“So what they were trying to do was answer the unanswerable.”
My acquaintance was absolutely right, of course, as we talked about the recent ‘Ask Eastbourne’ event at the Winter Garden.
Around 150 people attended each evening to hear presentations and testimonies on the not-so-easy topics of ‘What is God like?’, ‘Why is there so much suffering in the world?, ‘What happens after death?’.
All those involved did their best, without a doubt, their arguments and reasoning being Bible-based, as was right and proper. But still uncertainties remained and will probably never be answered satisfactorily and completely in the here and now.
One church leader made an interesting point: “It is important to know what God doesn’t promise.
“He doesn’t promise freedom from life’s difficulties, but he does promise help. This good news is for everyone.”
Faith, it seems, is the missing element in so many people’s lives. Hebrews 11, 6: ‘Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Earlier in the chapter (verse 1), we are given a definition of faith: “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
Our questions to God, yes, but on the other hand several friends have suggested questions that God might ask us, if we were ever to have an intimate heart-to-heart with him.
“Why do people turn to me only when things go wrong? Do they not want my company at any other time?”
“Why are some people so slow to give thanks for all the good things in the world?”
“Why do people find it so hard to forgive?”
“Why is my name a swear-word?”
And this, most practical and something of an indictment on us ...
“I have provided all the food and necessities every person on the planet needs, so why are there 1.4 million people living in poverty on just $1 a day?”
Quite penetrating, that one. Embarrassing too. We obviously haven’t done too well in the matter of sharing our resources.
Whether we still have questions or not, and we probably still do, the challenge from another scripture passage stands out: ‘The righteous will live by faith’ (Romans 1, 17 – a quote from the Old Testament prophets).
The most worrying questions from God when we meet him could be: “Why did you ignore me?”
SO ENCOURAGING that three Christian agencies in the town were recognised at the Eastbourne Achievers’ Awards ceremony: Food Bank, People Matter and Street Pastors. Thank you.