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Is God Involved?


My friend used to pray and read the Bible. But when he and his wife got a divorce, his faith started to dwindle. Now he believes there is a God, but he doesn’t believe God cares about us. What should I do to help him?

Steve Answers:

Last week we said that crises (the plural form of crisis) can come fromdifferent sources: Satan (see Job 1:12 and 2:6, 7); our
Last week we said that crises (the plural form of crisis)can come from different sources: Satan (see Job 1:12 and 2:6, 7); ourselves; and God (see 1 Samuel 15:24, 28; John 11:4-6, 14, 15, 42, 45; Hebrews 12).

However, regardless of the source of the crisis, God is ableto use it for good. Peter wrote, "Now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed" (1 Peter 1:6, 7).

When a person is in a crisis or has passed through a crisis,especially if there is a hurt that continues, you usually relate to God one of three ways:

1. God doesn’t exist. You may think that God just wants usto be happy all the time. So when a person isn’t happy, God must not be present. And when something really bad happens, God is so absent that He actually no longer exists.

2. God is weak or distant. This is a variation on the first idea. You may think that God wants only good times for you, but He can’t quite pull it off. He must be too stressed or occupied with finding lost car keys for people. Or you might think your crisis is simply too big for Him to handle. You could even think, Maybe God created this world, but now it’s completely up to us to take care of it, because He’s outta here!

3. God’s in the middle of the crisis with you. This viewplaces God in the center of your life with full involvement. The "great controversy" insight realizes that supernatural forces for good and for evil are present and even fighting it out in our lives. We are participants in this great battle, which is also why God is so present. But with this broader view, it sometimes goes beyond our understanding. That’s when our trust in God eithergrows or dies.

Let’s apply this to your friend’s crisis. I wouldn’t besurprised if your friend still experiences hurt from his lost relationship. From what you described, it sounds like your friend hasn’t given up on God’s existence but has given up on God’s involvement (God doesn’t care).

You asked what you should do in this situation. First of all, if your friend is still hurting, you can express your sorrow for his hurt. You can also testify that God will see him through this time of sorrow, even though he probably wants the sorrow to end right now!

Here’s the message to God’s people after they were takeninto captivity in Babylon-an experience that surely made them wonder whether God was involved in their lives-"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands" (Isaiah49:15, 16).

I’d also recommend that you replay how you’ve survived thecrises in your life so far. Ask yourself if your faith has grown or died as a result. Your own testimony can be an example for your friend now and for yourself later when you find yourself in another crisis.

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