"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, 'ELI, ELI LAMA SABACHTHANI?' that is, 'MY GOD, MY GOD WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?'" Matthew 27:46
Horrific and heartbreaking. That pretty much sums up the unfathomable tragedy suffered by those in Oklahoma after the category 5 tornado touched down for roughly 40 minutes, destroying everything in its wide path and claiming the lives of precious souls. Anyone with an ounce of compassion hurts for these dear people who have lost so much in a matter of minutes.
What are we to make of it all? How are we to reconcile the devastation with our faith in a good and loving God? Why would He allow this to happen? Why, why, why!?
The "why" question always comes out when we are hurting deeply. It is normal. It is natural. Job asked why repeatedly when he experienced his monumental trials. Even Jesus Himself asked why when He was hanging on the cross, gasping for breath in agony and blood.
A QUESTION GOD DOESN’T OFTEN ANSWER
While, in the midst of tragedy we naturally ask why, the reality is that God doesn’t often answer our whys. He speaks directly to the questioning Job for four chapters (Job 38-41) … but never answers his why. An important thing to remember about God: He is not in the business of explaining; He is in the business of sustaining. And “when answers aren’t enough, there is Jesus. He is MORE than just an answer to our prayer.”
If your heart and mind are flooded with whys today over the devastating circumstances of life … if you cannot make sense of that which seems so unfair and so uncalled for, keep in mind the bedrock things that you do know.
1. God really does love us. The cross of Jesus Christ proves this beyond any shadow of a doubt. Romans 8:32 says, "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?"
2. God really is in control and does everything with a purpose. Nothing sneaks up on God. He is the blessed and only Sovereign. While He is definitely not the author of evil, evil cannot touchdown in our lives unless He, for whatever purpose He deems necessary, allows it to (see Job 1-2). He is in charge and never makes a mistake. And everything He does flows from a heart of love, because “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8).
3. We can trust God, no matter what. God is worthy of our trust. He is the one who takes all the bad things and works them together for our good and His glory (see Rom. 8:28). While He doesn’t often tell us why things happen the way they do, He does tell us, “My child, even in this, you can trust Me.”
Will you trust Him? In your own personal hurt, pain, and bewilderment, will you choose to come to Him and cling to Him, no matter what? He is God, and there is no other. He is the only One who can see you through. Resist the temptation to get bitter at Him when you don’t understand, and surrender all your whys to His unfathomable love, His limitless wisdom, and His amazing grace.
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.
Jesus taught us many things through His parables, including how to live life to the fullest!
And Pastor Jeff Schreve shows you Christ’s special insight in his new 7-message CD series, The Mysteries of the Kingdom: A Study of the Parables of Jesus. All 7 messages on CD are our thank you for your online gift of any amount to From His Heart in March!