By: Bill Keller, Evangelist
I have preached a message over the years called: "The Right Question." It is a message everyone needs to hear because everyone comes to that place in life when they ask, "Why God?" I can't tell you how many times I've been with people at a funeral, in a hospital room, in a counseling session, and inevitably the same question always gets asked, "Why, why is God allowing this to happen?...Why is this happening?...Why doesn't God care?...Why doesn't God stop this?...Why doesn't God step in and change this?...Why, why, why God?"
First of all, that is a natural
question. Don't feel bad. As a matter of fact, if you haven't asked that
question, you're not normal. We all come to that place from time to time,
especially in the midst of serious trials in our life when we look up at God
and we just say, "Why God?...Where are you?...Why aren't you helping me?...Why God?"
I want to help you to ask the proper question. "Why God" is the natural question, however, the proper question is, "What, God?"
Living in this sin-filled world that we do - a world full of men living in utter rebellion to God and His Word - there is incredible evil all around us. Because of that sin and evil, there is always going to be bad things happening. That is simply part of this human experience. Just hours before going to the cross, Jesus took His disciples to the side and said, "In this life, you are going to have trials and tribulations." (John 16:33)
Jesus didn't want His disciples to think that just because they had walked with Him, that their life was going to be a bed of roses. Anybody who thinks that when you get saved you automatically receive a free pass from the trials and tribulations from life is sadly mistaken. You see, trials and tribulations are part of living in this sin-filled and evil world that we live in. Just like death is part of this life, the trials and tribulations we all face during our life are also part of this human experience.
You can go through the trials and tribulations of life, face those difficult circumstances we all have along our journey and whine and moan and complain and ask "Why God," or you can ask the proper question which is, "What, God? What God - what can I learn from this situation? God - what lesson can I take from this experience?' Most importantly, "God, what can I do to try to glorify You through this?"
You read in the Book of Acts about some of the experiences Paul went through. Repeatedly tossed into prison for his faith, chased out of towns, people trying to kill him, but you never read about Paul asking God why. Instead he asked, "What God can I do to glorify You through all that I am going through?" You see my friend, that has got to be your response to the trials and tribulations that you face in this life. Instead of wasting your time and energy moaning and complaining and asking God why, figure out what you can do in the midst of your trials and tribulations to serve Him and bring glory to His name.
You see, our purpose in this life is to serve and glorify God. That's our purpose. That purpose doesn't change just because we're going through a difficult time.
Many of the things you are asking "Why, God?," are out of your control. In most cases, you can't control the fact that you've got cancer in your body, got laid off from your job, your husband or wife left you, or your son or your daughter is living their lives in rebellion to God. So many of the things that we face in our life are things that we have no control over in the first place. It's at those times that your faith has got to become real and you have to put your complete faith and trust in God. When you do that, you are no longer sitting there asking, "Why, God, why is this happening to me?" Instead, you are asking, "What, God, what can I do for You? What can I learn from this trial? What do you WANT me to learn from this trial?"
Often times our question should
be: "What do you want to say to me in this trial? What do
you want me to learn?" God usually as much more
to say to us than what we think, and He uses the very painful trials to get
us to dig in deep with Him to hear whatever He may want to say to us.
However - realize something. Often God's answer doesn't come as
quickly as we would like, because He knows we won't do any changing (if
change is what He is after in us).
Do you want to start living in freedom? Do you want to start living with that joy in your heart? Do you want to start living with that peace the Bible says passes all human understanding? Oh, my friend, when you are not asking why anymore, but instead are asking what, there is a peace, there is a joy, there is a freedom you can't even put into words. It is indescribable. You see, Jesus, after He told His disciples that there would be trials and tribulations quickly added, "But be of good cheer because I have overcome this world!"
Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). Could Jesus have learned that asking His Father 'Why?' all the time He suffered did not produce peace, let alone any joy. Rather ' do you suppose He learned to ask His Father frequently 'What? What Father, is your will in this matter? What am I to know about this situation confronting me?'
My friend, God knows what your problems are today. Give them to Him since I guarantee you He can handle them better than you can. What that does is free you up to not waste your time and energy asking why, but spend it serving the Lord. You need to ask, "What am I to learn from You out of this trial, and if You desire to change me, give me help - determination - to MAKE that change."
I know many of you are hurting and going through difficult times
right now. My admonition to you, my counsel to you,
my encouragement for you
is to change your question.
Change your question from, "Why, God?" to "What, God?"
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Staff Note: Many of our trials in life are nothing more than Satanic attacks - persecution from the devil, and when that is the case, we need to quit complaining to God through our "Why's" and diligently seek Him as to HOW we can work with Him to stop the devil's attack against us. God moderates what Satan is allowed to do to each of us, as we understand from reading the book of Job, and It's when the pain is the most intense (and that pain can sometimes be years) the deep hidden character flaws come out in us and once they DO - and we'll be honest about it and repent of it ... God is hoping we'll work with Him to let Him destroy those character flaws.
If we DON'T let Him work on those hidden character flaw attitudes that our deep pain reveals, we can most likely expect GREATER pain from Satan that God allows as times goes on. God is much more concerned about our character flaws than most realize -- especially those ones buried deep down inside that we ALL have that we never really realize until the pain is intense enough.
Please always keep yourself reminded of what the END GOAL in this struggle of life is truly all about: God is making Himself a people to rule and co-reign with Jesus Christ through eternity, and God uses our life's trials to conform our spirit to be more equipped to be shaped into the Godly vessel He desires us to be for that future co-reigning time with Him. And because of this refining process we each are in, when we ask Him so often "WHY ARE YOU LETTING THIS HAPPEN? WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS? WHY IS THIS PAIN HAPPENING TO ME?" ... in most cases God could answer: "To test you to see what you're REALLY made of ... and to SEE if you are determined to trust Me in My wisdom for your life ... because this life right now is NOT the life you'll experience for ETERNITY."
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