I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself,
that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
Correct me, O LORD, but in justice;
not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing. (Jer 10:23-24, ESV)
Jonathan Edwards wrote that cold results from the sun going below the horizon, yet the sun is a source of heat and not of cold, of light and not of darkness. We do not blame the sun when we experience cold and darkness. In the same way, “sin is not the fruit of any positive agency or influence of the Most High, but on the contrary, arises from the withholding of his action and energy, and under certain circumstances, necessarily follows on the want of his influence” (The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 1).
A lot of people get tripped up and say, “How can God allow bad things to happen to good people?” Well, as Jesus said, “No one is good except God alone” (Mk 10:18, ESV), and if there is any goodness in us, it comes from the Lord shining his warmth on us through the power of the Holy Spirit and the life of Christ that is in us. “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:4, NKJV). This newness of life cannot be obtained any other way than through Jesus’ atoning sacrifice for our sins.
As Romans 8:28 (NKJV) says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” We want him to call us according to his purpose. We want him to work all things together for his good. Since we are called according to his purpose, and since goodness results from exposure to God’s warmth, then it should be our desire for him to shine down his light and heat on us, unraveling the sin in our lives and replacing it with his righteous energy!
Think of it as spiritual sunbathing…
(Except instead of getting wrinkles and skin cancer, the result is that we begin to look more and more like Jesus!)