Sometimes we can feel like it’s wrong to ask, “why, God?” When hard times come, it’s often a natural question of our hearts… but I don’t think it’s a wrong question. The only concern I have is that I think we don’t ask it soon enough.
I want to encourage you to ask it now.
The time to decide what you believe about why God…
- lets children get cancer,
- allows good policemen to get shot on the job,
- lets sexually active teens get pregnant while godly married couples face infertility,
(all the hard, niggling questions of life) …is NOT when these things happen to you, your child, your family, your best friend.
The time to ask, “how can this be good, or how could this terrible thing possibly work together for good?” is not at some future time when you face your life’s greatest trial.
The time to decide is now.
Our culture tells likes like:
“you can’t know what it’s like until you go through it.”
But that’s baloney.
In some ways, of course, it’s true:
- No one else knows exactly what it’s like to be YOU going through YOUR trial. (Each heart knows it’s own sorrows.)
- No one person knows all the particular difficulties of every specific tragedy and difficulty that every human being will face.
- We know what deep pain is.
- We know what having a sinful heart is like.
- We know about facing uncertainty, doubt, anxiety, and fear.
- We know what it’s like to feel betrayed and alone.
- We know what it’s like to have the people around us let us down.
- As we age, we know what it’s like to feel like our health, and often the health of someone we love, is failing.
- We know what it’s like to think we can control life and then have reality slap us upside the head.
- We come to know what it’s like to lose someone dear to us.
- We feel terrified by sickness and injury in someone we love.
- Tragedy strikes and we know what it’s like to feel that the rug has just been pulled out from under us, and life no longer looks the way it did before.
These feelings are common among humanity, even if the particulars and degrees of each circumstance differ.
We *CAN*, and I believe we *SHOULD* figure out now what the Scriptures say about why God let Joseph be sold into the pit, why Job was severely afflicted (though he was godly), why the blind man was born blind, and why the wicked are sometimes given long life while some die young.
We should figure out who God is in relation to these things NOW, before:
- OUR 6-year-old is diagnosed with cancer
- it is OUR husband who dies and we’re left widowed with mouths to feed
- we cannot control our own fertility in ways that we anticipated and hoped for
- we find a lump
- we get the phone call that rocks our world & changes our life forever
Some people ask “why, God?” but then never really lean in to hear His answer. They just let the question reverberate, echoing on repeat for the whole of their lives, robbing them of peace and rest.
But the key to understanding suffering comes in knowing, meditating on, and trusting God’s Word. There, He gives answers for:
- why suffering exists,
- how He uses it,
- what it produces in our hearts and lives,
- who He is in the midst of it,
- what we can/should do when we’re in a trial, and
- where He is when we’re suffering.
God doesn’t leave us dangling, hurting, and alone, without answers. In His Word, He offers us wisdom, and even can help us prepare for future suffering by increasing our knowledge of Him.
- You can, and should, think through suffering and the Sovereignty of God before trials come.
- You can, and should, ask the hard questions and lean in to the Word to hear God’s answers.
- You can, and should, prepare for future hard things by taking time now to study God’s goodness amidst hard things.
IN THE COMMENTS, PLEASE SHARE:
How do you remind yourself, in your daily life, of the reality of God’s goodness amidst hard things? Do you turn TOWARD the hard questions, rather than away from them, about who God is and why He allows hard things to happen?