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Trusting God in the New Year December 31, 2011

Posted by thesociallyawkwardchristian in Christianity.
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As I write this, we are approximately 6 hours away from the year 2012. New Year’s Eve always brings a melancholy feeling of nostalgia to me, and like many others, hope for the future. Frankly, it is discouraging to be in more or less the same position I was last year. Though there are differences to be sure.

Last year I had a girlfriend who I loved; this year that same girl refuses to speak to me.

Last year I had no job at all; this year I have a job, though one that I am in no way passionate about.

Last year I believed that my sister could never have her own children; this year I anxiously await for my nephew to be born.

As you can see, and can probably relate to, 2011 brought it’s share of pain, frustration, and joy.

The things that I prayed for most did not happen. I’m still single and I still don’t have a job that matters.

And yet I applaud God’s performance in 2011 and eagerly await to see what He has planned for 2012. Because, being that God’s promises to me were not fulfilled in 2011, that means the chances of them being fulfilled in 2012 are that much better. This is what I want us to cling to in 2012. God is faithful. His plan is still to prosper. He has not forgotten us. The fact that His promises have not been fulfilled only means that they will be in the future. That is something worth celebrating in the New Year. Praise be to God Almighty, The Liberating King Jesus, the lover of our souls and the lifter of our heads. Let us trust in Him, and He will make our paths straight.

Happy New Year!

Why I DON’T Believe Everything Happens for a reason December 15, 2011

Posted by thesociallyawkwardchristian in Christianity.
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“I know everything happens for a reason…”

It’s one of the most common theological statements I hear. One that is stated without even a hint of doubt. People are supremely confident that no matter what happens, there is a reason for it. A lesson to be learned through the event. The problem is, I don’t think it’s true.

Just this morning, one of my Facebook friends posted this status:

If you love somebody, let them go. If they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.

Translation: If you go through a break up, there’s a reason for it. If you get back together, the “timing” wasn’t right. If you don’t, there’s somebody better out there.

It sounds good on the surface. Que sera sera. Whatever will be will be. Whatever happens is God’s Will, right? Well…not necessarily.

The false belief is that whatever happens, is what God wanted to happen. The conventional thinking being that the only reason God would ever let anything bad happen to us whether it be a break up, a job loss, the death of a loved one, or even something on a grander scale like Hurricane Katrina or the Japanese earthquake, is to teach us something to fulfill His purposes for our lives. In some instances, that probably is the case. God certainly does allow certain things to happen to us for a reason. But, everything? I don’t think so.

To say that everything happens for a reason is to say that everything that happens is what God wants to happen. This simply is not true. The presence of sin attests to that. Does God EVER want us to sin? Of course not! Yet, sin exists. In fact, I believe that some negative things happen to us because of our own sin and poor decisions. However, it’s a lot easier to say that the consequence of our sin was just God’s Will and there’s a reason for it than facing the real reason for it: our sin. Also, The Bible is clear that God never wants anyone to die (2 Peter 3:9), but while death has been ultimately defeated through the cross, people still die. This all goes to show that God does not get everything He wants.

Make no mistake, God is in control. But, that does not mean He is all-controlling. He is sovereign, but He is also sovereign over His own sovereignty and He has sovereignly decided to give humans free will. Often times, that free will results in chaos and things happen without any reason. Now, I must say, I find this comforting. It’s comforting because I don’t have to look for the reason in every bad thing that happens to me, I can just trust in God to heal me. It’s comforting because I can rest assured that God has my ultimate good at heart and is not predestining things to cause me pain. It’s comforting because God can bring peace in the chaos.

There is a reason for some things. I trust that God will be able to teach us the reason without us having to obsess over what the reason might be when there is a reason. When there is no reason, we can still trust in His promise that He will make ALL things no matter how painful, chaotic, or reasonless they may be, work together for the good of those that love Him (Romans 8:28).

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