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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

Struggling with wickedness
Date Posted: March 12, 2023

Ever wonder why the wicked seem to prosper so well while we struggle with all kinds of things?

I did.

Jeremiah did, too, he writes 12:1 Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead with You; Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are those happy who deal so treacherously? It is a terrible question. Can you imagine what it would be like to have God far from your reins? We don't have to look very far to see examples of what happens when authority and restraint are far from our reins.

A more explicit example is found in Romans 1:18-32.

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

Romans 1:19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.

Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

Romans 1:21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Romans 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

Romans 1:23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

Romans 1:24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,

Romans 1:25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Romans 1:26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.

Romans 1:27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;

Romans 1:29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,

Romans 1:30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Romans 1:31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;

Romans 1:32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

I shudder at those verses. What would it be like for God to just let go and let you have your own way? Just like children need and want boundaries, so do we Christians. It is how we stay sane, how we stay close to God, how we stay clean. God created order from chaos which gives us our equilibrium.

The wicked may prosper but nothing is done in the dark that will not be found out. God has blessed me by letting me see the wicked be found out. Oh, not all of them, just a few, but enough for me to know that they do not prosper forever.

So what if the wicked prosper until they die? They will not prosper after death. Some of us will just have to wait until the Day of Judgment to see some of the wicked receive justice. That will be so horrendous, though, it will mean that they will be thrown into the Lake of Fire. I don't care what anyone has done to me... fired me... manufactured evidence against me... betrayed me with other women... thrown me out of house and home... rejected me... spit upon me... called me all manner of things and even prayed to God for evil to befall me... None of that is worth eternal torment. I would not wish that on any person.

Have mercy, Lord. Have mercy on me and on those who revile me and reject me. Draw them close Father and pour Your Spirit over them, Father for they know not what they do. Open their eyes, Father to what they do. Make them see. Give them compassion, for they shall surely die without You.

All of that wickedness is merely temporary. The sting of losing a job only lasted until I was employed again. Admittedly, it took a lot longer to forgive my husband who betrayed me, but I don’t grind my teeth at night anymore. The other things were sword stabs, and they wounded, but not mortally. God is the great Healer. When all the attacks against our person and our spirit from wickedness whether from Satan or from other Christians are measured against how huge God is, the seeming mountain becomes a mole hill. They last no longer than the time it takes for water to pour out of the hand.

Thank goodness God is in control of believers’ lives. Why should we want Him in complete control?

Job 38 has a huge list of reasons.

Job 38:4 Where were you when I founded the earth? Declare if you know understanding.

Not even a twinkle in my daddy's eye! I do not understand how God spoke and brought the universe from nothing.

Job 38:5 Who has set its dimensions, do you know? Or who has stretched a line on it?

Oh... yes! God stretched a line around the earth's middle and we can see it from space. Job didn't have the faintest notion what the line meant. He could not see the "big picture" that we can see by turning on NASA channel.

Job 38:6 On what were its bases sunk? Or who cast its cornerstone,

Job 38:7 when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Ummm... Nothing? Well, not exactly nothing. We know all about gravity and how it interacts with mass and how motion has a lot to do with positioning in space. Job was a herdsman, albeit very rich, but he did not have a PhD from MIT. We humans know the answer to this question, even learned it in 11th grade science class or in physics class, but knowing it doesn't give us greater insight to God's personality.

Job 38:8 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it burst out; it came forth from the womb?

Lots of archeology evidence of the Great Flood. Lots of historical accounts of it dating before Moses. So, therefore, Moses must have copied the story from other sources, right? No.

Job 38:9 When I made the clouds to clothe it, and darkness its navel-band; 10 and I broke My limit on it and set bars and doors; 11 and I said, You shall come to here, but no further; and here your proud waves shall be set?

Tides, ebbs, moon's gravitational pull. Science explains to us what God means by bars and doors and waves being set. It is only from other forces such as earthquakes that the waves set is pushed back beyond the normal high tide. But there is a door and a bar where the water cannot go beyond. Only God did that.

Job 38:12 Have you commanded the morning from your days, and caused the dawn to know its place,

We have pictures from space of the dawn/dusk boundaries, and the boundaries of the seas, the cloud covering, the "navel-band" of darkness. But not even the strength of every living soul on earth can keep the sun from rising or the earth from rotating.

We have pictures from 4 miles under the ocean's surface that depict mountains and trenches of the seabed, and indeed man has walked the ocean's depths... but only recently.

We still cannot comprehend the hugeness of earth. We compare how "small" it is compared to how "large" Saturn and Jupiter are, and we compare how "small" they are to the vastness of the Sun. Can we truly comprehend how big earth is?

In the pictures from space only 200 miles from the earth's surface, a human being cannot be discerned, and cities look like splashes of light.

And yet, of all the things God created, He loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son so that whosoever believed on Him would never perish, but would have life eternal. Since Man is like the grass of the field, green and lush today then dry and burned tomorrow, the wicked only prosper for a flash of time. Too bad they cannot store their riches in Heaven where it will neither rust nor dissipate like fog.

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Biography Information:

Gina Burgess has taught Sunday School and Discipleship Training for almost three decades. (Don't tell her that makes her old.) She earned her Master's in Communication in 2013.

She is the author of several books including: When Christians Hurt Christians, The Crowns of the Believers and others available in online bookstores. She authors several columns, using her God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. You can browse her blog at Refreshment In Refuge.

If you'd like to take a look at some Christian fiction and Christian non-fiction book reviews check out Gina's book reviews at Upon

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