Is Evil Greater Than God?

Many atheists and others who reject the biblical God have attempted to cast judgment on God and render Him weak in the face of evil or try to do away with Him altogether.  In a recent discussion with several atheists, Action Faith Books Press engaged the argument concerning the existence of God from the view of evil.  The argument was in the context of the recent persecution of the Jews across Europe,

“In light of jewish (sic) history, I would agree with [another in the discussion], that this opinion (God’s oversight of the Jews) is delusional. If God exists and watches over Jews, that has not prevented Jews to experienced (sic) terrible things throughout history and in many different places of the world. God watching over the Jews is clearly not helping them.”

Our reply was as follows:

“Yours is a faulty old argument even academic atheists do not use anymore because it is a logical fallacy. First, when you admit to people experiencing terrible things, as the Jews, you acknowledge objective moral evil. Otherwise, you cannot call what happened to the Jews (and Christians and anyone else who disagreed with Hitler) terrible. And if you acknowledge moral evil, you have to admit to objective moral good. That means morality (good and evil) are external to human judgment. That is, you set up a standard concerning how things ought to be and ought not to be and that this applies to all humanity, that is, a standard of goodness and corruption due to the absence of goodness, by which you admit to as evil.

God is the intelligent Designer of the universe, and His good character provides a moral standard or moral context to discern evil (Paul Copan, “How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong?: Responding to Objections that Leave Christians Speechless”). God is the source of all goodness. God created humanity. Humanity decided not to follow God but turned to objective evil from objective good. Therefore, humanity is the source of evil. Now if humanity is the source of evil, why are you transferring evil deeds from humanity to God? By doing so, you reveal your own corrupt reasoning and refuse to accept the goodness that comes from God. Therefore, you are just like Hitler and even worse by projecting on to God, who is higher than Hitler, evil that exists in humanity. Therefore, you stand guilty of worse atrocities than Hitler. It is false to assume that God cannot stop all evil.

Let’s bring it back to you. Did you ever think that God wanted to teach you a lesson about your own evil and false judgments about Him and others? Yes, you too stand guilty of doing evil to God and others. By allowing you to engage in evil thoughts and actions and suffering their consequences, He is showing you the true nature of evil so that you will turn from it to Him and not be harmed to the point of death.”

The source of evil is one of the most pernicious allegations against the Christian faith.  Sometimes, Christians do not have an answer for those who accuse God of perpetrating evil, the inability to stop it, or being evil Himself.  This argument simply comes back to the accusers.  They fail to realize that when they admit to evil in the world, they establish an objective standard for identifying certain actions as evil.  In doing this, they then have to admit that objective good also exists as a basis for the standard for evil.  How can one identify evil without some standard?

They also fail to realize humanity’s own rebellion against God, thereby entering into corruption.  Many point their fingers at God and others and ignore themselves as the perpetrators of evil deeds.  This is faulty thinking, for in admitting others as evil, they must themselves look into the objective moral mirror and judge themselves.  The Apostle Paul makes this same argument when writing,

“Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:1-3)

Paul establishes two truths about humanity and evil.  First, when people judge others, they admit to objective morality.  In doing so, they also judge themselves for the same thing of which they judge others.  By admitting to objective morality, they also admit to objective truth.

Second, evil is not greater than God, and God could stop evil if He wanted.  However, he has a greater purpose for it.  This greater purpose is called the “richness of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering.”  He also explains this higher purpose: the goodness of God leads to repentance.  Since the standard for objective evil (wrongdoing, disasters, suffering) is objective goodness found in God, God uses goodness to bring people to recognize their moral corruption so that they will turn from its destructive effects to Him and be saved from destruction.  Such an action on God’s part magnifies His goodness.  God conquers moral corruption one person at a time and will eventually bring it to a halt.  God showed that He had the power over moral corruption by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for the sins of the world and conquering evil through His perfection and death through the resurrection.

Humanity’s Thinking: God Is Like Us

“You thought that I was altogether like you, but I will rebuke you” (Psalm 50:21)

The psalmist shows that God breaks through the natural world from His domain and does not fail to leave us without knowledge of Him.  Since He created men and women in His image, God implanted knowledge of Him in them and revealed to them how they should live.  When our faulty thinking rises to Him, He takes it into account and it calls down His rebuke.  He is not like those among humanity who give a pass to sin and overlook wrongdoing.  Judgments in our court system is full of inconsistencies and laxities. We think nothing of watching violence on television or at the movies.  They decrease our sensitivities to wrongdoing.

The judgment of humanity is that fairness and judgments are what we want them to be.  Then we form God in the image of our judgments.  We fail to understand and perceive the faultiness of our thinking until its repercussions show up in our behavior and actions.  Troubles abound as we experience the results of our faulty thinking and evil ways.  Then we ask, “Why do bad things happen to “good” people?”  We fail to understand our faulty logic, because our waywardness has encompassed our entire being, and we no longer see ourselves the way God sees us – in need of restoration and reconciliation back to Him so we can see ourselves from His perspective.  God calls people who have wandered from Him and sought their own ways, calling them “wicked” (Psalm 50:16).  He pronounces judgment on them because of their wickedness:

“But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to declare My statutes, Or take My covenant in your mouth, Seeing you hate instruction And cast My words behind you? When you saw a thief, you consented with him, And have been a partaker with adulterers. You give your mouth to evil, And your tongue frames deceit. You sit and speak against your brother; you slander your own mother’s son” (Psalm 50:16-20).

The psalmist’s statement is not only true for his age but also true for all ages.  The psalmist stated then,

“You thought that I was altogether like you” (Psalm 50:21).

Today, contemporary men and women substitute the above statement with the following (and so many more):

“A loving God would not punish people.”

“God accepts everyone.”

“Who is your God to judge me?”

“Live and let live.”

“It is OK to do [fill in the blank] as long as it does not hurt anyone else.”

“My truth is just as good as your truth.”

All of the above give us a way out and an excuse for anything we believe is not bad.  We call good evil and evil good and claim God holds the same perspective.  We claim, “There is nothing wrong with doing [fill in the blank].”

The only way we can overcome faulty thinking is through embracing how God created us – in His image and turning around and affirming through faith God’s design for our lives, a design patterned after His Son, Jesus Christ.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

The psalmist says much the same thing in his conclusion:

“Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God” (Psalm 50:23).

Offering praise to God is an act of faith.  It acknowledges that what God declares is right and truthful and that He alone establishes how we order our lives.  That ordered way is faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.  The results is salvation or life with Him for all eternity.  This salvation is real freedom from faulty thinking and waywardness into evil.

God the Creator or God the Created?

“You thought that I was altogether like you” (Psalm 50:21).

The psalmist identifies the greatest sin of humanity – idolatry.  Idolatry is turning God the Creator into God the created.  It is men and women creating God in the image of humanity – limited in all ways, angry, arrogant, impatient, jealous, and so on.  Estrangement from God over time due to rebellion from Him lends to people viewing the created order as somehow resembling the image of God.  The psalmist claims that this estrangement begins in the mind with disordered thoughts.  It is natural for us to think this way in our rebellion from God.  In fact, the greater the distance humanity is from God, the more individuals shake off the truth of God and form Him into the image of the creature.  Idolatry has no bounds in its creativity.  It takes that which exist in the created order and converts it into a god.  In doing so, certain consequences occur.

Love turns into hatred, and embracing God becomes rejection. Raising up other gods demonstrates hatred for God’s instruction, especially the first of the 10 Commandments,

“You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3).

This instruction is not simply something in writing but the instruction of humanity’s design – created in the image of God.  If men and women are created in God’s image, then we bear the image of the one and only true God.  No other gods exist, for they are fictions risen from the minds of individuals.  Since God is righteous (50:6), His imprint of righteousness is on everyone.  It is an objective imprint that God stamps as good because it is the essence of His being and character; that is, He is internally consistent and faithful with all He is.  God is good and love and righteousness and truth.  Therefore, there is an objective good and rightness, and it resides in God.

Just as we create gods from that which exists in the created order, we think we can create our own good and rightness and make it our own truth.  When each person does this, goodness and rightness multiply by as many people that exist, and each person does what it right in one’s own eyes.  We develop our own “truth” after we have rejected God and the truth that He is.  We view ourselves righteous in our own eyes and claim, “Your truth may not be the same as my truth” and live in that fantasy world.  This is one of the major consequences of rejecting God’s instruction.  We take a path contrary to the way God created us – His design for our lives.  The world is a sad commentary of everyone doing what is right in one’s eyes.  Paul the Apostle gives a list of consequences that results from this action:

“Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies †among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 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. 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; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful” (Romans 1:22-29).

The above is a vicious cycle of destruction, a destruction arising from a lie and rejection of the one true God.

However, the psalmist claims another way,

“Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God” (Psalm 50:23).

Praising God turns negatives and the cycle of destruction into life – eternal life.  Praise accepts God and His way for us.  It returns the good and brings order back to us.  God restores that good within us by faith in Him in recognizing Him as both God the Creator and Redeemer and rejects a god created in the image of a replica that exist in our minds.

Worldview and Moral Philosophy: The Widespread and All-encompassing Nature of Conflict, Part II

In the previous article Action Faith Books Press presented a challenge to the topic on http://www.linkedin.com entitled, “The moral guidelines that could change our moral codes” (Source: http://linkd.in/16U1CCF).  In this article, the author, Denis Pageau, proposed what he considered as useful guidelines comprised of a “series of questions to make us think and find answers that can then be used as guidelines to help us evaluate if an action is “good” or “bad”.  He then presented these guidelines:

“Would this action or practice
– facilitates or impede my/our development?
– facilitates or impede the development of our fellow citizens?
– facilitates or impede my/our interrelations with my/our families and my/our friends?
– facilitates or impede my/our interactions with my/our colleagues and fellow citizens?
– facilitates or impede the functioning of my/our governments?
– creates or maintain an environment where we are free to develop?”

In this article, we will consider Pageau’s premises and conclusions (syllogisms) that make up his argument and how they are faulty and fail.

His first argument can be broken down in the following syllogism:

1. There are problems with moral codes.
2. One main problem with moral codes is that “they do not really make us think.”
3. The conclusion is in the form of two questions: “if these moral codes could make us think before we make a moral decision, that it would help us prevent, solve or manage the different social tensions, frictions and conflicts that naturally arise because we are social beings? Would it help us live in a better world?”

Since the questions are both rhetorical and for the reader, because he prefaces his questions with “Do you agree…?” Then he continues after the questions that his organization “Citizens and Societies proposes such an approach.”

If we can show the premises false, then the conclusion fails. The first premise assumes problems with moral codes without empirical evidence to support his point. It is a hasty generalization logical fallacy. The second premise that moral codes do not really make us think can also be proven faulty as another hasty generalization that defies reality. All humans think about their actions before they act, which is a fact that makes this premise fail. It does not matter if an individual engages a logical argument prior to making a moral decision, that person still thinks and cannot help doing so prior to acting.  Such thinking considers choices of right and wrong before making the choice.  No one is unthinking.  When we refer to someone as not thinking or unthinking, we do so metaphorically, but we do not cease thinking.  Since both premises fail, so also does the conclusion. Therefore, the entire approach that follows is based on a faulty syllogism.

There is agreement in part with Pageau’s conclusion: we as humans are naturally inclined to “social tensions, frictions and conflicts.”  That all humanity is inclined to badness or evil is another way of expressing what Pageau concludes. If we naturally incline to such tendencies, then the problem of morality (or immorality) is within us rather than something external, such as a moral code.  No moral code can compel morality or correct any inclination toward conflict. A moral code is not a living entity with a personality to force morality on individuals.  The beginning of a solution is recognizing our natural tendency and its cause. From that point we can determine a solution.

If the source of the problems of social tensions, violations, and conflicts reside within individuals, then any moral code would simply aggravate the internal turmoil of social conflicts: arguments, interpersonal battles, lying, cheating, wars, hatred, prejudice, and many other related attitudes and behaviors.  The Apostle Paul say as much in his letter to the Romans,

“For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death…What shall we say then? Is the law [moral code] sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died” (Romans 7:5, 7-9).

The moral code of which Paul spoke was that which God gave to Israel in the Torah.  He claimed that nothing was wrong with that moral code, because it came from God.  Then why did Paul say that it aroused all kinds of immoral [sinful] passions within him?  It simply revealed what actually existed within individuals and described its intensity when the moral code confronted the moral corruption existing within us.  He not only brushes aside that the problem of conflict is with any moral code but also with anything else external to us, such as elements in our environment.  The problem is within individuals and not in the moral code.

If then the problem of conflict resides in us and not in the moral code, how then do we solve the problem of the tendency of human nature toward conflict and friction with others?  How do we solve the problems of prejudice, corruption, and wars?  We can deny that they have any association with morality.  That denial only wishes away conflict and does not make it disappear.  Few if any subscribe to this conclusion.  We can accept that people are sufficiently rational to sit down with one another and negotiate over the issues of interpersonal and societal conflicts.  However, history is replete with people negotiating without success in the long term.  Reason is not sufficient in turning away conflicts that arise in relationships and resolving social issues like racism, greed, envy, hatred, and related attitudes and actions that stir up interpersonal and international conflicts.  People continue to violate treaties and covenants.  Heated disagreements continue.  People continue to lie, steal, cheat, and murder.  Courts are filled with people who suffer from personal injuries and wrongful actions.  Crime fills our prisons.  People bring lawsuits against others for gaining fairness over violations of rights.

We can rename wrongdoings, such as referring to them as not accepting responsibility.  However, people still accuse others of human rights violations and racism and cry out about hate crimes.  Most point the finger at others over some offense by word or deed.  We can also minimize the seriousness of certain conflicts, but such minimization is a form of wishing them away while they swamp us like a tidal wave.

Does evolution offer the reason for interpersonal conflicts and strife between individuals and nations?  Did conflict or evil evolve along with us so that we are prone to destructive behaviors.  If so, how have we lasted?  Why have we not destroyed ourselves by now?  Did we somehow during the evolved process recognize that conflicts were not to our benefit, leading us to offer resolutions through negotiations of treaties and covenants?  How then does evolution explain how good can arise from the tendency toward evil?  Does the incentive toward survival explain it?  Murders still occur while dictators throughout history commit genocide.  Regulations have increased to control whole populations and for steering people toward the good.  A large number of regulations have arisen to check the supposed evil of leaders in large organizations in what some hold as suppression of the helpless worker.  Have they worked?  They have only led to oppressive regimes and top-heavy corruption.  What then is the explanation that good arises from the tendency toward conflict and destruction?

The solution to all of the different conflicts and violations cited above and a reply must be greater than their sum.  What is greater than a giant multitude of individual and societal conflicts?  If history reveals individuals continually breaking their word and failing to keep promises and if nations violate treaties, what can bring these actions to a halt?  Will Pageau’s question sessions have an affect?  Will people be willing to accept such “guidelines” as Pageau suggests given their propensity toward conflict?  Does the reality of human history show that people attempt to optimize good over evil?

The answer to human misery resulting from the continuation and intensity of conflict between and among individuals, communities, organizations, and nations is not in the environment or in other external sources.  Solving environmental issues fails to mitigate conflict.  Transfer of wealth does nothing to reduce poverty.  Individuals have tried and failed to bring about harmony and peace numerous times in world history without avail.  Regardless of how we as humans attempt to manage this condition, it always surfaces like a cancer in turmoil and greater conflict.  In the next several articles, we will address an answer that most aligns with reality concerning human nature and the nature of conflict or wrongdoing.  This article sought to show that the problem is far greater than Pageau and others throughout history have shown in minimizing or discounting conflict as less than what it is.  The next two articles will examine the worldview and ethical position of Pageau’s guidelines and how this ethic and worldview fail to offer an adequate solution.  They will show their root in previous ethical positions and how those positions fail to address the problem of the increasing conflict resulting in turmoil and destruction of property and human life.

Why Worldview Makes A Difference for Morality and Philosophy for Life

night moonRecently, I engaged in a discussion on the http://www.linkedin.com network website.  The discussion was “The Moral Guidelines that Could Change Our Moral Codes” (http://linkd.in/1vp7DDa).  The author suggested that not all moral codes make us think.  He then proposed a question answer scenario that would facilitate our thinking.  In doing so, he posed a number of questions prior to acting or making a moral decision:

“Would this action or practice
– facilitates or impede my/our development?
– facilitates or impede the development of our fellow citizens?
– facilitates or impede my/our interrelations with my/our families and my/our friends?
– facilitates or impede my/our interactions with my/our colleagues and fellow citizens?
– facilitates or impede the functioning of my/our governments?
– creates or maintain an environment where we are free to develop?” (, “The moral guidelines that could change our moral codes.”

In a comment to a series of other replies, particularly focused on Ayn Rand’s philosophy, one gentleman posed a suggestion: “When we do for others we do for ourselves for it creates our reality…the same is true when we only focus on self/fear.”

He came very near what Jesus claimed by paraphrasing what He actually said.  The difference between this gentleman’s suggestion and what Jesus claimed is that Jesus claimed that such a statement revealed a singular and truthful worldview and not the creation of “our reality.”  I went on to say,

“One thing missing in this discussion because this one thing rises above and encompasses the details of what has been said: worldview. Rand’s philosophy rises from her worldview.  [Name withheld], the initial statement you made (a paraphrase) in your recent post rises from a specific worldview: “When we do for others, we do for ourselves.”

Jesus actually claimed that statement:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:7-12).

He embeds that statement in His worldview, that is God is above all. Notice at the beginning of the cited quote, Jesus says, “Ask…seek…knock.” Ask…seek…knock from whom? GOD. Then He continues by describing the nature of humanity. He said that although people are inclined to evil, they know enough to do good for their families. Then Jesus notes that God is greater, because He is Father of all. Afterwards comes the quote in question: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (7:12). That is, those who seek God and His worldview will have this mindset, because it comes from God, and all humanity is created in His image.

This worldview claims, then, all have His imprint within and know value and duty. Value recognizes the worth of all God created and the order He established. Duty recognizes moral obligation. That is, everyone knows when they do right or wrong. Treatment of others and allegiance to God show both. We do good to and for others because we see them as having great value. Doing evil toward another or even toward ourselves devalues others and ourselves. Doing evil devalues oneself. Although we are naturally inclined to evil, as shown by our need for any moral code at all, we recognize good and do good because we are created in the image of God. Jesus claimed that our commitment to God enables us to live according to the image in which He created us, that is, according to Him.

Worldview makes a huge difference in terms of how we view moral codes. If we reject God as the giver of morality, we will attempt to create our own. When everyone does this, conflict arises, and morality becomes relative to one’s own worldview. There will be no end of conflict, tension, and wars in the world as each person, group, or society competes for the power to exert its worldview. Power plays happen in all organizations. Recognizing and committing ourselves to the source of our existence goes toward reducing such conflict and living in love toward one another. The last phrase Jesus said acknowledges this. He referred to the claim of doing to others as you would have them do to you as arising from the Law and Prophets. Jesus made only one other claim that did so, and that claim was loving one another. He said doing this fulfilled the Law and Prophets (Matthew 22:37-40). God’s worldview preempts all other worldviews and moral codes. It is universal while any human created worldview and corresponding moral code is limited because it is finite.

If then a moral code assumes that all are inclined toward evil and all need correction, as Denis’ questions suggest, then the solution is a worldview and corresponding moral code that is sufficiently universal to apply to the universality of the inclination toward evil. That worldview is that which Jesus claimed.”

Worldview matters, because it does indeed reflect truth and that truth reality.  The significance of the worldview of Jesus is that His worldview is the only one that works, because God alone changes people from the inclination toward evil to an inclination toward right living through imparting to them a new life altogether.  The Apostle Paul wrote,

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Through faith we commit ourselves to the worldview of Jesus and in doing so to the greatest commandment of the Law – to love one another.  This worldview is reality because it reflects the truth of God.  Worldview matters for morality and philosophy of life.

Into Your Hands

Just before Jesus expended His last breath, He cried to His Father,Hope

Into Your hand I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46).

Those nearby who were well acquainted with the Scriptures, especially the Psalms would have recognized that He recited Psalm 31:5.  He had the word of God on His lips with His final breath.  It sustained Him throughout His life.  In one incident when He encountered Satan, Satan said to Jesus,

If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread” (Matthew 4:3).

Jesus replied from Torah,

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (4:4).

Satan continued to try trip him by also quoting Scripture back to Jesus out of context.  However, Jesus knew the Scriptures well and would not be fooled by Satan’s trickery.  Jesus frequently used Scriptures in countering the arguments of the Pharisees and Sadducees and giving a defense for His Father and His decrees and declarations.  He taught the truth of the Scriptures to His disciples so they would gain strength from them in time of need and be able to offer a defense for the truth in the life of Jesus.  The Scriptures became Jesus’ sustenance in life and in death.

His example teaches us that the Scriptures are our authority and their content are lamp and life.  Relying on the Scriptures is relying on God.  Both God and His word are the content and strength of our lives.  The particular passage from Psalm 31:5 illustrates this assurance.  King David never knew that the Messiah, the Son of God, his offspring would quote from his psalm.  He never knew the vitality of his psalm for all subsequent generations.  He never realized that this truth would give assurance to so many.  Although he wrote it initially for himself, we recognize that he also intended it to be for the entire congregation of God.  The heading informs us of his purpose,

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.”

He saw commitment to God his lifelong vision and allegiance, even in death, because he recognized God was his redeemer (Psalm 31:5).  He gives a litany of distresses and troubles he encountered throughout his life and concludes,

But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your hand” (31:14-15).

At the conclusion of his psalm, David turns to his audience, the congregation for whom he intended it and announces,

Oh, love the LORD, all you His saints! For the LORD preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the LORD.”

He wants to assure them that commitment to God meant safety, because those whom God considers “saints” or set-aside ones are safe in His hands.  They can be courageous and hopeful, knowing that the strength and power to endure hardship comes from God.  God holds His saints tightly in His hand.  Jesus, our Savior set the example on the cross when He cried to His Father,

Into Your hands I commit My spirit” Luke 23:46.

God is our Father, also, and we like Jesus can trust Him to care for us.