We live in what has been called ‘a world with ragged edges’. Earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, fires, famine and other natural disasters kill millions of people and injure countless others, sometimes wiping out huge numbers within a few hours. Every day, accidents claim an untold number of victims. Planes crash, trains are derailed, road vehicles collide, ships are lost at sea, buildings collapse, bridges give way, trees fall, machinery malfunctions. To make matters worse, disease cuts relentless swathes through humankind, causing immeasurable weakness, pain and fear, while ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ brings a terrible toll of suffering.
Yet the Bible claims that God is in sole and sovereign control of everything that happens in the entire universe, that he ‘works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will’ and that he is ‘compassionate and gracious’ and ‘abounding in love’.
Is there any way in which all of this can hold together? The answer may surprise you…
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