Does God love me?
If He loves me, then why….(you can insert you specific situation right here).
Why did he let me mother die?
Why did I suffer under that abusive person?
Why did they get cancer?
Why did I lose my job, lose my health, come under that slander, go through that divorce…
And on and on the questions go right? Just because we’re christians doesn’t make life’s situations any less desperate, and it doesn’t guarantee that we won’t question the wisdom of God for letting us go through those things, or the love of God for not saving us from them.
And when speaking to one another, we can sometimes be pretty graceless in the way we offer counsel to each other. We can say very true and right things, even if they’re wrong to say right now. For example, it’s very true to say:
“We don’t deserve anything in this life, and we certainly don’t deserve good health. If God has given us cancer, we shouldn’t complain.”
“All money is a gift from God, and he can give and take away as he sees fit. If you’ve gone bankrupt, God is not at fault.”
“It’s God who gives life, and God who takes away, he is worthy of our service and praise even if he lets all of our loved ones die in a horrible car crash.”
Well, what would we say to that? Is it wrong to say any of those things? Is it wrong to remind people that God is the one who has all rights over them, and that he is obliged to do whatever he wants to, and that because he is all-wise and is the creator, that we have no right to complain? Well?
Of course the answer is no…it’s not “wrong” to say that.
It’s certainly the theological truth to say that, but the problem is, it’s not the theological WHOLE truth.
We want to be very careful when we begin to question God. We want to be very careful when we look at him and wonder why this universe has turned out the way it has. We want to remember who we’re talking to, and how wonderfully worthy he is. We all question God, and it can be easy to begin to think that it’s wrong to do so, because after all, he really DOES know what he’s doing.
But do you know who else questioned God? Jesus.
Matt 27:46 – Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
God, why did you leave Jesus? Why did you let him suffer on the cross? Why did you let those men lie about him and slander him and beat him and torture him? Why didn’t you show Pilate the truth when he asked? Why didn’t you provide the disciples with more swords to fight off those evil men? Why didn’t you preserve the disciples so that they would stay with Jesus? Why God, why did you leave him?
And what is God’s answer?
Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his love for us in this – while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Jesus was forsaken, in order for God to prove his love for his people. Jesus suffered the loss of his health, his reputation, his friends, his family and his God…so that we could have forever life, and share in the glory of heaven, and gain a world of friends and family, and ultimately gain God.
Was it right for Jesus to question God? Absolutely. Can it be right for us to do the same? Yes. But we must remember the answer. It is normal to ask God what he is doing, and it is normal to be tempted to thinking God was wrong, but to be tempted, to ask why, is not necessarily to accuse God of being wrong. If we question God, and in our question, we remember his answer and we trust in and believe it, then we haven’t sinned.
And what is God’s answer? Well, as I said, it’s not wrong to say that his answer to life’s sufferings and trials could simply be “I’m God, and I have a right over this universe to mold it as I see fit.” That’s not wrong, but as members of the gracious new covenant, it’s not God’s full answer.
God’s answer to each and every problem we face in this life is the same. It’s simply the gospel, the good news that God has given us himself in the sacrifice of his son on the cross. You ask “God, if you love me, why….” and he answers “I gave you Jesus.”
God, my illness is bad – I gave you Jesus, and he suffered the greatest bodily harm so that he could purchase your resurrection to heaven. You WILL be healed.
My finances are down – I gave you Jesus, and he purchased your adoption, and I am a good father, and I promise to provide all that you need, until I finally bring you home to everlasting riches.
My peers think badly of me – I gave you Jesus, and he suffered the loss of his reputation so that you could be counted righteous in the eyes of your creator.
My spouse isn’t being faithful to me – I gave you Jesus, and he gave his life up for his bride. He is the perfect spouse, and he will never leave you or forsake you.
This is how God proves his love for us, in the gospel of Christ’s life, death and resurrection. He shows over and over again how Jesus proves His powerful, unconditional, never-ending, unilateral love for us. When we wonder why hurt and pain and suffering comes in this world, God doesn’t leave us simply with the answer “because I’m God.” No, he goes further and says “because I love you.”
Do you wonder if God loves you? Then look at Jesus.
Do you wonder if God will care for you? Look at Christ!
Do you wonder if God is able to deliver you from the darkness that you’re in? Look at, hope in, and cling to the gospel of Christ’s life, death and resurrection.
In the gospel, God shows the great lengths he is willing to go to in order to save us, and because of this, we need not wonder when trials come. When our world turns dark, we need not wonder if God loves us, or is mindful of us, because in the gospel, he proved it!
In the gospel, God proved that he can be trusted, even when storms come. In the gospel, God proved that he is our only refuge when enemies surround us. In the gospel, God proved that he will stay faithful when no one else is.
Christ was forsaken, so that God would show himself faithful.
I hope that when you begin to question God, that you will remember the answer. At the end of Romans, chapter eight, Paul says “if God didn’t spare his own son, but gave him up for us, then he can be trusted with all else in our lives.” (brandon’s paraphrased version).
What Paul means is this – If God did the hardest thing (giving up his son for us), then isn’t it easy to believe that he can be trusted with the rest of our life? Isn’t it easy to believe, when compared with the gospel, that God will provide food, or finances, or healing, or restoration to our relationships, and that if he doesn’t, then he has something better in mind? If he really did sacrifice his own son so that we could be saved, then hasn’t he earned our trust in everything else?
Oh Christian, remember the answer. The answer is always found in the gospel. Remember the gospel. God moved heaven and earth to save you, and so…when the whole world feels like its crumbling down around you, it might just be that he’s doing a little re-arranging.