So...here is my question: When you see suffering, injustice, oppression...do you accept that God is in charge and it is all from God...and submit and accept? For example in Egypt right now...the people have been living with the oppressive regime of first Sadat, and now Mubarak for over 30 years. The U.S. has supported Mubarak all these years...because it's better than a power vacuum in the Middle East?! Now after a generation, thousands are ready to break the yoke and stand up and say "no more". Did they suddenly hear from God?
I'll try to give you my meager perspective on your question. Or, at least what I've used to placate my questions. First one about suffering, injustice and oppression -- is God in charge and is it all from God, so we should submit and accept. I think we are a multi-layered world. We have the "natural law" layer -- if one lives on the Sahara Desert, one may be hungry and thirsty; if one lives in the Midwest, one might get blown away by a tornado. God doesn't mess with natural laws --- they are set in motion, and unless it's highly necessary to prove something (like Jesus walking on the water, or the talk with Moses, etc), He doesn't alter anything. He made the potential for the wind to blow at high rates of speed. He made volcanic plates. Our earth is dynamic and continues to roil and boil, and provide pleasant retreat too. The idea of God is one of Supremacy over it all, but He lets it operate. The other layer we have is the man-organized layer: we have social, human conditions which add to life's complexities. We have petty bosses who want to let their issues spill out and make others' lives miserable. We have Hitler. We have Mubarak and his protesters and his supporters. We have Mother Teresa's response. We have the Salvation Army. We have political institutions, religious ones, everything man has created to support his own base or good nature.
The people of Egypt want change. Perhaps their ideas are shaped by their beliefs in God. Their perceptions of what is good for a human being operating in a political system might be supported by their particular religious outlook. We did the same thing when we broke from England. The United States, whose religious beliefs are shaped by God supposedly, who attaches itself to Israel because of religious heritage outlook, acts primarily for the good of itself, although colored by the lens of religion somewhat, yet really is concerned about holding onto peaceful economic conditions which also means staving off one's enemies. We can support this conveniently by the mentioned religious dimension. Here in America, we live the good life. None of us want our enemies to press in on us. We're about self-preservation, like it or not.
President Obama is seemingly going along with the change too, per his last talk. Maybe we can hold onto preservation and the ideas of democracy, maybe we won't lose relationship, maybe we just have to say the Egypt people are winning, so let's be part of the inevitable and be conciliatory.
Did they hear from God? They might think so. Yet the religious dimension is being used to support a world view and a political action. Happens all the time in that human layer. It's not always bad or good. It might be valid or invalid.
The last layer we might have is the spiritual layer. God, Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha (or are the last two man-made?), etc. I choose the first two because of my heritage and because of historical and logical reasons. This layer is one we try to manipulate and understand and emulate. We try to praise it; we try to force it; we try to verify it constantly; we use it. It's very complex. Even if I'm tempted to say "and it's very simple", I know that isn't true. It's complex. Because how does God infuse the layers? And, does He? Remember the devotion I sent which was my friend's writing regarding her husband's brain tumor? It's a test. If he isn't healed, God did not in fact intervene, and the voice my friend heard isn't more than her intense wishful thinking. If he is healed, it could be the science involved, but it could be God involved, and perhaps because she tapped into his layer repetitively and with great assurance and seeking, she is rewarded for her faith. It will be interesting to see what happens. Admitted or not, we'll all be disappointed if this faith test isn't resolved positively.
This spiritual layer seems to be more individualistic than corporate. It seems like it works despite the tornado, earthquake, monsoon, even cancer. My friend will make peace with God even if her husband dies. Is it possible to believe in God when you have no earth's resources? Or, when the social layer is so intense and full of problems? Seems as if there are blocks, obstacles, yet we all universally live within the circle of our conscience, of our soul working toward meaning of some sort. Is the meaning our family, our social connections, our homes, our meal providing, our politics? I can't believe that this search for meaning is non-existent. Therefore, we have religion; we have religious stories and religious paths to take. We have an awareness that we may not be all there is. Some of us are free-er to explore this in our comfort and leisure than others, yet that too has a distraction side. Some of us don't have much of a chance due to our culture or restraints or our suffering. Yet there are undeniable currents -- morality issues, meaning issues, etc.
Where is God? Sometimes what we require of Him is more than what He has permitted Himself to do. Who knows why? Sure doesn't help our beliefs out at times. Yet the layer is there. His layer.
I know some people won't like this because I make him sound very passive, and I don't expect a lot of intervention. Yet I pray for it despite myself. But, I think my prayers would be best served if I could just understand the layers better and why He, in Being, is necessary in our daily operations, search for meaning, and pathway through the layers of this life.
I don't know if I've answered your question. I'm doing a lot of articulation of my thoughts here too which I haven't before. I could definitely be sounding vague, but what is crystal clear anyway?