Question ... or Trust?
"But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands." (Psalm 31:14-15)
None of us gets through life without meeting trouble or sorrow at some time. As one of Job’s friends put it, "Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward" (Job 5:7). At such times we may wonder where God is and may even ask, ‘Why?’ Certainly people in the Bible did. The psalmist asked God, "Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?" (Psalm 10:1); Jeremiah asked, "Why is my pain unending?" (Jeremiah 15:18); and Habakkuk asked, "Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?" (Habakkuk 1:13). So when we ask similar questions we aren’t on our own! And the fact that these questions are recorded in Scripture shows us that God doesn’t mind us asking them.
But ultimately, the answer to the question "Why?" remains a mystery. The problem, at its most basic level, is that we live in a fallen world, one originally made good but spoiled by sin, and one in which, as a result, things go dreadfully wrong at times. So, while suffering may sometimes be the consequence of our own sin or bad choices, more often than not, it is simply "one of those things" in life in a fallen world.
That is why endlessly asking "Why?" doesn’t get us very far. In fact, those who asked this question in the Bible rarely got an answer. What they got instead was an encounter – an encounter with the living God who brings His strength and encouragement in the midst of our troubles so that we can walk through them and come out on the other side. Rather than pour our emotional and spiritual energy into a question that ultimately has no answer, therefore, how much more worthwhile it is to turn to God and say, "I don’t understand what I’m going through, and I don’t like what I’m going through; but I choose to put my trust in You, despite everything." When we do this, we begin to see indeed that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him" (Romans 8:28). Trust that God again today!
"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." (Deuteronomy 33:27)
© Copyright 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont