A common misconception about Christianity and faith in God is that is the miracle cure to whatever problem you might have. So very, very wrong! As we’ve seen through the introduction of James, life is one of trials and hardship for those who faith in God. Let the hard times roll! It’s almost the slogan for the Christian.
However, the misconception goes further to say that God is the bad guy. All this stuff, it’s all God’s fault. Well, in some ways, it is. God, ultimately, is in control and all-powerful. Without getting too deep into why bad things happen if God is such a loving God, just imagine loving parents who don’t ever discipline, scold, allow their children to be released into the harsh realities of the real world. (If you want me to talk about it more, ask and I’ll put in on the list for my next series.)
When tempted no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone…
James seems to provide a fairly logical explanation, but I gather for most people these days it just doesn’t cut it. I could rant about why people don’t like an explanation James gives but I’ll contain myself. The logic that an all-powerful God who claims to love humanity yet doesn’t lift a finger to remove injustice and suffering doesn’t sit well with a lot of people. Yet, ironically, on the flipside, people cannot come to terms with submitting control of their world to this all-powerful God. It’s a vicious never-ending cycle that the human mind will never comprehend and accept.
The simple truth that James states is God is not evil. God may have been the creator of all things, but He himself is not evil. I heard a great explanation of what evil is – that is, the absence of God. Where God is not, Satan stands in God’s place and assumes influence where God is no longer. Though, it must be said, Christians face temptations and it is only by the permission and allowance given by the all-powerful God (see the story of Job) where temptation and hardship are allowed.
I keep edging to answer the question of why an all-powerful God would allow such things but this will end up being an essay. In short, the simple answer is faith. Faith is an act of trust that this all-powerful God knows what He’s doing and that, while painful, in the end has the best intention in mind for each and every person. Now, it’s up to each and every person to accept that fact and place their trust, place their faith, in God and allow Him to work His wonders in their lives. Beyond that, I can’t expect to satisfy any desire to have an answer to the question.
Next time I’ll be look at source of temptation.