage to the exclusion all the rest of Scripture." Well, hang on to that little tid-bit for the day, and I'll share more tomorrow.