This morning I received a tweet from Christopher Henrikse@FirstChesthole asking me:
Where is your god? Look around at what is happening right now. If he was who you say he is he would end this right now. Why is he letting you all die? Why is he keeping you out of work? Why is he making your kids miss school and be afraid of what is going on?
Here is my answer:
God is the Creator of the whole universe, and he is everywhere. He is sovereign, and he has chosen to limit the expression of his sovereignty here on Earth so we human beings would have a variety of choices to make.
In Heaven, which is a kingdom under his sovereign rule, there is no suffering, no death, no betrayal, no disappointment, hurt, or so many of the things that cause pain and suffering among us. In his Kingdom, which we refer to as the Kingdom of Heaven or the Kingdom of God, his goodness and kindness are absolute. But not here on Earth. Here, we only experience slices of God’s Kingdom (which are meant to reveal God to us), and when we do, it’s always good. Let me explain.
On Earth we are surrounded with evidence of God. Yet here on Earth, God has also granted us other influences which include human volition, natural law, the ability to create both good and bad ideas that influence our lives and behaviors, and negative spiritual influences which, according to the Scriptures, are the Devil and his demons.
In Heaven, only God’s perfect will exists. But here on the Earth, we also have these other influences and how we respond to them largely shapes our world and our lives. As a result, many of the things that happen here on the Earth do not reflect God’s perfect will, but instead are influenced by other factors.
This is why Jesus taught us to pray:
Let thy Kingdom come, let thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.
There are a few situations here on the Earth where God has set in motion certain events that cannot be adjusted by us. An example would be the way God used Pharaoh with the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. When we teach these Scriptures, we emphasize God’s sovereignty which may confuse people like Christopher, who asked the questions above, because they think God personally controls and causes everything that happens on the Earth. That’s not so.
Our choices are important, which explains the Bible’s thickness and why Jesus came to rescue us and sent the Holy Spirit to live within us to teach us and to guide us. The stories, principles, commands, and ideas in the Scriptures help inform our ideas and adjust our decisions, while revealing our role in creation. That is why billions of people believe the Bible is God’s Word. The Bible reveals so much to us, and instructs us to become the people God created us to be, which will ultimately reflect him in all his wisdom and goodness. That’s why Christians give, serve, heal, love, and restore.
Here on the Earth, as I mentioned, we have natural law—which has led to the development of Covid-19. It’s not spiritual; it’s a product of natural law. The purpose of Science is to learn how God created our world and how to work with it so we’ll be better off. God has given us our intellects to enable us to do this. Thus, we appreciate medical science and the other schools of thought that use natural law to keep us safer when traveling, give us better diets, and help us live quality lives.
Once in a while God will, however, override natural law, and when he does, we call it a miracle. When miracles happen they are always for our good and to serve his purposes. In other words, he let’s us experience a slice of heaven.
So let me specifically answer your questions:
Question: Where is your god?
Answer: All around us inspiring us with good ideas in order to help the human race, while using the intellects he has given to us.
Question: Look around at what is happening right now. If he was who you say he is he would end this right now. Why is he letting you all die?
Answer: This portion of your question reveals that you don’t know what I teach about this. I don’t believe Earth is Heaven, and I don’t believe that everything happening here on Earth is God’s will. God says that he causes everything to work together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose for them (see Romans 8:28). So we know that for those who love God and are called according to his purposes, the hand of God is involved and good will come out of it. Not necessarily so for those who don’t love God or who have rejected his calling. Those who have made those poor decisions might, in fact, be on their own.
But for our general population, God might just let these events unfold according to natural law, knowing it gives all of us an opportunity to learn more about his creation, how to be kind to one another, how to give to one another, and how to take care of one another. More importantly these events are forcing us to work together using tools God has given us to solve this problem. God is in the mind of the scientists giving them ideas. God is in the hand of the nurse giving comfort, and God has provided eternal life for all who believe who die (whether because of this virus or for any other reason). God is with us. He’s in the farmers, truck drivers, and the grocery store workers providing food. He works through the utility company providing water, and the mechanic making sure we can travel. God is with us.
Question: Why is he keeping you out of work?
Answer: That answer is different for different people. As for me, I am not at the office so I can be with my family, rest, and write the answers to your questions.
Question: Why is he making your kids miss school and be afraid of what is going on?
Answer: They won’t be afraid if their parents use this opportunity to help them understand the realities of life on Earth. Many will seek the Lord and find him during this time, like you are doing. Others will have their parents teach them at home, which will create a wonderful life-long memory. And my guess is that many are cooking, playing, and reading together for the first time in a long time. Whether being home is good or bad is up to them. But in the midst of this trial, God is giving all of us a wonderful opportunity.
One final note: Prayer stimulates the Holy Spirit’s activity, and the Holy Spirit gives people good ideas that make our lives better. I would encourage all of you who believe and are reading this blog to pray for those in authority over us. It benefits all of us to have the Holy Spirit working more powerfully as we pray for his Kingdom to come, his will to be done, here on Earth as it is in Heaven.
I hope this answers your questions. Thank you for writing.
Pastor Ted Haggard, DD, CHBC, is a Bible teacher with an emphasis on New Testament solutions to the human condition. His Bible teaching is informed by biblical scholarship, Choice Theory (Glasser), Attachment Theory (Johnson), and Behavioral Studies using DISC (Rohm).
This and other blogs by Pastor Ted Haggard are available at http://www.tedhaggardblog.com as a ministry of St. James Church. If you would like to strengthen the ministry of St. James Church and Pastor Ted Haggard by giving, please use the “give” tab at http://www.saintjameschurch.com.
6 replies on “COVID-19: Where is God?”
It is very sad that someone would need to ask these questions. Knowing God is Sovereign allows me peace of mind and knowledge that everything is OK. Even if other people think they need to hoard convenience items like toilet paper.
People should always ask these types of questions. Because you already know all of the answer don’t assume that other know nor understand the existence of God. It really should be the other way around, Be thankful someone is seeking answers. As for toilet paper hoarding, I think it is ridiculous but I can only speak for myself.
Well done & so rich! Thankful for your teaching Pastor Ted!
Thank you Pastor Ted, that was without a doubt Holy Spirit inspired! When reading the questions asked I sought some answer with foundation of why these questions! We believe the Kingdom of God is advancing in the earth and in the hearts of people! Let the advancement of the Kingdom of God move out all fear! God is here with us in the Person of The Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit is releasing gifts as we call on the Almighty for help! He has given answers, Isaiah 55:1-13, Matthew 6:1-34! (Just a couple)
INTO THE VALLEY
“As a whole, and in part,
The people will not repent
Until it gets much worse
Most won’t then
As the churches meet
Out of civil disobedience,
Claiming their rights
Many more will die
They are not protected
Because they have made meeting
Together their god
If I was, indeed their God
They would act in obedience
To My Heart
Which longs to protect
But they spout their views
Look and act as fools
While believing that
The GREAT AWAKENING
Is at their doorstep
Why would I bless them with revival
When they have no regard
For the health and lives of the ones
Who congregate with them?
A generation of fools,
Trespassing on My Turf, the Church
And pretending to be people
Who represent Me
How angry would you be
In My place?
A country on their knees
In absolute repentance
Is a hard measure to perform
You would think that those
Who claim to be Mine
Would be the first to bow and pray
Repent of their sins
And begin to lead in Righteousness
Instead, so many act in rebellion
Who are trying to protect lives
This is a valley, people
There are so many different ways
You can respond
I’ve told you what I’m looking for
Maybe an allegory
Will bring you understanding
But it still depends on the heart
If your heart had been changed
To be as Mine
Then you will cherish life
If you are still on your own
Unredeemed, pretending to be
Someone who follows My Word
You have a very small opportunity,
A short time frame
To set things right
Before you are fully exposed
Left in the corridors of your god
To suffer without a prayer
Down to the valley
The Great Steed travels
To and fro across the land
Has no true meaning
If the lessons of the valley
Have not been learned
Down to the valley
With the rider upon His back
He has good intentions
He knows His way through
But the rider doubts
And turns their head
‘Wouldn’t it be better
To stay where we were
Up upon the mountain top?’
‘Wouldn’t it be better
To see what we can see
Instead of riding through the darkness
Of the valley below?’
‘Isn’t there a better route
A more perfect way
A singe path
That avoids the lowland?’
‘Can you not see
That I am scared and frightened
By the land below
And all the uncertainty?’
‘Will you not allow us
To stay above
to be safe
to encounter only good?’
‘Why must we traverse a land
Which harbors such unknown,
Such darkness, such uncertainty?’
‘Can I not choose to stay here
And not go?’
Yes, you can choose to stay
You can avert entrance to the valley
You can ride another steed
And choose only good, only light,
Only peaceful times
But I assure you
That it is much better to ride
The Great Steed through the valley
Than to stay apart
Or ride another steed on the mountain tops
For you see
There is a Plan
And it is a marvelous Plan
Where the valley is brought to the rider
In such a way
That dependence upon the Great Steed
So that all the other travels
Will be so much richer
So much fuller
So much more life filled
The valley offers its own lesson
Of darkness, of death, of uncertainty
Of danger, failure, obstacles
But through the valley travels
Does the rider bond in heart
With the Great Steed
So that they may become One
Rider and the Great Steed One
It is done no other way
But it is still the choice of the rider
It always will be
There are so many who see the valley below
And choose to dismount
Most to mount upon a steed that takes them
Only though the level plains
Only through what is known and trusted
Only through a great expanse of trivia
But that is all it is
It’s not real life
It’s not life overflowing, rich and continuous
With the Great Steed
It is an approaching death
Uncertainty where there appears to be life
It is independence from the Great Steed
And it will not bring one safely Home
It will not
The Resurrection ONLY comes after death
‘The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters . . .’
Excerpts from THE GREAT STEED : POEMS OF PROGRESS
You will know when the tide has turned
When, in fact, you cherish all life
All people, born and unborn
Then I will restore”
Father God, for you to be published in my comment section, you need to use your earthly name. Otherwise, you’ll need to start your own blog under whatever name you choose.