When Things Don’t Seem So Well

An angel prevents the sacrifice of Isaac. Abra...

An angel prevents the sacrifice of Isaac. Abraham and Isaac, Rembrandt, 1634 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you were asked what is the number one question enquired of God, how would you respond? Do you think the question ‘why me Lord?’ might find its way to the top of most of our lists?

When we find ourselves ransacked by the trials of life, how would our Heavenly Father have us respond? Are we encouraged to simply adopt a ‘that’s the way life is’ attitude and go on about our way?

Are we allowed to petition God for answers as to why we are facing these trials? Are we allowed to ask, “Why me, Lord?”

According to James, we’re not only allowed, but encouraged to do so! In a very mis-used passage of Scripture, he basically had this to say.

“If you don’t understand why you are going through this trial… then ask God! He will generously give you the wisdom to understand why you’re enduring this (James 1:5).”

I claimed that this verse is often mis-used. The reason I say this is that the context of  the first chapter of James’ letter is ‘what is the purpose of and how do believers deal with trials?’  In the midst of his conversation, he asks, “Do any of you lack wisdom?” He is simply asking are there any of you who don’t understand why you’re facing this trial. It’s not implied here that God doesn’t offer us wisdom in all areas, but in this case he is limiting his conversation to the trials of life.

You will notice that there are some restrictions involved for the believer to gain this understanding. He says we must ask in faith without doubt (6-8). The bottom line here is that the integrity of the Word of God is at stake! If we come to our Heavenly Father with childlike faith, we are promised understanding.

Does James mean to say that we can know every detail formed in the mind of God? Is his claim that we can fully know exactly what God is accomplishing with every trial and time of suffering we face?

We could refute that without even leaving the biblical stories. Think about it. How could Abraham know that people would be being blessed by him in a small rural town in America in the year 2012? I’m doubting God gave him a vision of Christopher Columbus sailing the seas! Yet he endured the trials of his life by believing God.

That is James’ message! He wanted those he was writing to who were experiencing much trial and tribulation to know that God had everything under control. He wanted them to grasp that everything was happening for a very good reason. He wanted them to have no doubt that God was saving the world through the work of His Son, and this most urgent work included the transformation of His people into the image of Jesus.

When we face trials, and we all will, we can walk through them with wisdom. Our Father’s wisdom ensures us that all things are happening in our best interest. It may not seem like it… but in time will prove to be that good and perfect will of God. His will that leaves us looking a little more like His Son with each passing trial.

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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9 Responses to When Things Don’t Seem So Well

  1. Pingback: TRUSTING GOD IN THE MIDST OF TRIALS | Religious Reviews

  2. Pingback: Well… which well? | Resting in His Grace

  3. Pingback: When Things Seem too Well… maybe we need our well examined | Resting in His Grace

  4. Earthly parents answer the questions offered by their children and wise parents answer correctly. Should we doubt that the PERFECT FATHER God would be less than our human parents? I believe God WANTS us to ask – in faith and in the right attitude – and that He wants us to know.

    Of course there are some questions which cannot be answered in this life because our limited minds could not comprehend the mind of God, but He wants us to know and understand what we can.

    We serve an amazing God!

  5. JS Park says:

    I just preached on this. Good thoughts!

  6. Sometimes, sanctification hurts. Transformation is not always easy and smooth. But we can rest assured that God is working on our behalf, though it may not always be easy to see this side of glory.

    Thanks! This was an encouraging post.

  7. writinggomer says:

    I agree completely, God is ok with questions. Questions are how we learn, and wanting to to know why does not indicate unbelief. Only a fool never asks why. Remember I said never! 🙂

  8. Dave Knickerbocker says:

    Interesting take on James 1. Thanks for the insight.

  9. I really like what you said here : “It may not seem like it… but in time will prove to be that good and perfect will of God.”
    A lot of times people grumble because they want God to yield to their own will and not His own in regards to their circumstances. Our God is not a genie in the bottle that grants you everything you desire just becuase you ask for it. sometimes we ask amiss and sometimes out of desperation for things that won’t sustain us and God may seem silent in such requests that are asked without wisdom. Wisdom and understanding help us to make sense of our trials and allow us to press on in faith while walking in the will of God. The important key is to walk in His will and NOT our own. God grants everything to us according to His will and purpose…but that is all dependent on whether or not we purpose to pursue to walk in the light of His will in Faith.

    Great Post today.
    God Bless you two!

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