LETTER: God sees the total picture
To the Editor:
"Why would a loving God allow such a terrible thing to happen?" This remark, often heard after tragic and unexplainable events, reveals a lack of understanding about God and his written word, which he graciously gives for our learning. The holy Bible reveals our need for salvation and God's desire for our repentance and restoration. Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" — John14:27.
God works all things together for his purposes; He sees the total picture. "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last" — Revelation 22:13. The prophet Isaiah (Ch.45) articulates the words of a God who is very jealous over his creation:
I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the Lord, do all these things.
Turn to me and be saved,
all you ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is no other.
Turning to God involves repentance. Luke 13 records the sobering remarks that Jesus made to the people concerning to two tragic events that occurred during his ministry here on earth. He concludes both with the need for repentance. The first event was inspired by evil; the second was the result of an "accident" with no evil intent.
"Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those 18 on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."
Proverbs 27:11 states, "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth." In tragic circumstances and sufferings, we must not question or blame God; His grace is sufficient. Instead, we must search within them for the "kindness of God" that leads to repentance. — (Romans 2:4). The sufferings of one can benefit another, for the Lord "is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" — 2 Peter 3:9.
Robert A. Watson