You've heard them, the "tough" questions in the Christian's life. Why do bad things happen to good people? If God is there, why is he allowing this to happen? Why would He let innocents suffer? Why do the "sinful" people have more, do more, seem happier? Why did he let this person die? In the past couple of days, those around me have suffered two deaths and I have had some of my teens asking the tough questions.
As I read my reading for today (Job 19-21), I realized that the tough questions in life have plagued humanity since the fall of man. "Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power?" (21:7) "Yet they say to God, 'Leave us alone! We have no desire to know your ways.Who is the Almighty that we should serve him? What would we gain by praying to him?'" (21:14-15)
We have no idea, just faith. I consider those the "faith" questions. It is in those moments that we have to have the faith that God is in control and knows what He is doing. We have very limited knowledge, no foresight, no understanding, but God does. He knows all. I know that feels like a weak answer to give someone, but it shouldn't. That is the truth.
Mankind is not wise. God, in his love, has given every human free will. He does this so that we can choose to serve him, choose to love him, not be little robots on the earth. He wanted companionship, not toys. Therefore, we must endure the consequence of each and every individual's choices. Each choice affects not only the person, but the people around that person, sometimes causing pain and suffering. That person, as a result of their suffering, must make more choices, affecting more people. Imagine how that has taken course over thousands of years! Our world is now so full of consequences of actions from years and years of poor choices, that sometimes the things that happen don't even make sense. You can't "trace the source." But you do have to understand that God is allowing the earth to turn, the world to live out life without his micromanaging. He has given His Spirit to prompt and guide, but ultimately, it is up to us. And we don't make the greatest choices.
Don't try to make up a reason. When we are faced with the tough questions, we want to "defend God" and give a good justified reason. Don't. The truth is that we don't fully understand, so admit that! Job said to his friends, "So how can you console me with your nonsense? Nothing is left of your answers but falsehood!" (21:34) Don't give the seeker and sufferers more reason to turn away from God. Give them reminders of God's love, comfort, and strength. Admit you don't know the answers or you will just push them away.
Are you going through a hard time and asking some tough questions? God loves you. He loves you SO much. Lean into his arms today.