Message from Olive Chapel
I have heard many people reject the idea that there is a God on the simple basis that they cannot believe that a loving God would allow tragedy to strike.
“If there is a God, why are there children starving all over the world?” “If there is a God, why did my mother die of cancer even though we prayed and prayed for healing?” “If there is a God why do bad things happen to good people?”
These are good questions, but have little to do with God, and everything to do with mankind.
God created this world to be perfect, and He created it with no evil, no death, and no sickness. He created a place for humans to enjoy, and He created us to have a very close relationship with Himself. The most important thing about God and how he created us though is that He created us to have free will.
What a beautiful gift free will is. Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who does not give you free will? I have. Of course I could have walked out of that relationship at any point, but I was so brainwashed by his control, I no longer knew that was an option or how to do it. Everything was on his terms and his demands. It wasn’t fun and it wasn’t healthy. It wasn’t love.
God could have created us under his control, forcing us to serve Him, and love Him, but that isn’t love. Think about this, doesn’t true love require free will? Is it more loving to manipulate someone into loving you, or is love when someone says, I could choose to love any one I want to love, and I have chosen you because you are that special to me. If you ask me, true love is a free choice.
God lovingly gave us free will. When you read the Bible you can see this crazy love God has for His people, and you can see their rejection of Him from the very beginning of time. It starts with the first two people he created. God gave them the whole earth, and placed them in a beautiful garden. He told them to enjoy themselves, but there was one rule He asked them to follow, “Do not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil or you will surely die.”
Adam and Eve were the creation of God’s very hands. They should have had no question about who God is. They saw Him, and walked with Him. They knew exactly where they came from, yet they questioned Him.
Eve looked at the fruit and saw it was pleasing to the eye, and then she began to make up her own truth “Surely we will not die.” And she ate and Adam ate. And the relationship between God and man was changed forever, as sin and death began to reign because God loved us enough to let us choose if we wanted to live by His standards or live our lives the way we want to.
In that free will some of us choose God. Some of us choose to reject Him. But God loved us enough to take that risk, even though it breaks His heart. It breaks His heart first of all because it always hurts to be rejected by someone we love. But it also breaks God’s heart because of what some people choose to do with their free will.
Some people choose to jump into a car after drinking too much, and cause fatal car accidents. Some people choose to bully and beat up other people that they perceive as weak. Some people violate women and children with their free will. Some leaders in countries hoard all of the wealth for themselves and give little to the dying and hungry.
God is not absent, and God is not indifferent, but the more man has chosen to run from God, the harder God has become to find. People choose to believe lies, or harden their hearts toward God’s gentle calling. Jeremiah 29:13 says that when we truly seek God we will find Him. And I have found this to be true in my own story.
If you want to seek God and you are not sure how to start, we could talk with you about it. Maybe we can help you. Please feel free to come see us at Olive Chapel. Our services begin at 10:00 A.M. EST. Our guest speaker on July 14 will be David Kenney, and on July 21 we will have Patti Kenney.