If you’re human and live in this world you are bound to deal with times that compels you to ask “Why Did This Happen?” If God is in control, why would He allow certain things to happen that appear so terrible to us at the moment. I would like to share with you some insight from a message I preached just a few weeks back at Refuge Church here in Walterboro. This may not answer all your burning questions, but I do believe God’s word can shed light on some of the key reasons God allows certain things to happen with us and around us.
#1 God allows things to OPEN OUR EYES. God told Noah to build an ark before he brought a flood to show the world we can’t just live anyway we choose and expect God’s full blessing. Jonah was running from what God called him to do and God allowed a Whale to swallow him whole. Jonah spent three days in the belly of a whale before his eyes were opened. Then there was a man named Saul, who later become a well-known pastor named Paul. Paul was actually blinded by a light so that God could get his attention. (Acts 9:18) “Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized….”Maybe what has happened was intended to you or someone else wake up, come to your senses, and turn everything over to God.
#2 God allows things to GROW OUR FAITH. There is no question that the most challenging times in our lives force us to look up.Compel us to either give up the faith or cling to our faith like never before. (1 Peter 1:6-7) In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
#3 God allows things to DEVELOP CHARACTER. (James 1:2-4)(NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. There is a lot of truth that what we’ve gone through has made us who we are today. For good or bad it trials shape us. Every trial, every set back, and ever test of faith for sure teaches us something. If we allow it, it GROWS OUR CHARACTER. You’ve heard me say in life things either make us grow BITTER or BETTER.
(James 1:2-4) (The Message) Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. How often do we beg God to just remove the storm around us because we cannot see any value to it?
#4 God allows things to DRAW US CLOSER. (James 4:7-8) 7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. I would bank on it that many today don’t even consider running to the church and back to God until life has finally knocked them down a few inches.
#5 God allows things to BRING HIMSELF GLORY. We all wants answers, but sometimes things happen simply because God is God. And, in ways we may not be able to see God is using this appointed time to draw all eyes and hearts towards His greatness, goodness, and glory.(John 9:1-3) As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2 “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of his own sins or his parents’ sins?” 3 “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.
(1 Peter 4:12-13) Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
#6 God allows things to PREPARE US FOR MINISTRY. Do you realize that God never wastes anything we’ve gone through? In fact, He uses those experiences that we’ve endured to share hope with others in similar trials. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
#7 God allows things to PROVE HIS FAITHFULNESS. I remind myself daily just how faithful God has been in past, so I can remember He can trusted with the present and the future. It is usually only when we have nowhere else to turn and nothing is in our control we discover that God never changes. (1 Corinthians 1:9) God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
(1 Corinthians 10:13) No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
(Psalm 86:15) But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
As I conclude with these insights, I pray God uses these truths in your life as He continues to do so in mine. You may not figure everything out, but you can choose to trust God with everything. God can use ANYTHING you have or will GO THROUGH. (Romans 8:28) And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
*Craig Crosby is the lead pastor at Refuge Church Walterboro which presently meets on Sunday mornings 10:30a.m. @ the Colleton Recreational Department. You are more than welcomed to join him as he always preaches God’s word in a way that all can understand.