If I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist!
by Chris Forder
I’m not sure what images this title conjures up for you, but what I am referring to is a phrase I have heard a lot recently – and not just in response to COVID–19 but many other things too.
It’s the phrase, “I just can’t see how any good can come out of this“. To be sure, the question can be harmless; we can say things like this all the time. But it can also be dangerous. I say this because, if we start to really think and believe that nothing good can come out of evil or suffering, then we will either lose faith in God’s goodness or lose hope in God’s sovereignty. Both are crushing outcomes.
I have recently starting reading, ‘The Reason for God’ by Tim Keller. In his book he looks at the issue of evil and suffering and responds to the objection that there is no all–powerful and loving God because people can’t see a point to suffering or the good in suffering. One of the illustrations he gives in his response is, “If you look into your pup tent for a St Bernard, and you don’t see one, it is reasonable to assume that there is no St Bernard in your tent. But if you look into your tent for an extremely small insect with a bite out of all proportion to it’s size and you don’t see any, it is not reasonable to assume they aren’t there. … Many assume that if there were good reasons for the existence of evil, they would be accessible to our minds, more like the St Bernard than the small insect, but why should that be the case.”
He makes a helpful argument. We don’t always see why there is suffering and evil in our world or our lives. Much like Job never knew why he suffered so much. But in it all we trust that God is good and that God is in control. This is what the writer of Hebrews says in Hebrews 11:1 isn’t it? “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
The beauty of this verse is that our faith and hope brings great comfort. Because our faith and hope are in a God who is for us. It is in God who comforts the broken–hearted. It is in a God who works in all things for our good. It is in a God who holds back nothing good from us, not even his Son. It is in a God who blesses us with every spiritual blessings and all I want to do is keep going, because our faith and hope in God is not in vain.
Friends, take heart that even when we can’t see the good, God is working it out.
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