Where is God when You Need Him?

FillingupBy Dr Steve Danso – King David was a man who always found it hard to understand the ups and downs of life.  In his low moments, he does not hesitate to question God’s sincerity in protecting His children when in trouble, but also does not shy away from proclaiming His goodness.  In one instance of such low moments, David let it loose: “My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, where is thy God?” (Psalm 42:3).  A spiritual giant and a synthesis of emotional highs and lows, David’s humanity was pervasive in all aspects of his life.

The interesting point is that the more we talk about King David, the more we appreciate his honest self-examination and tenacity to hold on to God even in the face of extreme odds.  Modern day believers have been sharing David’s template of his vituperations in a slightly different way.  We tend to praise God when things appear good and sound off when things aren’t going right.  This is especially true in recent times when attacks on Christians have been more pronounced.  Believers were shocked in February this year, when 21 Coptic Christians captured by the Islamic State from the coastal city of Sirte in Eastern Libya were beheaded.  Believers were shocked when in July, ISIS terrorists overran the Nineveh capital of Mosul, which had had a strong Christian presence, looted Christian homes, executed believers, ruined churches, and pulled down crosses, all in an effort to establish control and intimidate Christians and religious minorities throughout Iraq.

In Kenya, believers were shocked when 148 students, mostly Christian worshippers at Garissa University College, were murdered at the College campus.  Believers were shocked when without any provocation, authorities in Zhejiang Province in China knocked down more than 450 crosses from official Protestant churches in an anti-Christian campaign and demolished a large edifice in Yanxie near Wenling.

And just last month, Americans woke up to a horrifying story of a massacre in Charleston, South Carolina when a young man, pretending to be a participant in a Bible study session in a Church, suddenly opened fire, killing nine members of the Church, including the Pastor.  Commenting on the incident, the Governor of the State, Nikki Harley, fought back tears saying, “Parents will have to explain to their kids how they can go to church and feel safe.”  One Roxane Gay also wrote in the New York Times’ edition of June 24, 2015: “I struggle with faith but I was raised a Catholic.  I believe God is a God of love, but cannot understand how that love is not powerful enough to save us from ourselves.”  In a nutshell, this statement typifies a general sense of how people feel about God’s protection of His children in times of tragedy.

Well, such sentiments are understandable.  When I became “born again,” I questioned God even when the water I was drinking choked me.  “God, remember that I am Your child,” I will tell Him.  I thought I was immune to disasters, but how wrong I was!  I did not know that risk-free and pain-free are not part of God’s promise to love and guide His children.  God remains God and we must understand that people who love the Lord still fall sick, die of heart attacks, experience burglaries and still have children who are born with disabilities.

When God created man, He took risks because He knew that “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (Jeremiah 17:9), but because He seeks a loving relationship with those He has created, He gave us the option to choose between right and wrong.  That entailed choosing wonderful acts of love and compassion and to also choose hate and barbaric acts.  That freedom will never be taken away because the merciful and gracious God doesn’t want to be seen as a tyrant or dictator, trying to impose His will on mankind, and so sin continues to abound.  But Paul offered hope when he said in Romans 5:20: “The law would come in so that the transgression would increase, but where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.”

There are people who encounter tragedy and loss, but stick with God, move on with their lives, become stronger for it, and prosper.  Job lost everything he had and he felt God had deserted him, but he said in Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”  And in 23:10, he said “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” 

Job didn’t say these words when everything was going well.  He said this when he had sunk into an abyss of despair.  Just note this: When Satan pops up in the midst of your trials and asks the question, “Where is your God now?  You can respond, “He’s where He’s always been, and where He always will be, right by my side.”  Just put your confidence and trust in a loving God and He will never leave or forsake you.  He has a plan for your life regardless of how dark it may be.

Send your suggestions and comments to stdanso@msn.com

Correction: The title of Dr. Danso’s article in last month’s edition of this paper was incorrectly inserted as “Turning Trials into Triumphs.”  The correct title should have read: “Don’t Just Start It, Finish It.”   We deeply regret the error.  

 

 

 

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