Why is God hidden? Why are there so many different religions? How can a good, all-powerful God allow evil?
In the past I have made philosophical responses to these questions; here, I will give a historical response.
I’ll begin with an illustration: I have twins (I have 3 kids, actually, and another on the way – all girls – so, pray for me if you’re a Christian). My oldest are 3-year-olds, and they were born very premature; they’re very apt to get illnesses, so recently they both got pneumonia. My job is to give them their antibiotics. I’m sure you can imagine how this goes…crying, throwing temper tantrums, etc… My little 3-year-olds are wonderful, cute, ridiculously adorable, but they can be pretty naughty. One of them, Elsie, wouldn’t take her antibiotics; she couldn’t understand that I had a good purpose for what I was doing with her.
I had a good purpose.
She could not even begin to understand this.
What’s the difference between my little girl Elsie and I? Thirty years.
What’s the difference between you and God? It’s infinity.
So I would begin to introduce the idea to you that there’s nothing illogical about the fact that we’re sitting here in a world we do not understand. Because there’s a God who is infinitely above us.
Now back to that illustration with my girl and I - why does little Elsie eventually take the antibiotics?
Trust. Trust based on evidence.
That’s what faith is.
Trust based on evidence.
She trusts me because she knows I love her to death, because she knows I love her mom like crazy, because she’s seen the way I live. She trusts me, not because of what she doesn’t understand, but because of what she does know, right?
In the very same way, that’s how I begin to address the problem of evil, divine hiddenness, etc. I look at this world; I don’t understand it. But I look at the resurrection of Jesus, and I say this: “If that’s true,” – I’ve given 5 reasons for it – “if Jesus resurrected, he proved something incredible.”
He proved that God became one of us.
Not only that – that he suffered with us. He was broken; he was homeless. Jesus was a homeless, itinerant preacher. He felt our pain: abandoned by those who loved him, died on a cross, humiliated, naked, despised, why?
To save people like us.
My response to that is, if that’s true about God - and I have good, factual historical reasons to believe it’s true, trust based on fact – I can trust that God is good in the things I don’t know…no matter what that might be…I trust God because of the evidence.
That would be my challenge for you. Maybe you’re struggling with truth. Maybe you’re wondering what you’re going to do with your life. What are you going to put your hope in. I would say this: don’t trust based on your feelings. Trust based on the evidence.
(1) the early appearances of the risen Jesus,
(2) the impact of those appearances,
(3) the explanation of the experiences,
(4) the unique context of Jesus resurrection,
(5) and the power that can be in your life.
Trust Jesus based on the facts.
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