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Curse God and Die?  Or Not

The other day I was listening to a podcast by Ravi Zacharias and he was saying the two things that bring you to God or take you away from God were ecstasy or pain.  How true is that?

No doubt these two go together.  Over the years I’ve heard too many clients say they can’t believe in God because of all the problems they’ve seen, the philosophy being there can’t possibly be a God, what with all the evil in the world.  If God doesn’t exist, if we don’t answer to Him, well, then, we’re free to do what we want, right?  So with the pursuit of pleasure God disappears and the emptiness comes.  Pleasure in and of itself is fleeting and then there’s the morning after, and the morning after that and pretty soon everything is meaningless and chasing after the wind.

The Evil Within

But for me it’s the opposite.  I absolutely believe in God BECAUSE of the presence of evil, both my penchant for it and the shadow of it.  It’s the presence of evil in my own heart that drives me to God.  Apart from Him, my life would be filled with resentment and bitterness and anger and, I know, for sure, I’d be a lustaholic.  I’m a step away from my own selfishness and idolatry consuming me.  The temptation is real.  When the Bible says, “Flee youthful lusts”* it doesn’t mean that when you are old the temptations go with it.  I wish that were so.

The Uninvited Troubles

But then there’s the problems I never asked for, didn’t deserve, I think, and they are here anyway.  What then?

When dark days come, I pray I might be like Job, who after his wife told him to curse God and die, what with all his problems, he said, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?”

Then the writer of Job comments: “In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.”**

In all this.

In all this.

All the problems.  All the pain.  Job had lost his children, his possessions, his health, his comfort, his career, his dignity, his prestige and the respect of his wife.  In all this Job did not sin.

It’s problems that drive our hearts away from God.  Might I reverse that pattern in my own heart:

“God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”***

The Evil in the World

It’s not only the evil in my own heart and trouble in my own life that move me toward God, it’s also the marching toward ecstasy through debauchery in our society that keeps me pleading before God: please spare us Your judgment as we, as a culture, war within our hearts and publicly declare Your nonexistence.  It’s not In God we trust.  It’s in Pleasure we trust and God be damned.

But no one can live as an atheist.  In God’s absence, we make ourselves out to be god.  A small, tiny, insufficient, and very temporary god.

I shudder at our brazenness.  How can we possibly be spared when we reinterpret evil as good and the only intolerance that’s accepted is the intolerance toward those who think evil and God exist and even our President says you are born this way.  Don’t fight the evil within.  Embrace it.  Celebrate it. Encourage it.  Mock and scorn those who think otherwise.

Your theology stoops to your morality or lack thereof.

I’d rather believe in a God that helps us conquer evil and rise above it than in a god that only helps us escape it and after the adrenaline wears off the evil is still there, bold and unyielding.

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*2 Timothy 2:22

**Job 2:10

***Psalm 46:1

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Dr. Bing normally comments on this blog about marriage and marital concerns, but his own life issues have sobered him of late.  You’ll forgive his diversion into spiritual issues for a tad, he hopes.

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Dr. Bing Wall is a therapist specializing in marriage and relationships and issues facing single adults with a practice in Ames and Urbandale, Iowa.  To set up a time to see Dr. Wall click here or call 888-233-8473.  For more information about Dr. Wall click here.

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