Monday, October 24, 2011

Why Doesn't God Help Me?

If we know that God will help us because he went all the way to the cross.
And we know that God can help us because he rose from the dead.
Then why doesn't he help us?

Someone asked me this after church yesterday. What a fantastic question! I think the answer has to do with timing and faith.

First: Timing
When you are in a period of life where God is able and willing to help you, yet he is not helping you, then you are in the wilderness. The wilderness is where God accomplishes his purposes for you and in you by trial and by testing. This will never be either enjoyable or fun. Sometimes we are in self-imposed exile through our own sin and refusal to repent. Sometimes we are blindsided into the wilderness by unforeseen events.  And sometimes we run directly for the wilderness because it is the only alternative to the raging army behind us.  But however we got there, God has a plan for us there.  Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, and Jesus all spent time in the wilderness.  And Moses spent 40 years there.  This is actually the whole point of looking back to the cross and the resurrection.  We know that God can help us and will help us, but we also know that he has purposes for us that are beyond our comprehension.  In fact, if you have a God who is big enough and powerful enough to be mad at for not rescuing you, then you also have a God who is wise enough to have reasons for your suffering that you know nothing about.  It is the cross and the resurrection that assures us that God is working all things together for our good.

Second: Faith
Because of that American Worldview that we possess, we often think of faith as belief in things that you can't prove.  But this has nothing to do with the biblical definition of faith.  In the Bible faith is an active trust in someone: God as revealed in Christ.  And the more you know someone and the more you know their character the easier and more natural it is to trust that person and act accordingly.  This is why the cross and the resurrection feature so prominently in biblical faith.  When you see the cross you see the clearest ever demonstration of God's heart and God's character.  So when he is not doing what you want him to do you don't have to doubt his goodness.  You can simply say, "I know because of the cross and the resurrection that God is both good and powerful.  I have no idea why he has left me in the wilderness, but I can trust in the end that it will work out for my good."  That is the essence of faith.

Hope that is helpful!

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