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Things I pray for that may not be God’s will:

  • COVID-19 to end worldwide, now.
  • Social unrest, including in the US, to cease.
  • Polarization in culture to give way to productive consensus.
  • Authoritarian regimes to fall to democratic movements.
  • Religious liberty for everyone in the world.
  • No more wildfires, hurricanes, or other “bad weather.”
  • Abortion policy reversed; abortions reduced then eliminated.

That last one was the hardest one for me to write. 

The point here is not me suggesting God does not care or that He blesses such travail, but that the Sovereign God is in charge, that accidents or surprises don’t happen in the divine economy, that He works His purposes in spite of and through adversity and evil. 

So, I pray for His providential wisdom, His will, His mercy and grace.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

One year ago today I had my heart attack. I had a stent procedure, changed my diet and began walking a few miles each morning, lost weight, and otherwise returned to my life, family, and calling. 

Heart attacks get your attention, though. “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14).

I am grateful to the Lord for his protection and blessing, to the Drs and nurses for their expertise, and to my Good Wife for her decision in the wee hours of that night: “We’re going to the E.R. Now.”

So, I’ll quote a verse my Mother quoted to me many times as I was growing up, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24).

And I’ll cite my favorite chorus, “God is so good. God is so good. God is so good to me.”  

He’s good to you too.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Year 2020, “Annus horribilis,” Latin for “horrible year.” Queen Elizabeth used the phrase once to describe a tragic year for her family in the early 1990s.
 
Year 2020 is only half in the books, but the Latin seems apt:
 
COVID-19, government lockdowns and economic fallout, protests, “those who call evil good and good evil,” civil liberties like freedom of religion, speech suspended in the name of public health, riotous chaos ignored in the name of justice, anti-racism racism, ideology, hate passing for public discourse, intolerance parading in name of tolerance.
 
Then again, I’ve only experienced a few years.
 
“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:14-15).
 
In 1920, Sen Thomas Riley Marshall, later Vice President under W Wilson, said, “What this country needs is a really good five-cent cigar.”
 
I’d say what this country needs is a moral reckoning that refocuses American culture and politics on God and good.
 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

What do you believe?

Deep down, what really do you believe?

And what are you willing to stand by, come what may?

Turbulent times, serious adversity, put us in figurative if not actual foxholes where fake doesn’t cut it.

Trying times are coming. 

But Christians in the Middle East have lived this for centuries. We can learn from them.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

 

Why did 9/11 happen? Short answer: because evil exists. Why was it allowed to happen? Only God knows.

On this tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001 that last point about God’s providence is more profound than glib.

On that horrific day, jets hijacked by hate-driven men were flown into the World Trade Towers, the Pentagon, and, because of the heroism of passengers, the Pennsylvania countryside instead of the White House or U. S. Capitol. The cost of that day has been severe. Markets and real estate dropped and trillions have been spent on security, insurance, gasoline, and two lengthy wars. And the greatest cost has, perhaps, been a loss of American confidence and optimism.

Why did God allow this? Or put another way, what should we have learned from this tragedy? One thing is that God is there in the midst of the worst kind of adversity even when it doesn’t seem so—a point I tried to make in a recent article called “What Robinson Crusoe Teaches Us About Adversity.”

God is sovereign, meaning he exercises authority over the world and its issues and events. This doesn't mean he causes or desires everything that happens, because in his providence he allows human choice including evil ones. It does mean that he is not surprised, is never off-balance, and is always governing or restraining the full potential of human sin natures. He also, eventually, brings things together for good—even when and where we cannot see it, even in the wake of tragedy like 9/11.

This last point is difficult for some people to take. Actually, the idea that God knew about and allowed 9/11, let alone could bring good from it, is hard for people to understand or embrace. For some it makes God seem at best uncaring and at worst capricious and nasty.

And I cannot provide a pithy explanation that answers every criticism or doubt. But I can say that God is not only sovereign but characterized also by love, righteousness, and justice. He does not use people, treat human beings like pawns, or play games. He does not kill people for the fun of it. He is good and not evil, and he brings blessings in the working of his will that we cannot anticipate or even necessarily recognize when they come.

So, yes, I believe 9/11 falls within the sovereignty of God. I don’t know all the “Whys,” but in faith I believe God has and will use it for our good and his glory. In this I pray for those who lost loved ones and those otherwise hurt by 9/11. May God be present always in our adversity.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.

God is sovereign. This means he is in full authority over the universe he created. Nothing happens in God’s Universe that is outside the will of God or in some way surprises Him. Nothing.

That means that not only acts of good but also acts of evil are within God’s universal and permissive will. God does not cause evil. He is not the source of evil. Satan is the source, along with the evil heart of humankind. But even evil men or women committing evil acts do not catch God off-guard and do not unsettle Him in any way. God is always in control.

Recent events in Tucson might make us think otherwise. People killed, including a nine year-old girl. People gravely wounded, including a United States Congresswoman.

Christians killed in a church bombing in Alexandria, Egypt, the last day of 2010. People seriously wounded.

Is evil somehow triumphing over good? No, not in the worst imaginable circumstances. Not even in the face of tragic, senseless loss of lives.

Death, destruction, human savagery, terrorism, mass murder, abortion, and any other debauchery humankind is capable of devising still takes place under the restraining arm of God. I don’t understand this, but I believe it, for God says this is so.

Consider this passage from the Psalms: “God reigns over the nations: God is seated on his holy throne. The nobles of the nations assemble, as the people of the God of Abraham. For the kings of the earth belong to God. He is greatly exalted” (47:8-9).

Psalm 52 is too long to quote. Just think about these phrases: “Why do you boast of evil, you mighty man…Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin” (52:1,5).

No mass killer, no deranged gunman, no suicide inclined hijacker, no evildoer, no strongman, no terrorist, not even Satan himself can operate beyond the limits of God’s sovereignty. These thoughts should provide immense comfort, for they imply that life is fully understood by God.

While we are finite and cannot anticipate, much less eliminate, all risk, God is omnipotent and has us in the palm of his hands. While we may hear of random violence, nothing is ever random in the omniscient eyes of God. While we may at times be understandably fearful in an unsettling world, we need not live in fear. God is still in control.

God knows when we rise up and when we lay down. We belong to the Lord, and so does history itself.

 

A version of this blog was originally aired on “Making a Difference,” September 17, 2001.

 

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact Rex or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com or follow him at www.twitter.com/RexMRogers.