When things get tough or even seem to going in reverse, is it ok with God for us to ask why? Can we ask God why without doubting him?
Jesus did. He did it while he was hanging on the cross. Even though he knew he had come into the world to bear the sins of all mankind and take them to the cross, he asked his Father why He was forsaken while hanging on the cross. Of course He knew the answer to that question, too. For God, in his holiness, could not embrace the sins of the world even when Jesus was bearing them. Jesus knew that. But still, in his torture and agony, Jesus struggled to understand why.
To wonder why in the face of tribulation, adversity, and hardships is human – understandably human. But to doubt God is to question that He cares. It is to wonder if He actually keeps His word. To doubt God is to question that he is powerful enough to meet the need.
But think about it. Asking God “why” acknowledges that he exists; that he cares; and that he keeps his word. Also, asking God why reflects a confident assurance that he can meet the need.
The core strategy for overcoming any and every adversity is maintaining confidence in the compassion, character, and faithfulness of God. When Jesus asked why he was forsaken on the cross, the fact that he asked, “My God, My God, why…” shows that he had confidence in his Father. Jesus struggled with the “why” even though he knew why he was on the cross.
In the face of having been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and learning that my nine-year-old grandson is battling an aggressive lymphoma, my entire being has clamored to understand why.
In reality, I know why. A quick review of the Garden of Eden recaps the answer. God gave Adam authority over everything God had created – but Adam sold out his authority to Satan. Equipped with that authority, Satan goes about seeking whom he may devour. He attempts to destroy everyone in Adam’s race, especially those who are allegiant to Christ. We humans have become targets used by Satan to destroy the works of God.
Just as Jesus asked the Father why, each of us humans must also seek our answers and reassurances from the Father. Even when we wonder why, by asking the Father we reaffirm our faith in Him. Scripture assures that to come to God, a person must believe that he exists and that he rewards. When we go to God with the “why” question, we demonstrate that we are certain of his existence and that we have confidence in his character, compassion, and faithfulness.
When my wonderful wife – Margaret – became aware that I was getting ready to post these thoughts on my blog, she forwarded the following words to me from her computer. They make a fitting conclusion to this entry.
“For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. (Eph. 2:10 AMP) This being true, it is any wonder Satan is after us? He’s trying to get back at the One who has already overcome him.”