If God Can – Why Doesn’t He?

It’s a question that we have all probably asked ourselves at some time. If God is all powerful and can heal the sick, raise the dead, still the storm, and feed the hungry, then Why Doesn’t He?

Some would say that He can’t. Based on the Biblical record we believe He can.

But if He CAN, and yet chooses not to (isn’t that the bottom line?) doesn’t that make Him, at best an uncaring God, and at worst some kind of cosmic killjoy? After all He’s called the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3) but that isn’t always true in our experience.

Here are just a couple of thoughts.

Thought #1.

Jesus didn’t heal everyone, He didn’t raise every dead person, He didn’t calm every storm, He didn’t feed every hungry person. Think about how many sick people He walked past before He healed the lame man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-8). How many people did Jesus know who had died, yet He only raised three from the dead (Mark 5:22f, Luke 7:11f, John 11:1f). The same is true of the storms on the sea of Galilee and feeding hungry people. He had many opportunities but ignored (in the best sense of that word) most of them.

His miracles were rather select events performed for select purposes, primarily to prove He was the Messiah. Does that mean that He was less caring or compassionate? Not at all. It simply means that there were reasons for what He did (we know some of them) and reasons for what He did not do (we know less about these).

I have to believe that still today, there are reasons that God heals some people and doesn’t heal others. It is something that we have to accept by faith.

Thought #2.

Struggling with trials can produce spiritual fruit in you. If you let it. Qualities like faith, trust, hope, and even thankfulness (it could be worse – a lot worse) can grow out of trials (James 1:2f).

It can also produce unspiritual fruit in you. If you let it. Qualities like anger, doubt, hopelessness, and bitterness can grow up inside of you and destroy the work that God is trying to accomplish in you (Hebrews 12:15).

What your trials produce in you to a great extent depends on how you respond to them.

It might seem counter-intuitive but if God is working through trials for our ultimate good, shouldn’t we be grateful?

Thought #3.

Struggling with trials can produce spiritual fruit in other people.

As people watch you struggle with life it can be a testimony to them of the grace of God – if you respond in the right way. Who knows but that God has burdened you so that your trials become the pathway for someone else’s benefit? That’s hard to accept in a ME culture, but that is sometimes how God works (think Calvary here).

Thought #4.

Struggling with trials can give you an opportunity for ministry.

The Apostle Paul brings this out in 2 Corinthians 1. Sometimes we go through trials in life so that down the road we can help someone else who goes through the same kind of trial.

Admittedly he brings in the fact that God will comfort us in our trials and that then gives us the foundation to comfort others. But what if God doesn’t comfort us (that’s the point of this article)? Can’t we still comfort someone else? Do we always have to have our problems solved before we can minister grace into the life of another person?

Thought #5

God has a purpose. Of course we don’t always know what His purpose is in our personal situations, but there are several general purposes that will always be true. One is that God wants us to depend totally on Him. We were created as dependent beings and we are dependent on God for life, health, safety, provision, and ultimately heaven. Trials accentuate our dependency and help keep us focused.

Another general purpose is that God wants us to Hope completely in Him. Not in our own wisdom or strength, but in Him. Unanswered trials can help us do that.

Yes, we believe that God can. He can heal you, He can still the storms of your life, but in His unsurpassing love and wisdom, working in conjunction with His power not in opposition to it, He doesn’t always choose to do that.

And in faith we believe that it is for our ultimate good. No matter how painful it is at that moment in life.

Stay in the Word,
Pastor Steve

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