Everyone has struggles and trials in their lives. People often find themselves stuck in these moments. They want to know why it is happening or what they have done to incur these problems.
The why is something that we as humans with free will constantly ask. That is why there is great advancement in medicine, science, and technology. People pushing the envelope to find the answers. But there are many things that science cannot answer. So, what does that leave? Faith.
That leap of Faith is very difficult. But it is imperative to remember that we are not “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” like Jonathan Edwards describes in his sermon. This is a sermon that was written in 1741 and it is taught in school as part of the American Writer’s History in schools. Here is a link to the sermon if you are interested: “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”
Jonathan Edwards creates this picture of all of God’s people are basically evil. If you read through the text, you will see what bible versus he chooses to prove his points. He chooses Deuteronomy. Which there is nothing wrong with that, except for the fact that it overlooks everything the New Testament teaches!
Let’s look at Moses and his 40 years in the Wilderness with all those Israelites. They wined and moaned, cut their eyes at Moses and did everything God said not to do. So, God punished them when they did not follow His directions. They instantly repent and go about whatever a normal life in the dessert consists of. For John the Baptist, that was eating Locusts and living like a hermit…yuck.
Back to the point. The story of Moses does show that God punishes his children when they did not follow his directions. In fact, in the Old Testament there are many stories where God said, “Hey don’t do that,” and well the people did.
We as humans have a wonderful gift from God called “Free Will”. This gift is what tends to get us into trouble, because we as people tend to forget one very important thing… We are living God’s will. What happens to us in our lives is not solely based on our decisions or our behaviors. What happens, happens because it is God’s will.
The New Testament tells us about Jesus who came to pay OUR DEBT of sin the cross. That does not mean that the sin never happened, it just means that God has forgiven us for being…HUMAN. That’s right… God isn’t angry. He has a plan for us all and things happen to us for a reason. That reason is not something that you or I will be privy to when it happens. But you must have Faith that God is going to show you the way.
Today, I pondered the many challenges of life I recalled the movie The Wind and the Lion. It stars Sean Connery, Candice Burgeon, and Brian Keith. Sean Connery plays the role of a Barbary Pirate, the last of his kind, called the “Riasuli”. He is a man of the Koran and his band of pirates ride horses in the fashion of the faith called “Fantasia”. He accredits Allah for his life, because he escaped being locked up my his brother the Sultan. He accredits Allah for everything and tells his American guest that the blood of the profit runs through his veins. One of the best scenes is when he and his American guest (Candice) are playing chess.
Eden: [playing chess with Raisuli] You are in a lot of trouble! You should never have moved that knight or kidnapped me – both will see you undone.
Raisuli: It is not I who determine the outcome of these events – it is the will of Allah.
We need to be able to look at whatever situation we are in and say, “It is His will…”
You and I cannot control our lives or the outcomes of events. We have to have Faith that God will determine the outcome of everything.
But remember when life gets you down, or if you should stable or fall… You are not alone. I often remember the sermon from Neil Diamond’s song Brother Love‘s Travelling Salvation Show.
(Halleluja) Brothers (Halle, halleluja) I say brothers
Now you got yourself two good hands
And when your brother is troubled you’ve gotta
reach out your hand for him ’cause that’s what it’s there for
And when your heart is troubled you’ve gotta reach out
your other hand, reach it out to the Man up there
‘Cause that’s what He’s there for
Take my hand in yours
Walk with me this day
In my heart I know
I will never stray
Halle, halle, halle, halle, halle, halle, halle, halle
LetsSingIt – The Internet Lyrics Database
God is there and it is His will that you are here. Open your heart and accept that you are not alone in your struggles. Reach out to your Brothers and Sisters for support, but most importantly reach out “to the Man up there”.