BY ALLEN WEST
Here’s my response to the liberals who mock prayer in response to the Texas church shooting
I had a conversation with a very dear friend who has been battling a mental health issue with their daughter. It has been a struggle as they watched their incredibly intelligent and talented daughter descend into a challenging state of mental instability. Sadly, my friend confided in me that they are angry and have decided to become an atheist. They have chosen to blame God for the illness that has afflicted their daughter. And furthermore, they feel God has let the world down.
I have known this friend for nearly seven years and they knew this declaration would hurt me to my core, and it did. But, as we were talking I reflected back on how in this week in the aftermath of the tragedy in Sutherland Springs, Texas we have witnessed many people mocking prayer, the vehicle by which we can communicate with God. I thought about my friend’s declaration and what has happened this week.
It appears there’s some confusion about who God is and the part He plays in our lives. If we are to believe that God is some fun hunk- dory entity that exists only to make sure we’re happy, we’ve missed the mark. God is our Heavenly Father and Creator of this universe, from whom our unalienable rights emanate: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. God created a world, and existence, where He implemented His perfect will, and He created man and woman, in His own image. However, there is also evil, darkness, the fallen angel, Lucifer, also known as Satan who exists. And it was Satan who entered into the perfect will of God and tempted mankind, knowing that God also frees us to decide with our permissive will — and mankind chose to eat of the apple from the tree of knowledge.
It was man, not God, who introduced pain, illness, sickness, war, murder, and strife into this world…God’s perfect will.
I talked to my friend about the story of Job. How Job was this Godly man who was immensely blessed beyond measure. However, it was Satan who confronted God and told Him that if God removed His blessing from Job, that he would not be as faithful. It was Satan’s premise that Job was only Godly because he had so much by way of possessions and a great, prosperous life. But God knew different, and challenged Satan and told him that he could touch Job. And so it happened, Job’s life was ruined. He came to lose everything and his supposed friends believed that he had been cursed due to his losing favor with God. The lesson from the story of Job is that through it all, Job never did curse his God. As a matter of fact, Job’s faith grew and increased, and he realized that his wealth and possessions were not his, but of God…hence why Job stated, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there, The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
God’s existence is not predicated upon us having stuff and a happy life. That’s why so many express confusion, saying how is it that bad things happen to good people? It’s wrong to presume God sent evil to kill the people in Sutherland Springs, Texas and that He has let the world down. One then could make the argument that God sent the NRA-certified firearms instructor to confront evil.
Quite to the contrary, man allowed evil to enter into the world, and until God’s word is preached to all nations, the word and message of reconciliation, and is believed, there will be strife. We are not promised a rose garden here on Earth, but we can have, and find a lasting and inner peace, and an eternal salvation if we allow God, through the saving grace of Jesus Christ, to come into our lives. Yes, God’s perfect will and design was to have a world free of cancer and warfare, but our permissive will confronts God’s true heart’s desire, and actually our own.
People have asked me, if God is such a loving God, then why did he turn His face away from Jesus on the cross? The answer is simple. Jesus came to take away the sins of the world, forever. He was our sacrificial lamb whose spilled blood would wash us clean, if we accepted Him into our lives, our hearts.
And as Jesus took upon our sin, God could not look upon Him, hence why Jesus cried from the cross, “Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani” meaning “my God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” But, Jesus rose from the dead in order to let us know that He had conquered death in allowing us to have an eternal joy, life.
In Paul’s letter to the Romans, 5:3-5, we’re told trials and tribulations in our lives are there to produce our perseverance, our character, and our hope…it is a hope not in man. In the letter of James 1:2-4 it states, “Count it all joy, my brethren when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Let’s stop believing that God exists only to make our way easy and smooth. God exists to reconcile us to Him, and grow our faith. Yes, there is evil in this world, but there is also a place where we can find an inner respite from this craziness and turmoil. That is why the response of the folks in Sutherland Springs, Texas is so very confounding to secular humanists. God’s way is confusing to those who know Him not.
If we want the restoration of peace, well, the saying goes, “know Jesus, know peace…no Jesus, no Peace.” But understand, no one is forced into Christianity, the acceptance of God’s grace…man has tried but it was not of God, such as the Inquisition. God’s grace is free, ya just gotta want it…but do not ever believe that means you’re going to have a yellow brick road life. You’ve just been blessed with forgiveness, as we all have sinned and fallen short.
I pray my friend will read this missive, as many of you will. All I can say is this, I will NEVER place my trust and faith in man. And there is indeed an Almighty God, of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and Jesus, we all need Him.
But ya know what, your permissive will allows YOU to make that personal, individual decision.
God has not let this world down. He sent His only begotten Son in order to save it. The choice is ours.
Editor’s Note: This column previously appeared at AllenBWest.com. Used with the permission of the author.
Lt. Col. Allen B. West is the former U.S. Congressman representing Florida’s 22nd District, a Fox News Contributor, a contributing columnist for Townhall.com, the former Executive Director of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas Texas, and the author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom. Col. West is the third of four generations of military servicemen in his family. During his 22 year career in the United States Army, he was awarded the Bronze Star, 3 Meritorious Service Medals, 3 Army Commendation Medals (1 with Valor device), and a Valorous Unit Award. In 1993 he was named the US Army ROTC Instructor of the Year. Col. West believes it will be principled constitutional conservative policies, not politics, which will secure a sound economic future for Americans.