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Over the past several weeks I’ve had the opportunity to have conversations with a young man, in his early 20’s, who’s really struggling with the question of “Is God real?” Matt is a self-proclaimed atheist, a sweet young guy, really. But he picks up the newspapers, and he switches on the TV, and he reads reports of children being abused, and he sees clips about suicide bombers in Iraq. He hears about shootings in the schools where innocent lives are lost. He points to 911 and the devastation Hurricane Katrina wreaked on New Orleans, and the wildfires in California, and the earthquakes in Peru and Japan, and the economic recession, and the rash of home foreclosures, and the plight of the homeless , and the plight of orphans in Africa and Honduras – on and on, and this young man asks, “Where is your God? Where is God in all this?” And he comes to the false conclusion that there must not be a God.


And I want to tell him that he’s looking in the wrong places. God is not in the calamity, He’s in the remedy. He’s in the thousands of people who gathered supplies and offered time and muscle to rebuild the flood-ravaged homes in New Orleans. He’s in the firefighters who risked their lives to go into the Twin Towers that day to lead survivors out. He’s in the mission-minded believers who collect money and resources for the orphans.


I want to tell him that while humanity was in the darkness of sin, a darkness darker than any cave could ever be, God provided a remedy in sending His son to be the propitiation for our sins.


1 John 4:10 says,

“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”


Propitiation. Appeasement. Payment. The Greek word used for this comes from an exclamation which means “Heaven forbid! God Forbid! May God be merciful to you in averting calamity!”

The real calamity, the basis for all the trouble in the world, is sin. And the cure, the remedy, is Jesus Christ; the Kingdom of God that He has established here on earth. And in as much as Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is now in/within/among us, we now become that remedy.


God is not in the calamity; He’s in the remedy.