Pastor John, assuming someone is persuaded by the last podcast, episode 204, that God can will that sin be without himself sinning, how does such a conviction bring comfort to the Christian’s life?
The truth of God’s sovereignty over sin — my sin, the world’s sin — and over all the evil in the world creates a problem for some people. In the end, for those who rest in it, see it in the Bible, and believe that God is their Father through Jesus Christ, for them, for me, we find this doctrine to be of enormous comfort. We find this to be of enormous helpfulness in the face of the worst things in the world because of a couple of reasons.
Your Life Has a Purpose
If he is not there and things are happening at random, then we are the victim of meaninglessness to the core of all things. I know there are people who would rather live with that than live with a God of purposefulness, but I wouldn’t.
“By getting God off the hook of causality, we hang ourselves on helplessness.”
I believe that far deeper hope is given to those who have lost loved ones and to those who are struck down with some terrible calamity. Far deeper hope is given to say, “This was not meaningless. This will prove to do something beyond all your imagination for your good if you will trust the living God and receive his Son as your Lord and Savior.” That is the first thing.
God Can Help You
The second thing is, just in principle, if God is so weak or so evil or so foolish that he cannot cause an earthquake not to happen or a plane not to fly into the side of a building, then his weakness or his ignorance or his malevolence will never be a comfort to me in all the challenges that I face in life. In other words, by getting God off the hook of causality, we hang ourselves on helplessness.
So I think if people will stay with this God, meditate long and hard, see his face in the face of Jesus Christ loving them and dying for them, they will in the end find that his sovereignty is one of the sweetest comforts they have ever known.