Remember, God is loving and powerful

As a young pastor getting settled in Red Deer, I’ve become a bit unsettled by the number of times. I’ve already heard this comment or a variation of it, “I just can’t believe in a God who would allow this to happen to me

As a young pastor getting settled in Red Deer, I’ve become a bit unsettled by the number of times. I’ve already heard this comment or a variation of it, “I just can’t believe in a God who would allow this to happen to me.

“How can you call God powerful or loving if he makes me suffer this way?”

Maybe you have asked such a question or made such a comment.

It’s a good question to ask. How can God be loving and powerful when your RRSPs are dwindling and you’re worried what bad news your doctor will deliver next?

And if your mind has travelled down this road you know it only leads you to want to hate God and wish him out of existence.

As one who has been down that road and seen the endless despair and bitterness at the end, I know the feeling.

I also know that God is loving and powerful at the same time as I was hurting.

I say I “know” this on purpose — not “I think” or “I feel,” I know. I know this because I know the cross.

Only in the cross where God’s son, Jesus Christ, hung dying for sin does God make sense. Only where God’s power and justice were dished out on a perfectly innocent man, Jesus of Nazereth, can we begin to understand How God operates.

Only where God’s loving mercy is so clearly evident when his perfect Son, Jesus, took our place of deserved punishment can we begin to appreciate what God was doing for us.

Knowing what God did for you opens your eyes to what God is doing for you now. In the book of 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul assures us this is the case where he writes, “However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him,’ but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.”

We like to imagine that a “loving” and “powerful” God should use his love and power to make this world such a great place for us that we’d never want to leave.

We’d like to imagine that a God who is loving and powerful would use all that love and power just as we’d imagine.

The problem is such a god exists only in our imaginations.

There is a God who is loving and powerful. He is the God who demonstrated his love by sending his Son to save us.

He is the God who showed his power by raising that Son from the dead. He is the God who made all this known to us by revealing it through his Holy Spirit in the Bible.

God would have us know his love and power best in the place of bliss he is preparing for us in heaven. That’s not in my imagination; that’s something I know.

If you wait around for God to give you that heaven on this earth, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”

God sent Jesus into this world not to make this world a better place to live in (although Jesus does this for those who live for him), but rather to prepare a better place for us to live in heaven.

Why does God do it this way? Why does he ask me to bear up under suffering now?

“No eye has seen . . . .”

At Mighty Fortress we don’t always have the answers to the why’s of suffering — but we know God is preparing us a place in heaven. As much as we love Red Deer, we know it’s not heaven. Knowing the good God has prepared for us there helps not to lose sleep when this life doesn’t seem that way. You can find out more about Mighty Fortress at www.mightyfortress.ca.

Geoff Cortright is pastor at Mighty Fortress Lutheran Church. He and other members of the Red Deer Ministerial Association share their personal views on Sundays and Mondays in Red Deer LIFE and Central Alberta LIFE, and encourage comments and questions from readers. These can be sent to LIFE.

Just Posted

Delburne man’s reckless driving led to fatal crash: Crown prosecutor

Jury to begin deliberations Monday in manslaughter trial

Flooding potential within Red Deer, Lacombe and Stettler to be assessed

Federal-provincial projects will do mapping, forecasting

Red Deer Housing Authority hires local manager

Franklin Kutuadu starts as CAO in February

Olympic ski run designer creates upgrades at Canyon Ski Resort

Jeff Ihaksi says free-style and alpine ski venues are Canada Winter Games-worthy

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — A rally in support of Alberta’s oil industry… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Canada’s Kim McRae finishes seventh at luge World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Canada’s Kim McRae finished in seventh place at… Continue reading

Jeff Bridges to receive Cecil B. DeMille Award at Globes

LOS ANGELES — Jeff Bridges may have once been considered as one… Continue reading

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

NEW YORK — Racial justice. Obstruction of justice. Social justice. The Justice… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Most Read