Why? Why? Why? Why does God allow problems in our lives? I’ve lost count how many times people have asked me this question. A mother who found her son after he shot himself and had mistakenly blamed herself thinking she was the “trigger mechanism.” A father grieved and shared with me about the violent murder of his daughter. A parent who watched their child’s friend motivates their son or daughter to make destructive decisions. The world is spinning with problems.
When I was a young Christian, I sincerely and naively thought life was going to be filled with blessing and only good days. The Lord was in my life, what could possibly go wrong? I was so sincere about it. Never did I project catastrophic disappointment in my mind or family. The question, “why,” seem to evade my thinking. And, then like watching a slow building storm in the sky, I became sucked into a whirlwind of challenges and acute difficulties. In those moments, I have found myself, like Job, asking, “Why God?” “If You really loved me would you allow these things to be happening?” It is a very normal query.
We all need Christian coaching to help us endure the knocks of life. Great coaches produce great players. In Scripture, the Christian life is compared to a race or competition whereby our performance will someday be evaluated by the Lord Himself (see I Corinthians 9:24-27). As certain as tomorrow, the problems will come. If we are not prepared they will ambush our faith. Find the Christian coach, the mature stable believer in your life and ask them for counsel on a regular basis.
Recently I spent nearly a week at the American Atheist Convention and filmed with scores of passionate atheists of all ages. Interestingly, many of them were highly educated. The real shocker came when I discovered that at least half of the people I interviewed were former Christians! We refer to these people as “de conversions.” My wife, Dr. Cristie Jo, and me are working on an entire documentary and ancillary resources examining why people leave the faith and providing education for believers from children to adult. It has been a fascinating, transcontinental journey. Many of the most outspoken antagonists to Christianity or faith in a literal God, were once practicing Christians. What happened to them? A disappointment, a loved one who died of cancer, or exposure to a theory that counter the tenets of Christianity they were unprepared to answer. Tragically, these defectors had never been catechized in the Christian faith. Experience and even euphoric religious feelings will only take you so far on your spiritual journey.
If you are facing difficulty allow me for a moment to be your Christian coach:
- Hold on. God reminds us that our trials are “momentary afflictions” (2 Corinthians 4:17). God will come through for you in His time, in His way.
- Hang on. Sometimes we have to pillow our head at night in blind, utter confidence with faith in God having no immediate answer. On occasion you will not be able to see the Divine tapestry of your current situation but make no mistake God is at work all the time.
- Help is coming. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter of God (John 14:26). Special grace is given for every difficult circumstance in our lives. You have to ask God for it. Have you?
- Don’t quit. It is so easy to quit, blame God, and then compound your problems. Don’t give up on that son or daughter. Don’t give up on your marriage. Don’t give up on the dream you truly feel you were designed to fulfill.
- Keep on trusting. In the rear-view mirror of my life I see how God was providentially protecting me while I thought He was allowing undue harm to come to me. How wrong I was! Just wait on God (Isaiah 40:31). Again, in His time and in His way, He will provide His solution to the challenges before you.