I’ve read a few books and spent a number of weeks in one my classes focusing on the question: will faith survive?
Will faith survive when life hits hard?
Will faith survive when life isn’t?
That is the question I’ve been grappling with for well over a month. Not that I’m dealing with any huge struggles in my life, but I know plenty who are. It is very common to question where God is or if he exists when life is at its worst.
I don’t normally blog on a topic like this. It is a little too devotional for blogging I think. I’m sure my hits will go down. But I think this is a topic that God has been speaking to me about recently, so I’m going to talk about it anyway. I think that I probably write for comments too often. This will not be writing for comments. I write that you might share your story (in the comments or you can email through the contact page), and that God can use these mere words to speak to you.
I recently read If God Disappears by David Sanford who is from the Portland area. In the book he talked about some of the most famous philosophers of our time. Many even grew up in the church. Sanford said:
“Very bad things happened to them or their loved ones, often when they were very young. Many even went on to study in seminary, but they didn’t find the answers they were looking for. So they turned against God with a vengeance. It can happen to any of us.”
Through the book Sanford looks at different people he has come in contact with and shares part of their story and how God disappeared. Some stories end with reconciliation to God, others do not.
Here are some of my thoughts:
- It was God’s will for Jesus to suffer on the cross (Acts 4:28).
- God permits lots of terrible things that he does not approve of.
- God allows what he hates to accomplish what he loves.
Sanford ends his book with these words (I have zero idea how to fit this into a theological grid):
“What if the Lord sometimes disappears on purpose? What if God, by his very actions, is commanding us to get more serious about following him in a whole new, radically different, risking-everything, not-sure-where-this-is-going sort of way?”