There is a question we all have to settle when we are in seasons of pain – It’s the deciding question of whether or not we are going to continue to follow Christ, or depending on our journey, whether or not we believe in God. This question is not a philosophical or even a logical one, but a “soul” question – one that comes from the depths of our being. It is a question that, when we are in the throes of pain, defies any basis of reasoning. It’s the only question we ever really ask. This question is HOW? How could a “loving” God allow this?
After all, the Bible says that God’s very nature is Love. His very essence is benevolence. He cannot be otherwise. God can’t break promises or in any way become the author of evil (James 1:13). To do so would be a contradiction of who He is. It would deny His very essence (2 Tim 2: 13).
Yet with all this illumination, there remains a deep-rooted need in all of us to make sense out of pain. Once the “How” soul question is uttered, it seems that all the knowledge we have about God is rendered academic. Affliction has hit home and what we know is not sufficient to get us through the hour.
So what do we do when we come to cross purposes with our deepest convictions about God?
The first thing is not to panic. Whatever doubts we may have do not affect how God feels about us.
In this epic struggle, doubts and trust can sometimes travel the same highway. Job held these two realities in tension with each other.
Though He slay me, I will hope in Him; yet I will argue my ways to His face.
On the one hand, Job unquestionably committed his soul trust to God. On the other, he argues with God. The Bible is the only place where you find man disputing divinity, and divinity not getting nervous over it.
In another place, God challenged Israel in their plight to “Come let us reason together”.
This tells us that God never discounts our humanity in times of affliction, but also that there are realities far deeper than our bitter questions that, if we are willing to put in His hands, will be navigated.
Don’t allow yourself to become crippled by your questions. Continue to trust Him while, like Jacob, you also wrestle with Him, and He will bring you through.