Daily Devotional for Friday March 18, 2005
The Question is not, ?Why, God?? it is, ?What, God??
I have preached a message over the years called, ?The Right Question.? It is a message you need today because everyone comes to that place in life when they ask, ?Why, God?? I can?t tell you how many times over the last 14 years of ministry I?ve been with people at a funeral, in a hospital room, or counseling session and inevitably the same question always gets asked, ?Why, why is God allowing this to happen?? ?Why is this happening?? ?Why doesn?t God care?? ?Why doesn?t God stop this?? ?Why doesn?t God step in and change this?? ?Why, why, why, God??
First of all, that is a natural question. Don?t feel bad. As a matter of fact, if you haven?t asked that question you?re not normal. We all come to that place from time to time, especially in the midst of serious trials in our life when we look up at God and we just say, ?Why, God? ?Where are you?? ?Why aren?t you helping me?? ?Why, God?? Today, I want to help you to ask the proper question. ?Why, God? is the natural question, however, the proper question is, ?What, God??
Living in this sin-filled world that we do, a world full of men living in utter rebellion to God and His Word, there is incredible evil all around us. Because of that sin and evil, there is always going to be bad things happening. That is simply part of this human experience. Just hours before going to the cross, Jesus took His disciples to the side and said, ?In this life, you are going to have trials and tribulations.?
Jesus didn?t want His disciples to think that just because they had walked with Him, that their life was going to be a bed of roses. Anyone who thinks that when you get saved you automatically receive a free pass from the trials and tribulations from life is sadly mistaken. You see, trials and tribulations are part of living in this sin-filled and evil world that we do. Just like death is part of this life, the trials and tribulations we all face during our life are also part of this human experience.
Now, you can go through the trials and tribulations of life, face those difficult circumstances we all have along our journey and whine and moan and complain and ask, ?Why, God,? or you can ask the proper question which is, ?What, God?? What, God, what can I learn from this situation? God what lesson can I take from this experience? Most importantly, ?God, what can I do to serve You through this??
You read in the Book of Acts about some of the experiences Paul went through. Repeatedly tossed into prison for his faith, chased out of towns, people trying to kill him, but you never read about Paul asking God why. Instead he asked, ?What, God, can I do to glorify You through all that I am going through?? You see my friend, that has got to be your response to the trials and tribulations that you face in this life. Instead of wasting your time and energy moaning and complaining and asking God why, figure out what you can do in the midst of your trials and tribulations to serve Him and bring glory to His name.
You see, our purpose in this life is to serve and glorify God. That?s our purpose. That purpose doesn?t change just because we?re going through a difficult time. I?ll never forget in the early days of Liveprayer when we were facing what seemed to be insurmountable pressures and problems and issues every day. (One day, I really need to sit down and write a book about the first year of Liveprayer and the miracle it is that we survived as a testimony of God?s faithfulness.) I?d sit here and break down if I started to tell you half of the things that we went through in those early days. But instead of sitting there and complaining and asking God ?why? every day, I finally came to a place where I said, ?God what can I do to serve and glorify you this day??
Many of the things you are asking, ?Why, God?? about are out of your control. In most cases, you can?t control the fact that you?ve got cancer in your body, got laid off from your job, your husband or wife left you, or your son or daughter is living their lives in rebellion to God. So many of the things that we face in our life are things that we have no control over in the first place. It?s at those times that your faith has got to become real and you have to put your complete faith and trust in God. When you do that, you are no longer sitting there asking, ?Why, God, why is this happening to me?? Instead, you are asking, ?What, God, what can I do for you??
I love you and care about you so much. Do you want to start living in freedom? Do you want to start living with that joy in your heart? Do you want to start living with that peace the Bible says passes all human understanding? Oh, my friend, when you are not asking why anymore but instead are asking what, there is a peace, there is a joy, there is a freedom you can?t even put into words. It is indescribable. You see, Jesus, after He told His disciples that there would be trials and tribulations quickly added, ?But be of good cheer because I have overcome this world!?
My friend, God knows what your problems are today. Give them to Him since I guarantee you He can handle them better than you can. What that does is free you up to not waste your time and energy asking why but spend it serving the Lord. You need to ask, ?What, God, what can I do for you today, what can I do to serve you today?? I know many of you are hurting and going through difficult times right now. My admonition and counsel to you and my encouragement for you is to change your question. Change your question from, ?Why, God? to ?What, God.?