Is God Really In Control?
God in many canonical religions like Christianity is a supreme being, the ruler and the creator of the universe. In other words, God is in Control. This being is the source of all moral authority and is also referred to as Maker, Creator or Lord. Others believe that God is a supernatural being or spirit that has power over nature and destiny as is the case with a moon god.
From a Christian point of view, God is supreme, all knowing, all seeing and has the power to turn things and lives around. For instance, he parted the Red Sea for Moses and the Israelites to cross on their journey from Egypt to Canaan and He let the sea swallow the Egyptians who had been following them to take them back as captives (Exodus 14). This same God allowed them to be taken into captivity by Babylonians (2nd Kings 25) and watched them suffer in Egypt as slaves (Exodus 1,2&5). How then are we to believe that He is in control especially in times of evil and suffering?
When Bad Things Happen
Does God still love us when He allows bad things to happen to us? Is God in control when our friends and family are killed in bombings and terrorist attacks? What control does God possess when innocent children are dying of hunger in famine stricken places? Where is this God as girls and women are raped and killed in war zones? Where is His control in times of lack and pain? If He was actually in control why is there so much evil all around? Where is His renown love at this time?
All these misfortunes witnessed in daily living beg the question, what is evil? Augustine, a Christian thinker, tends towards evil not being a thing by itself but rather a parasite of good. It is a lack of something. Evil would be nonexistent if there was no good. For instance, a hole in a pocket is not anything; just a piece of cloth missing-a lack of something. Therefore, with evil being a deprivation and not a thing or substance, God is not the author of evil, but of good and our moral decisions are what result in evil as per Augustine’s view.
Benefits of Trials
Moral decisions? What moral decision did Job make that caused him all that suffering? (Job 1&2). He was a good man who did all that was morally right but God still allowed Satan to afflict him. This leads to only one conclusion. God is in Control.
Evil and suffering are not necessarily a result of poor moral choices. Sometimes God lets the bad come our way so He can prove Himself able and powerful. Job, for instance, really suffered but in the end did he not have a restoration of family and double of the possessions he had before? (Job 42:10). If he had not gone through the pain the double blessing would never have been his portion. Additionally, Job would not have been able to say, “I have heard of you with the hearing of my ear but now my eyes have seen you.” Job literally went from just hearing about the invisible God to actually experiencing God in his circumstances.
God Has a Plan for Us
Suffering or not, God always has a plan for good and not evil. Plans to bring hope and a future. Faith in Him is all that He requires. James 1:1-13, count it all joy in tempting times because the trying of faith works patience. Yes, in good and bad times God is in control. Endure the suffering knowing that He is always with you even amid the storm.