“Why me, God?” Sometimes, during time of great suffering or loss, it is
uttered in confusion and bewilderment. As such, it is more an expression of
perplexity than anything else. At other times, it is a plaintiff cry of
accusation against God for the injustice of such suffering. Either way, it
is based on an assumption that, I believe, is a misconception.
But the assumption is so common that the insurance industry refers to
natural tragedies as “acts of God.” The world is full of misinformation
about God, His purposes and the manner of His involvement in world events
today. Of course, He is involved, but so much of what people assume to be
true either is not true or at least cannot be proven.
Those suffering loss will sometimes accuse God as being the source of
misfortune. Ted Turner renounced his faith altogether when his sister died.
Quite unlike Job, he angrily blamed God for his loss, and ultimately made up
his mind not to believe in God at all.
There are some things of which we can be sure in regard to human suffering.
The mature man or woman of faith does not foolishly charge God for every ill
wind that blows, or for any ill wind, for that matter. People of faith
realize that there is just too much we do not know about the universe, and
about the spiritual realm and the workings there, and the effect it has on
the physical realm. We know that life has its ups and downs for good people
and bad, and we know that sometimes things can be difficult, and we know
that God already knows that from personal experience through the Son of God
and His experiences on the earth (Hebrews 4:14-16). Consider with me some
words of three insightful fellows who thought about it and who's words have
been preserved for us by the Holy Spirit's inspiration; Job and Solomon.
But remember, we will not discover everything we might wish to know for
there are yet unrevealed purposes at work (Deuteronomy 29:29). Add to that
the fact that God is infinite and supreme, possessing thoughts far above our
abilities to discern.. We'll simply trust Him in every circumstance (Isaiah
Job: Acquainted With Tragedy
“Consider Job.” He was a man of faith and prosperous, blessed by God. A
series of tragedies struck, destroying practically everything good about his
life, except for one thing: his faith. Job was stunned, confused, feeling
abandoned, unjustly accused, but maintained his faith, even when he felt
death was preferable to his miserable existence.
Job was not perfect; he misjudged the situation because he, like us, did not
have all the facts. He made some inaccurate statements based on false
assumptions and misunderstandings. But, he held on to his faith, and this
shows us we can to even if some of our perceptions are faulty. He would not
At the end of the book, his prosperity and blessings are restored, but that
is not the most important lesson. However, it does illustrate a very
important lesson. James invites us to remember how that the final outcome of
God's dealings with faithful Job was great blessings, and it will be the
same way with us if we are faithful (James 5:10,11).
But even further, it is never explained to Job “why” all this happened,
though he longed to know. He was simply reminded of God's power and wisdom
and commended for his faith. In fact, as far as we know, in the Book God
tells you and me more about “why” it happened than Job himself ever knew!
Note this interesting verse: “The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered
My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and
upright man fearing God and turning away from evil. And he still holds fast
his integrity, although you incited Me against him to ruin him without
cause." (JOB 2:3). We learn a couple important things here:
1. God is pleased with Job, and Job's suffering was not a result of God's
actions nor His displeasure.
2. Rather, Satan is the source of the suffering. These tragedies, whether
natural or inflicted by man (Job suffered both) were not a result of God's
action. They were not “acts of God”. None of them!
Neither Job, nor you, nor I, are competent to look at the events of our
lives and figure out how each detail fits in to God's purpose. We do not
have enough information necessary to make such a judgment. We can surmise
and guess, and the best we can do is put our faith in God in everything and
not allow the sometimes shabby and ill formed guesswork of others lead us
away from faith.
Suppose, for illustration, I bought 3 apples, two oranges and six bananas at
the store and spent $3.50. How much did an apple cost me? - You cannot tell
because you don't have all the information… it does not matter how smart or
perceptive you are, still the best you can do with that information is guess
the price of an apple.
Solomon: It Does Not Always Add Up
Not all of life's questions are going to be answered on this side of
eternity. What happened to Job was not fair. Life is not often fair. Solomon
observed the same thing. He said that trying to figure it all out is
“futility” (Ecclesiastes 7:15). Trying to figure out why good things happen
to bad people and bad things to good people, as is many times the case, is a
frustrating ordeal. In fact, living life wisely does not always bring about
worldly reward (Ecclesiastes 9:13-18). You can do the same thing that has
brought you success in the past and this time, it brings failure - why?
What do we do in a world like this as men and women of faith? We live our
lives giving our best, because only by living by faith in the here and now
can we effect our present as well as our eternity. Once we leave this realm,
everything is fixed. (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Giving our best includes putting
God first (Ecclesiastes 12:1,13,14; 8:10-14; 16-17). We may not be able to
figure out and answer every question, but we can do this!
We do not know what tomorrow will bring. It may be good, or it may be
troublesome. But we do know what it takes to please the Lord. We can say,
“Thy will be done” and use our lives for His glory. Remember, the source of
suffering in this world is sin. God does not remove the evil at this time,
but He does promise to be with us as we face it and as we wait for eternity
when the last enemy is defeated, and by God's grace, we enter into glory.