Where is God?
Where is God is a question that has been asked throughout the ages. It is another way of asking, Why God!
We at some point in our walk with the Lord will become acquainted with suffering. And will be tempted to ask, where are you God? This question enters the heart of young to old. Because everyone suffers! How do we answer this question? Well, we can not answer this apart from faith.
Deuteronomy 31:6 KJV Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
When we are in a dark and fearful place of suffering, we may not feel God is there. We struggle with believing God will never leave or forsake us. Our focus becomes the injustice of the situation or the desperate desire to fix or get out of the situation. As we do what we think will change things, but it doesn’t change or gets worse, the struggle to believe God stands with us intensifies. We know Jesus says, He does not leave us as orphans (John 14:18) and He will be with us until the end of this age (Matthew 28:20); but what we know fights what we feel.
Why Do We Struggle?
Hebrews 11:6 KJV But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Standing on God’s promise is a battle in the mind and will to believe God is faithful to His word. We want to please God. We do not doubt His existence but where is the reward in suffering? Do our prayers become dry faithless prayer? Is our obedience a way to manipulate God to give us what we think is best?
Does Suffering Have a Purpose?
Hebrews 11:1 KJV Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith (4102/pistis) is always a gift from God, and never something that can be produced by people.
Our faith can not be expressed through human reasoning. How we handle our trials and suffering in life expresses our faith. Notice hope and faith are together. We receive faith and hope through receiving God’s love. Faith does not stand alone. It is faith, hope, and love (1 Thessalonians 1:3, 5:8). Our shield against doubting and losing our hope is our faith (Ephesians 6:16).
God uses suffering in our lives to bring us closer to Him and to know Him better. What we do with our suffering depends on our view. Will we determine to grow, trust, lean on, and know God’s love more deeply (Hebrews 12:6, 10-11)? Or as time drags on do we allow our heart to grow cold?
Change in our Soul is What God Seeks
Truthfully we want change in our circumstances and situations. However, God wants change in our soul (Romans 12:1-2). This means, the focal point in our life must move from our desires to God’s will. Only then will the suffering no longer seem pointless and useless.
Many People Suffered, Yet at the same Time Their Faith Increased
God considered Job a “righteous man” (Job 1:8; 2:3). But God allowed him to lose everything (Job 1-2). In the end Job repented and saw God much clearer (Job 42:1-6).
Genesis 50:19-20 NASB1995 20 But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? 20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. 21 So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
Joseph’s brothers plotted to kill him but sold him into slavery instead (Genesis 27:12-36). He was accused of a crime he did not commit, but went to prison anyway. (Genesis 39). He had years worth of trials and suffering but Joseph found God was with him and he matured in his faith (Genesis 39:21-23). Joseph lived out that God “takes all things and turns them into good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). He saw the big picture of what had been working in his mind and will.
So, when God begins His work in us for a purpose that is beyond what we can comprehend, and we are tempted to cry out God, where are you, go ahead cry out to God. But don’t stop there. Acknowledge you need strength and courage to persevere. Choose to take hold of the promise, God never leaves nor forsakes His own. Pray that heart felt prayer of, Help me to trust and praise Your goodness and loving kindness. Once we are on the other side we, like those who also walked through trials, will say, God meant this for good not evil.
Psalm 34:1-3 NASB1995 1 I will; bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul will make its boast in the Lord; The humble will hear it and rejoice. 3 magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.
“Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org”