by Pastor Tim Burt
Many of us, at some point in our lives, have found ourselves saying, “God, I don’t understand what’s happening! Why is this occurring?” It’s a common reaction when faced with hurt or disappointment, especially when we’re grappling with questions that seem to have no clear answers. However, we should be cautious in these moments because the pursuit of answers to these ‘whys’ can sometimes complicate matters and shake our faith. Let me clarify that seeking understanding from God is not a bad thing; quite the opposite, it’s a good practice!
Sometimes, when we pose these questions to God, we inadvertently voice them to the world or to people who may not share our beliefs. The responses we receive in such cases can inflict additional emotional pain. For instance, someone might respond with, “Are you crazy? Why do you believe in this God stuff? If God does exist, this world seems chaotic, and He doesn’t appear to be doing anything about it!” Such statements can deepen our existing doubts, especially during challenging times, without offering any real answers. They leave us with lingering questions that only contribute to our confusion and erode our faith. Remember, you can’t always force or discover answers to questions that only God holds.
Let me share an example from our own experiences. Some time ago, my wife Renee and I prayed for a couple who were expecting a child and had received a distressing medical report. We stood in faith with them during their difficult journey. When their child was born, it was a miracle, and the doctor’s concerns proved unfounded. However, there was another instance when we were asked to pray for another couple who had also received an adverse medical report. Again, we stood in faith with them, but their child lived for less than an hour. It was a heart-wrenching and sorrowful experience. Positive outcomes fill us with joy, but painful ones often lead us to ask those perplexing questions: “Why is this happening? I don’t understand.” If we don’t navigate these moments with care, they can be discouraging to our faith.
Consider the story of David, a man whom God had promised to bless. He was anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the next King of Israel, yet he found himself caught in a series of trying events. King Saul, whom he had loyally served, became jealous and sought to take his life. It was a perplexing situation, one that could easily make anyone wonder, “How does this make sense?”
David, like you and me, was human and experienced those “God, I don’t understand what’s happening” moments. He cried out to God, saying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so distant when I need your help?” (Psalms 22:1, NLT). It’s important to note that when David uttered these words, he was likely at one of the lowest points in his life. I share this to emphasize that you’re not alone; most people encounter such deep lows at some point in their lives. Even David, who had witnessed God’s deliverance numerous times, had moments of discouragement and questioning.
If you’ve ever heard absurd answers to difficult questions about God, you know how unsatisfying they can be. These answers may even provoke frustration because they portray God as capricious or malevolent as if He doesn’t know what He’s doing. I recall a pastor once suggesting at a funeral that a young lawyer had died because God needed another lawyer in Heaven. This explanation left the family understandably upset and confused, and it also created spiritual confusion for others. It’s essential to recognize that God is not in cahoots with the devil, as some mistakenly teach based on the Book of Job (a topic for another discussion).
Demanding immediate answers from God when He may not be ready to provide them can lead to over-analysis and the creation of false, confusing answers. This can ultimately drive a wedge between us and God. When asking God questions, it’s crucial to approach Him with a reverent and childlike faith. What do I mean by that? “Why God?” questions often arise during times of pain or confusion, and a loving Father would comfort His child with explanations that the child can grasp. These explanations may be partial if the child’s maturity level can’t fully comprehend them, but over time, they’ll receive the answers they need. You may be an adult, but your spiritual maturity might not yet align with the answers God would provide as He communicates through His Word.
So, as you ask “Why?” questions, turn to God’s Word and ask the Lord to reveal answers in His own timing. He will, though not always immediately. Only He can provide answers to those tough questions that might otherwise confuse your faith and understanding of Him. It’s the Holy Spirit who guides us in understanding God’s ways and heart. Therefore, when these questions arise, tell the Lord that you’ll patiently await His answer. He will eventually provide it, as promised in Jeremiah 33:3 (NLT2): “Ask me, and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.” Some answers may come quickly, while others may take time, but the Lord is faithful to provide answers through His Word. Approaching difficult questions this way will help you wait patiently and gain insight and understanding from God’s perspective. So, cast your doubts into the sea, and remember that, because of Jesus, God is always on your side. Trust the Lord, who is a comforting and perfect Father. He will help you find healing and move forward.
In the end, like Job, you may come to a point of humble surrender. Job 42:1-6 (NLT2) illustrates this beautifully: “…Job replied…Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance? It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me… I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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