What Difference Does it Make? (Malachi 2:17)

For the Christian believer, the seeker or atheist, trials and storms will inevitably come their way, and the outcome may sometimes be the same. There may be an apparent loss or victory. The Christian believer may comfort himself with the promise that God is causing all things to work together for God. The seeker will comfort himself with the assurance that his own internal fortitude has allowed him to weather the same storms. This begs the question, what difference does it make to believe in God?

If our perspectives and attitudes are only tied to the immediate circumstances, then from a temporal standpoint, it may not make much difference at all. We would only be looking for a bandage for the pain or suffering. But if we are able to step back and begin to view things through the lens of God’s revelation and an eternal perspective, a dramatic difference is revealed. It is no longer a bandage but the beginning of a cure.

Any outcome for the seeker or atheist becomes another notch to their perceived power of self-reliance. Any outcome for the believer becomes another notch to their need to rely upon God ever more. Same outcome but different perspective and attitude-pride or humility. Random or design. Temporal or eternal.

You have wearied the Lord with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”
Malachi 2:17 (ESV)

This question is not new. Believers and seekers alike have asked it for centuries. In this passage from Malachi, the prophet berates the Hebrews for their limited vision. Did they think that because God’s judgment was not immediately delivered upon the people who disobeyed Him, that He was delighting in their evil? Of course not! That would be absurd! Yet, from their viewpoint of the immediate circumstances and outcomes, this was the conclusion to which the Hebrews arrived. Are we any different? When we see evil seemingly triumphing over good, when we see bad things happen to good people, when random acts of violence destroy innocent people, do we not come to the same conclusion-What difference does it make?

It is an eternal difference. If we confess and repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we can have the assurance that in the end, God will triumph. Good will prevail over evil. When God is on our side, our perspective and attitude is viewed from an eternal perspective and we realize, understand, and trust that God is in control.

What’s the difference? The answer will determine your eternal destiny.

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.