Posted by: glorifyhim1 | October 21, 2015

Is My God Able and Willing?

Is My God Able and Willing?

Recently, I stumbled on the following quote by the ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus.

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then He is not omnipotent. Is He able, but not willing? Then He is malevolent. Is He both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is He neither able nor willing? Then why call Him God?”

My first reaction was “Yes, my God is able; Yes, my God is willing; Yes, my God is God!” And while my answer remains the same, I realize that the above quote captures the questions that plague so many of us when we face difficulties or trials. Why does God heal one person, but not another? Why do innocent people suffer? Why does evil triumph over good? Where is God when our world is turned upside down?

Let me preface what I have to say with a simple disclaimer. I am not a theologian. Countless books have been written – and I’ve read quite a few – that purport to answer these questions. I agree with some of these explanations, disagree with others, but I am convinced that the Bible reveals a God who is able and willing, a God who is truly God.

Is God able?

Do you think Abraham questioned God’s ability? God had promised Abraham: “I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you” (Genesis 17:6). Yet, Abraham, was an old man and he had no heir. “Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, ‘Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?’” (Genesis 17:17). Did it not seem impossible? Yet God had declared: “’I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.’” (Genesis 17:1).

Almighty God is translated from the Hebrew “El Shaddai” and can be interpreted as the all-sufficient One and One with absolute power. Nothing is too hard for God. Just as God allowed the heir of the promise to be born to Sarah and Abraham, even in their old-age, He can do the impossible in your life and mine. God is able.

Is God willing?

Would an unwilling God send His own Son into the world to suffer and die in order to save us? “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Jesus explained why He had come. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b). God loves us with an unfathomable love. He is for us and wants to bless us. One of the most well-know Scriptures that is often quoted to graduates and others stepping out into the world reminds us that God is for us, not against us. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you” (Jeremiah 29:11-12).

Yes! The God we see revealed in the Bible is both able and willing. In fact, He has already defeated the enemy through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Yet, until He comes again and establishes His kingdom on earth, the enemy is still at work trying to keep God’s people from accomplishing God’s purposes. Paul warned the Ephesians about this battle with evil. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:12-13). Peter also warned the readers of his letter about this adversary. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

But God is not only able and willing, He is God! Proverbs 19:21 states: “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand (ESV).” Job declared: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). God knows and sees everything and no matter the trouble or difficulty we may face, we can know that our God is in control. The only proper response to our Sovereign God is one of complete submission, trusting our situation and all of our questions completely to Him.

But even in His sovereignty, God knows our frame. And He also gives us a promise to which we can cling: And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). No matter the trouble or difficulty a believer faces, he has this precious promise that his sovereign, loving God, is working out everything – yes, everything – for good!

There are many things in this world that we will never be able to fully understand or explain, but the only place to surrender our questions is at the feet of our Lord and Savior. And as we lay it all before Him, we have His promise that He is busy working everything out for good. He is able. He is willing. He is God!

 

 

 

 

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