The potential trials in life are numerous: job losses, cancer, addictions, grief, losses, tragic accidents, and divorces–to name a few. Suicide rates are at an all-time high; it ranks in the top ten causes of death in America. Research indicates 90% or more of all illness has roots in mental distress. There is a desperate need for hope–and hope-givers.
“Why, God?” is not a forbidden question, but it always has the same answer: “So you will know me more.”
The good plans of God are never set aside; nothing happens that does not fit into the perpetual call of the Heavenly Father. While that is easy to say and “believe” when all is well, deep personal knowledge of God only comes forth when His goodness seems shrouded. Asking “why” opens a door to self-pity. Nothing good ever comes from that pit. Instead, ask, “Where are you in this, God? I know what you look like, but I can’t see any beauty. Show me where you are.”
Jesus told us why God cares so much that we know Him.
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3).
Knowing God is not for the faint of heart. Hearing that God had heard their cries encouraged the Israelites to seek their freedom. Seeing the displays of His power as God began revealing Himself to the Egyptians inspired them to trust Him. But in fairly short order, they were willing to have Moses do all the talking with God and just relay the messages. The realities of an all-powerful, all-knowing, consuming fire God overwhelmed them!
God’s children are much the same today. We like to think of God listening to us and working on our behalf. We are not so excited about listening to Him or enduring difficulties for His glory. The fires that purify us, terrify us. Those fires, though, are for our good because they bring us into His presence. The impurities of our desires and even our service must burn away so that His life can emerge unsullied.
In the book of Jeremiah, we encounter a servant much like ourselves: Baruch, the Scribe. A servant of God and Jeremiah, Baruch choked on the fear of suffering and cried, “Woe is me!” Jeremiah gave him a word from God we all need at times: “God will give you your life in the midst of the destruction.” (Jeremiah 45:5) We never need to fear. God is directing and planning all for our good! All that comes our way is filtered by the love of the all-powerful Father.
God does not want us to suffer, nor does He want us to despair when sufferings come. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that those who come to God must believe that He exists and that He is good. Just as God promised life to Baruch, He promises the same to us. Trials in life bring us face-to-face with God if we seek Him in the midst of the trial. There is tremendous reward in sitting in His presence now and in eternity. The enemy desires that fear will send us running, because when it does, we miss an encounter with life!
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
What trial are you facing in which you need to ask God where He is? We would love to pray with you.