What kind of God would allow THAT to happen?

You’ve been waxing eloquent to a person about God’s goodness, but then, next morning, he turns on his TV and out blasts the latest news of a massive earthquake stirring a gigantic tsunami that thunders across a populated area destroying everything in its wake. His jaw drops at the scale of destruction, and he’s on the phone to you yelling, “What kind of God would allow THAT to happen?”

“You told me,” he continues, “that God is in control of everything that happens on this planet, and he’s a God of love, mercy, compassion and kindness. You also told me of the amazing things God has done in your life and how blessed you are, and how God forgives, holds none of our sins against us, and takes no pleasure in punishing us. So why is he punishing people so horribly?”

“And what was the point,” he shouts, “of God creating tectonic plates in the first place, when it was obvious, surely, that they pose an enormous danger to human life and property? And why put the lives of children, good people and Christians at risk too? And why, if humans in the earthquake zone needed a wake up call, didn’t God send prophets to warn them as to what was about to happen and why, so they could repent and God would reverse the threat, just like he did in Nineveh? And why would God allow disasters, accidents and terrorist attacks to happen at all when they’re only going to create negative reactions toward him and even cause people to curse him for what’s happened, like I’m tempted to do? And since you’re always going on about the Christian message being good news, I’d like to know where you find good news in all this awful stuff happening.”

And as he’s yelling you think of 1 Peter 3:15, which says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the HOPE that you have.” But what reason can you possibly give for hope in a terrible disaster, accident or terrorist attack that wipes out Christians and non-Christians alike, and shows no mercy to the good and innocent?

Peter’s answer in verse 15? “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord,” and stick like glue to verse 22, that Christ “has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him,” and somehow, miraculously and unexplainably, that is the key; that’s when hope, despite what’s happening in the world, comes. And all you can do is offer that to the person and let God take it from there.

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