in march my father was diagnosed with cancer. he has since began taking treatments that are poisoning his body in a controlled manner (“chemotherapy”) in hopes that the cancer will go away. so far things are going well. whenever i speak to him on the phone he is more often than not in good spirits and ready to move forward with whatever it was he was going to do anyway. he has many platforms to share how the lord is sustaining him and how he is able to rest and trust in him.

as christians we are often charged by non-believers and skeptics with using our faith as a “crutch”- something to cling to when there is no hope.

“if god is a good god, then whey did he let your dad get cancer?” they might say to me. or “if your god couldn’t keep your dad from getting cancer, who says he can make it go away?”

these questions makes sense only if our view of god is one in which he is not completely sovereign, not completely powerful, and not completely in control. with out sin dimmed eyes and minds when we reach the end of our ability to reason and depend on our own conclusions rather than what the truth of god’s word teaches us, then we can easily find ourselves crumbling under the weight of these questions.

but scripture does tell us that god is completely sovereign, powerful, and in control at all times. so when we do not understand how or why certain things happen (or don’t happen), we do not have to rely on our ability to “figure it out”, but on the character of god himself who tells us that he is completely in control of all things.

what does this have to do with my dad and the questions above? how is our faith not simply a crutch? i pray for my dad everyday and i know countless other people are as well. but our prayer is not simply a “crutch” to cling to because we have nothing else to do. we are praying to the one true god who is at all times sovereign, in control, and absolutely powerful in every circumstance…

“God is not like a firefighter who gets calls to show up at calamities when the damage is already happening. He is more like a surgeon who plans the cutting he must do and plans it for good purposes. Without the confidence that God rules over the beginning of our troubles, it is hard to believe that He could rule over their end. If we deny God His power and wisdom to govern the arrival of our pain, why should we think we can trust Him with its departure?”
                                                                                   -pastor john piper
                                                                               diagnosed with cancer
                                                                                     january, 2006

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