Why Doesn’t God DO Something!?

One of the biggest issues that people wrestle with when it comes to God is why life happens the way it does. Why doesn’t God intervene in bad situations?  Why does He allow (or determine, depending on your theology) things to happen to His children that bring sorrow and pain? Why does He seem silent . . . uninterested . . . uncaring? If God is sovereign, isn’t He in control of life? And if He is in control of life, why doesn’t He solve our problems? Why doesn’t He remove all evil? Why doesn’t He just DO something?


GOD, AND THE WAY HE WORKS IN OUR LIVES IS

OFTEN A MYSTERY, HOWEVER THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

ISN’T. HE’S TOLD US HOW TO LIVE.


I’ve written on this in the past, but it’s helpful to be reminded again that God has a plan for what He does and for what happens in our lives.

Here are a few thoughts on the subject of God’s intervention in our lives, especially in difficult times.

1. It may be that God has intervened and you haven’t yet recognized it. We are dealing here with not only what we can see, but what we can’t see. Remember Elisha’s servant who saw the mighty army of the Syrians but couldn’t see the army of God until his eyes were opened (2 Kings 6:17). Much of what God does in our lives is done in the realm of the unseen. Don’t think that just because you can’t see what God is doing that He has failed to act. Ask Him in His grace to help you to see.

2. Remember that God’s highest goal is His glory (Exodus 20:2, Isaiah 42:8, 48:11). We want God’s highest priority to be us. We want Him to spend His time (if we can even refer to God and time in the same breath) solving our problems. I know that God is the ultimate multitasker – I’m not making a reference here to God but to us. We need to keep the truth in front of us that when God acts, He ultimately acts for His own glory. That might mean that the trials we face are intended to enhance His glory in ways that we cannot understand. Ask God to glorify Himself through you.

3. God may use the bad in your life for the good in someone else. Life isn’t just about us – it’s about all of us. As Christians we are to live our lives for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31) and the benefit of others (Galatians 6:10). Joseph’s trials were for the good of his family and ultimately the nation of Israel. Paul’s prison experience was for the good of the Philippian jailer and his family. Christ’s death was for the good of those who trust Him as savior. Good often comes out of bad – and if the spiritual good of another person can come out of your pain, well isn’t that worth it?

4. God may be trying to change you. Real spiritual change rarely comes from pleasant circumstances. It normally comes out of hardship (James 1:2-4). When life is good we tend to sit back and enjoy it. It’s when life is painful that we begin to examine it and search for answers. That process will lead to change. In fact the Christian life is all about change – changing into the image of Christ. Take encouragement from your trials – they mean that God isn’t through with you yet (Hebrews 13:21).

5. God forgives all confessed sin but He doesn’t always remove the consequences of your sin. We tend to think that when God forgives, He removes the sin and the results of our sin. It’s true that He removes the sin and puts it on His Son. It’s also truth that He removes the eternal consequences of sin. But He doesn’t always choose to remove the temporal consequences. The alcoholic may suffer the ravages of a diseased liver even after confessing his sin. Many of our problems in life fall into this category. We suffer even though we are walking with God because of choices made in the distant past. When that is the case, ask God for grace to handle the trials (Hebrews 4:16).

6. The actions of other people impact your life. It may not be fair but it is reality. What other people do; the choices they make can have a significant impact – often negative – on our lives. While we may not be able to control what they do, we can control how we respond. This is where faith comes in. As Christians we walk by faith not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). That is, we choose to respond in a Jesus imitating way instead of how we would like to respond.

God, and the way He works in our lives is often a mystery, however the Christian life isn’t. He’s told us how to live. It won’t be easy but it is possible. Ask Him for strength to get you through.

Stay in the Word

Pastor Steve

Is God Good?

The question of the goodness of God often comes up in the on-going conversation between Christians and Atheists. A simplified explanation of the Atheist’s argument is that if God was good there would be less suffering and pain in the world. A good God, like a good parent, would want to remove as much suffering as possible from his children. And since God, from the Christian perspective, is all-powerful, He would remove all suffering.


TO PROCLAIM THE GOODNESS OF GOD IN THE FACE OF

GREAT SUFFERING IS A PROFOUND DECLARATION OF YOUR FAITH


But He doesn’t. Empirical evidence shows us that our world is filled with pain. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy follows disasters around the world and lists for the week of August 23, flooding in nine countries; the earthquake in Haiti followed by hurricane Grace; wildfires in the United States, Canada and other nations around the world; and the continued spread of the coronavirus.

The United Nations reports famine in four countries affecting over 500,000 people with another 41 million teetering on the very edge of famine. That’s compared to 27 million just two years ago.

Each of these tragedies resulted in death, displacements, and despair.

And that’s just one week. With a new week comes new suffering.

Multiply that out by the weeks in a year, the years in a decade, the decades in a century, and you begin to get an idea on the extent of suffering that goes on in our world.

Notice that most of the reasons for the world’s suffering are not the result of the actions of man (famine as a result of war is the exception). They are the result of what we like to euphemistically call “acts of God.”

If these are indeed acts of God, they are not, in our normal way of thinking, the acts of a good god!

So why do Christians continue to insist that God is good?

Our fundamental reason for believing that God is good is because the Bible says that He is good (Psalm 118:1, Matthew 19:17) and we believe that the Bible is God’s revelation to us of who He is. For us it’s a matter of faith.

Another reason that we believe in the goodness of God is because our ultimate suffering is not physical, it is spiritual. In fact there is no comparison between the two. If we could only understand how great our spiritual suffering is, we would not be so concerned with the sufferings of this physical life. The Apostle Paul expressed it like this: For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (2 Corinthians 4:17).

A third reason we believe that God is good relates to our limitations. We are the creature not the creator and therefore we are limited in every area of life. It’s easy for us to comprehend our physical limitations but we fail to grasp the same limitations when it comes to our intellect. We think we have all the answers.

We don’t. We are as limited in our understanding and knowledge as we are in our physical abilities.

That means that we cannot possibly understand the ways of God (Isaiah 55:8). Is it possible that God can be good and still not remove all of our suffering and pain? That God sees something good in our suffering? That He can use suffering for a higher purpose in our lives? That God can include suffering, even on an extreme scale to accomplish His will and purpose in our lives and in the world?

I believe the answer to these questions is affirmative. God is operating on another level.

These are answers that will probably not be acceptable to the non-Christian because they are answers that are based on faith. They require the sight of spiritual eyes that have been opened by the grace of God.

But for the Christian, they are enough, even when we don’t understand.

To proclaim the goodness of God in the face of great suffering is a profound declaration of your faith.

Stay in the Word

Pastor Steve