You Will Never Know Why

You Will Never Know Why

Today we are going to begin our week with the story of Job. This story about Job begins by describing the outstanding character of Job. Job 1:1 says, “There was a man of the land of Uz whose name was Job, and that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turn away from evil.” It goes on to describe his immense wealth and large family. As the story goes, the Devil approaches God and tells God that Job wouldn’t be so devoted to Him if God didn’t protect Him so. So, God allows the devil to take all of his possessions, his children and his health. So, Job goes from being rich and prosperous to having nothing, no children and sitting the dust with “a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself”. 

And yet, Job never attacks God nor forsakes Him. But Job does go into deep depression. He spends the next 36 chapters begging God for an explanation, he, like many of us in troubling times, wants to know why?Finally, in Job 38 God speaks to Job out of whirlwind. Here is the beginning of what He spends the next two chapters saying: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you will answer me.
4“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding…
12“Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
16“Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17Have the gates of death been revealed to you,”

God goes on describing His great deeds for the next 2 chapters but here’s what I want us to glean from this: God never answers the question “why”. Not once, His response to Job is essentially, “I am God and you are not. Trust me.” 

During these trying times there are a few points I want to make here from the story of Job.

First, your suffering doesn’t mean God doesn’t love you! Listen, nowhere in the Bible does God promise his followers that they will not suffer. On the contrary, all over, in both the Old and New Testaments we are promised that we will face trial of many kinds. God will be with us through these times, help us find meaning in them, and deliver us to Heaven in the end. This is not to say that can’t or won’t deliver us from suffering! He certainly can and we certainly should pray that He will. We will be talking about that this coming Sunday. But even if He doesn’t – He still loves you and the Gospel is still truth! He has already saved you on the cross!

Second, your suffering doesn’t mean God is punishing you. There is a lot of talk out there today of God’s wrath being poured on us. I have often counselled people in a time of suffering and they want to know what they have done wrong that God would punish them so. Listen, the Bible tells us that when Jesus died on the cross, He literally drank up all of God’s wrath! The punishment that the world’s sins deserve was absorbed in Christ on the cross. To believe or teach that this coronavirus is God’s wrath is to say that Jesus didn’t take care of it all on the cross. There is only one part of punishment left and that is Hell and that goes only to those who reject the gift of Christ. 

Finally, asking “why” will only frustrate you. You will never know why. Even if you think you’ve figured it out you can never know for sure because circumstances will continue to change. In the words of Dr. Jack Cottrell – instead of asking “Why” it is better to ask “What”. “What can I learn from this?” “What good can come from this?” “In what ways can I become more like Jesus through this?” God’s answer to the why question is always the same for everyone. It is, “Trust me.”  Better to trust God and not know than to know all you wish to know and have a sense of self-reliance that comes along with that. 

God is good my friends in the valley and on the mountain top! Perhaps you are discouraged today because you too focused on demanding an explanation instead of trusting the goodness and grace of our loving and mighty Heavenly Father. 

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