When troubles come into our life – say a bad medical report, a job termination letter, a car accident – we often wonder and asked God, “Why Lord, why me? Why me and not this thousands of people on this planet?” We begin to doubt God’s love for us. We asked God, “Why God? If You love me, You would not have made me suffer?”
And while we pray and wait for God to answer our why’s, we begin to resent Him, finding no reason for our suffering. But asking why first, my dear friends, is not wise. Because most of the time, we would only know the “why” later, after we have gone through the troubles and look back.
Hence, when troubles arise, ask not why but ask what, how, which, and when.
Ask, “What does God want me to learn from this?” or “What can I learn from this so that this problem does not repeat?”
When we take ownership of our problem (whether it’s our fault or not), we turn from being the faultfinder to a fault-learner. We see these problems as opportunities to learn a better way to do things and to perceive things.
When we come to God bringing our problem to Him, God will either change our situation either through us or other people. And if God does not change the situation, He will change our perspective for our situation, giving us love, joy, peace, and wisdom.
Ask, “How can I go through this situation glorifying God? How can I make the most out of this situation for my learning experience?”
Asking God how determines the steps to take in dealing with our problems. We begin to work with God through our problems, instead of seeing Him as our opposition. God has already promised in His Word that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
And when we do things His Way, be rest assured that He will bless you in due time. Following His footsteps during hard times also help us to build our faith and our character, making the strong foundation of our life. Like the deep roots of a tree reaching underground, we could steadily stand in all seasons of life.
Our Father in Heaven is a long-term planner, seeking your welfare and the welfare of others, with eternity in mind.
Ask WHEN and WHICH
Ask, “When Lord do I actually carry out this plan? When is a good time to speak to this person?”
Ask, “Which route God do you want me to take? Which person do you want me to seek help from?”
The “when” and “which” are the nuts and bolts, which are the tiny details of executing the plan. The “how”, on the other hand, is the general plan or direction. How amazing it is that our God cares for the big as well as the little things in our life! He desires to be involved in every area of our life.
Finally, after asking and doing the “what”, “how”, “which”, and “when”, we can ask “why” though sometimes, the “why” is only revealed in due time.
Also, asking why in a negative mindset will only likely to throw us into despair. The questions could sound like, “Why God, do I have to go through so much pain?” or “Why am I made the way I am?” or “why God am I born in this family?”
These questions only reap negativity, despair, and unproductiveness. We go nowhere with these questions because the truth is: there are many things that cause our troubles, including our sin, the sin of others, the enemy, and even God Himself.
If suffering is caused by our own sin, then learn from it, so we do not repeat the same mistake.
If it is caused by the sin of others, then learn from them as well. This is called “negative learning”, as in learn how not to become like them. Learn to exercise forgiveness and love by God’s grace.
If the suffering is caused by the enemy, ask God for wisdom. Perhaps, we have fallen into a certain temptation, which caused suffering. Having known our weak points now, learn then how to escape from these temptations in the future.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Cor 10:13)
Finally, if God has caused the suffering to turn us away from our sinful ways and turn to Him, then also learn God’s ways and learn about how He is in the Bible. Our Father does not delight in causing suffering but He disciplines His children as a Father would, for our own good.
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Heb 12:7-11)
It’s good to know the “why.” But before knowing the “why”, let us ask also the “what”, “how”, “when”, and “which” from God, for it is far more fruitful.
Also, sometimes, God might send someone who we can help in our troubles, but He gives us no ability to solve our own problems. When this happens, God is teaching us to rely on His Grace and to trust that He will take care of our problems when we bring them to Him.
Do not be afraid. God is with you.
All things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
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Written by Adeline Lum