By Chris WittsFriday 27 Sep 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes
Louis Armstrong sang many great songs,none more popular than his declaration that we live in a wonderful world. He’s right! The great Christian advocate G. K. Chesterton was asked what he would miss if he were an atheist. His reply was simple and crisp: ‘Someone to say thank you to.’
For most of his professional life the philosopher Anthony Flew was an atheist,arguing powerfully and persuasively against belief in God. In 2004 – in his eighties – he changes his mind. It wasn’t fear of death which triggered his change of heart. While not believing in a personal God,he now believes in God as the Creator because this makes sense of our astonishing Universe. It is not only beautiful,it is also incredibly balanced. A huge number of details needed to be just right for life to begin and flourish on earth – from the proximity of the Moon,the Earth’s distance from the Sun and the fact that water expands as it cools below 4C. Anthony Flew now believes that a ‘creative mind’ is a far more likely explanation than blind chance.
If God is indeed Creator and Sustainer of the Universe,then we can begin to make sense of life. We are not dumped here,courtesy of blind,uncaring chance. We have been loved into existence by a Creator who has carefully prepared this world – and Heaven – as our home. The Bible goes much further than this. Whether or not we believe in God is important,but in the end it’s about trusting God in our everyday lives.
Belief in a loving Creator is my deeply held conviction. But this is not the end of the story. Yes,the world we inhabit is beautiful,but it is also chaotic,unpredictable and terrifying – remember the tsunami of 2004,and the hurricanes and earthquakes of 2005.
Fortunately we have additional evidence to weigh. When I encounter Jesus in the Gospels,I am persuaded that He is indeed the Light of the World. When I encounter the risen Christ in my daily life,this conviction is reinforced – especially when I find that this experience is shared by millions around the world from every culture and personality type. This encounter can have powerful and practical implications.
C.S. Lewis said that it is very difficult to make sense of Jesus other than in Christian terms. It follows that if the claims of the New Testament are true,that Jesus is God’s Son,then the world was created and sustained by the God who was His – and is our – heavenly Father.
The chaos in our beautiful world is brought into sharp focus when we experience personal suffering. This raises the age-old question: why does God allow suffering? Indeed,does God exist? If so,does He care?
The God revealed in the Bible is not distant and impersonal. He is,in the Aramaic word used by Jesus,’Abba,Father’. When we attempt to make sense of a loving God and a suffering world,the Scriptures direct us to the cross of Christ. Calvary reveals the crucial insight that God is not indifferent to the bitter pains of a suffering world. On the cross,Jesus suffered for the world and with the world.
That – together with His glorious resurrection- assures us that we do not live in a bleak,uncaring,unfeeling Universe. We do not bumble around for 70 or 80 (or 20) years,only to drop off the edge into extinction. Empty nothingness will not have the last word! The final word will be brief and beautiful.
In the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy,Douglas Adams raises the question: ‘What is the meaning of life,the Universe and everything?’ His speaking computer comes up with the answer: the number 42., However,the Bible assures us that ultimate meaning is not found in a number,but in a word – ‘agape’,translated into English as ‘love’,the love of God revealed in Jesus Christ,which we are called to share with one another.
It is this glorious word that enables us to make sense of our extraordinary Universe – and of our individual and personal lives.