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I think there are at least three ways we can know that God is actively involved in our lives in spite of the “terrible things” that happen to even the very best Christians (humanly speaking). Assurance of His presence and involvement is available to us first, and foremost, through His word. Additionally, we are given assurance, solace and strength during our trials by the inner witness of His Holy Spirit. And lastly, we eventually begin to recognize evidence of His involvement as we thoughtfully analyze our own experiences. While we cannot fully separate these three activities – the Holy Spirit (2) always acts within us in accordance with His word (1) and we subjectively experience the results (3) – we can distinguish between them for our own understanding and edification. (1) The Bible gives us ample assurance and evidence that God is actively involved with, and actually in control of, the events of our lives down to the smallest detail. We are given this insight didactically through the teaching of Jesus, the apostles, and others as well as through many Psalms and Proverbs. And, we also see this point driven home through the real life drama of the historical narratives, stories, parables and allegories found within the texts of the Bible. That same bible makes it clear that our prayers receive a positive answer from God when we pray according to His will. We should not expect God to change His perfect will and His eternal plans at our requests. If that were the case, we would be in control, not God. Even Jesus did not ask for or expect such a thing, but prayed, “Never the less, not my will but yours be done.” (2) The inner witness of the Holy Spirit, however, is somewhat less discernable and much more prone to our own subjectivity than the more overt teachings of scripture. For example, after going through a period of tribulation we might ask the question, “How much worse would this experience have been if I did not have the Holy Spirit of God within me?” It may be impossible to arrive at a quantitative answer, but the question is certainly worth pondering. We know from scripture that He strengthens us, supports us, and is always our advocate. Our ability to withstand the hardships of this life and to grow and thrive in their midst corresponds directly to degree to which we are experientially aware of His presence within us and to the degree His word is written on our hearts. The Christian who does not know His word and does not experience the intimacy of the Holy Spirit within him is not well prepared for the slings and arrows of Satan and his world. (3) One of the advantages of maturation in the faith is that we become more and more able to look back on the most impactful episodes of our lives and discern God’s hand shaping events, determining outcomes, and molding us bit-by-bit into the image of His Son. The process is slow and painful, yet productive and priceless. We eventually come to the understanding that there is no better way to accomplish His grand purpose for our lives than through suffering. And yet, He promised He would not leave us comfortless as orphans (John 14:18 KJV/ESV). The word comfort is a combination of two words; the prefix “com” which means “with” and the root “forte” which means “strength.” A mature Christian can often look back on the trials of life and see that it was God’s strength that sustained him and not his own. So, as we read and understand what scripture reveals to us about the invisible God (1), as we listen to the Spirit of God within us (2), and as we objectively and analytically review the difficult experiences of our lives (3) we are left with the inescapable reality that the almighty creator of all that exists, the one who sustains all things by the power of His word has always been with us and for us, actively and intimately involved in every detail of every event and outcome for His glory and our benefit.
Wouldn't it be nice if when we were saved we all lived disease free, miracles happened in our lives regularly, everything we touched turned to Gold, our Marriages were perfect and our kids all grew up to be something successful. The problem with that is that faith would then never be an issue, EVERYBODY would want to get saved and become a Christian for all of the benefits. When Jesus was asked by his desiples why the Jews that were building a bridge were killed, they were after all "good Jews", Jesus answered "Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Some of the things that have happened in my personal live have made me want to abandon God, quite selfish might I add, my thinking at the time was If this can happen to a saved person, why be saved! But God works in interesting ways, he reminded me that I will see my son again, actually gave me a glimpse of him in Heaven, just amazing. But to make a long story shorter, he will bless us, if we let him. The real answer is yet to come. This life is like a flower, here today and gone tomorrow. We will spend eternity, ETERNITY, with father God in a Paradise, and all of our saved friends, family and church family that have gone before us will be there too. Best of all, we get to meet Jesus, the Holy Spirit and our Guardian Angels too. But best Best BEST of all, we will see God's face and bask in his glory forever.
How do we know God is involved in our lives and not just responsible for creating us since terrible things still happen to Christians, despite prayers? I would like to suggest the following My mental Christian Set up Becoming a Christian I have learned Php 4:11 1.1 am required to take up my cross daily. Mark 8:34 2.1 must count all strange trials joy. James 1:2 3.The all Wise God knows what He is doing. 2 Ti 1:12 4.Nothing happens to Christians without a reason. 2 Co 12:8-10 5.Joy and pain all part of the journey. Phil 4:12-13 6.The ultimate price is eternal life, joy, peace, love, health etc. Rev 21:4 Php 3:20 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. 1 Pe 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. James a bond-servant of God Jas 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, Jas 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Jas 1:4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. Jas 1:12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Paul the apostle on prayer results 2Co 12:8 Concerning this I implored (prayed) the Lord three times that it might leave me. 2Co 12:9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 2Co 12:10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. Christ Jesus our Lord in prayer about a terrible thing about to happen to Him Mat_26:42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, "My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done." Paul the Apostle gained experience and maturity. Php 4:11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. Php 4:12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. Php 4:13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. 2Ti_1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. What do we live for? Php_3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; Rev 21:4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." Rev 21:5 And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He *said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." Re: the question on “How do we know God is involved in our lives and not just responsible for creating us…” The Psalmist write Psa 139:13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. Psa 139:14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. Psa 139:15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Psa 139:16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. Your fellow brother in the same struggle. God bless. Brother Dave and John went into detail on the matter.
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