Thursday, August 31, 2017

Strange Math

"One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it." Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." Job 1:6-8

I was never real good in math, but math is nice and tidy, very predictable. When you add one and one you always get two. Always. When you subtract 5 from 10 you get 5. Always. That is nice That is comfortable. That is so unlike life.

But somehow we take a mathematical approach to life. We think that if we do this good thing and combine it with that good thing we will get a good result. Maybe. Maybe not.

That is a huge part of the problem with suffering. It doesn't always add up. In the Bible some of the men who suffered the most lived the best. So here's the math: righteous living + faithful obedience = severe suffering. God's math is strange!

There weren't many who were more moral than Job. He was so righteous that God bragged on him to the Devil! Of all the people I want to impress, God is THE ONE! So what did Job's stellar resume get him? Deep sorrow and suffering. How does that add up?

David had a heart like God's. When God chose him to be King his life was constantly threatened by Saul the reigning king. He spent years running from Saul even though David was totally blameless. Several times he could have killed Saul and ended the period of exile, but he chose to honor Saul because Saul still occupied the throne. David suffered and suffered longer than he needed to because his heart was right and he chose to wait on God. How does that add up?

And then, of course, there was Jesus. He was sinless and remained sinless for one reason. So He could become sin for us and suffer our judgment. The very Son of God died a horrifying excruciating shameful death for one reason - He was the only One holy enough to do it! There is no worse suffering than death on a cross. God's best took our worst. How does that add up?

This brings us back to the problem that has no mathematical solution, a holy all powerful loving God Who could prevent all suffering doesn't. No one has ever been able to balance that equation. That has caused many to abandon faith or to choose not to believe.

What do you do when life doesn't add up?

What are you to believe when God subtracts from your comfort rather than adding to it?

Will you factor in God's goodness and love when the math doesn't seem to work?

Can you trust your problem to be His solution?