Monday, May 5, 2014

God's Not Dead

We just watched God's Not Dead last week, a well-made independent movie about a college student's efforts to convince his atheistic philosophy professor and the rest of the class that God is indeed real.

I knew almost nothing about the movie, coming in, and was pleasantly surprised, as I was watching the opening credits, that it featured not one, but two former superheroes that I used to watch regularly in the 1990's: Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) and Dean Cain (Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman). It was fun seeing them again, despite the fact that they portrayed the movie's two biggest jerks.

My purpose with this post is not to review the movie ((I highly recommend you go see it!) or to summarize the logical arguments for the existence of God (I covered that already in my previous posts), but rather to touch on something far more real: how do we, as Christians, react when disasters strike in our lives?

I hope I'm not revealing any major spoilers for you, if you haven't seen the movie yet, but in a tense moment, a major character reveals that it was a loved one's premature death that drove them to abandon their faith in God.

For some reason, despite scriptures to the contrary, mainstream churchgoers have the impression that if they serve Christ, their lives should be peaches and cream. No troubles should ever touch them, and they should be happy all the time. If God truly loves His children, should He not protect them from hardship, sorrow, and pain?

Despite my mother's and wife's health issues, I feel tremendously blessed to not have had people in my life dying prematurely, or touched by cancer, or worries about losing our home. And yet I know that there are brothers and sisters in Christ who have had to face these things. Think about this: if I do not abandon my faith when I hear about brothers and sisters who are going through tragedies right now, why should I doubt God when tragedy comes knocking at my own door?

Case in point: Many of you know about the tornado that struck Arkansas last week, killing 15 people. A news article described a mother who not only suffered two broken legs and a broken pelvis, but also lost her two young sons. Her husband is suffering from head trauma, and all that is left of their beautiful home is the concrete foundation. She has suffered all this loss, that to many of us is unphathomable, and yet her faith in Christ is unshaken. Her friend, who is a photographer and a blogger, came to visit her and took her picture, as she lay there in her hospital bed, bruised, bloodied, and broken. She asked her, if she could use the picture in a future post, after her friend recovered from her injuries. Instead, the woman in the hospital bed urged her friend to post the picture now, in order to "show them what my God can overcome." That's faith in action; a faith that not only does not abandon God when He allows tragedy to strike in our lives, but a faith that shouts from the housetops that victory over all adversity can be found only in Him. It's the faith that no matter what happens, God's wonderful plan for His children will not be derailed, and we can overcome it all, through Christ who has already overcome the world, through His death and resurrection.

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