God, Who Superintends

I recently heard a very powerful and challenging discussion on evil in our world today, and where God is, in the middle of all of it. One of the panelists made the comment that God does not intend for evil things to happen, but he superintends evil. In other words, God transforms the intention of darkness and suffering with a super intention -His greater intention - which is for our good and for His Glory (Romans 8:28). I’m sure that it’s a question that we all have had at some point in our lives. Things come crashing down, and there is a critical question, a critical point of pain: “Why?” and, maybe, “Where are You?” and, also, “Where am I?”

I want to address all three of those questions, in the light of the baptisms that we celebrated this past Sunday. In total, we baptized 25 people (adults, kids, teens) in Cherry Hill and Glassboro. The story was consistent: suffering, and a revelation of an ever-present God, who has kept His children, and who has superintended for them every point of suffering in their lives.

“Why?” - Because God’s faithfulness cannot be stopped and will prove itself consistent, in all circumstances. Suffering entered the world at the fall, when Adam and Eve chose a different way, other than God’s way. When Adam and Eve fell for the deception of sin, the deception of a life apart from God, it caused the first instance of human suffering and pain. This is the pain of separation from God, or the pain of getting what we think we want. And over time, humans were given what they thought they wanted, and experienced the pain resulting from it: having to work the ground and labor for their provision, relational strife, physical issues, etc.

This initial moment of suffering was the very second that God started acting on His eternal plan of superintending our suffering. God allowed for us to suffer, because God knows that suffering will not win. Though evil and suffering may press on us, and sell us the lie that it is our reality and it is who God is - God will superintend all suffering, to reveal a better intention - to say, in the face of any obstacle, He stands alone in spotless Goodness and Faithfulness, which He willingly commits to showing to us (Romans 8:18-21).

“Where are You?” - God is at the beginning and the end. ”I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13). Jesus is the Light of the World, always shining on us, always overcoming darkness (John 1). God is Emmanuel, “God with us,” expressed in Jesus, everywhere in-between the beginning and end. God is our “ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). Jesus promises to His children, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). God knows where we are, He hems us in behind and before, and He is with us wherever we go (Psalm 139). God has not lost track of reality; rather, He reveals, in Jesus, the true reality: the Kingdom of God. God has not lost control of the world, and His Kingdom reigns, and will reign and rule forever, without end (Luke 1:33).

‘Where am I?” - Simply put, I am in the palms of God’s hands (Isaiah 49:16) and no one can snatch me out of them (John 10:28).

I will end with this passage from Romans,

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified…. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:28-30, 37-39).

Be confident that, even today, God is superintending the suffering in your life, for your good and for His glory.

by Kaitlyn Faraghan
Kaitlyn leads worship at our Cherry Hill location. She is passionate about writing and recording music, and has been a part of numerous recording projects; she has released one album and is now working on her second album! In her spare time, you will find her scouting out the best coffee and donuts in South Jersey and the Greater Philadelphia area.

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