Lord, Why?

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)

It is not a sin for a believer to ask why; even our Lord asked this question as he hung in pain on the cross (see Matthew 27:46). We may sometimes cry out, “Lord, why are you putting me through this? I know it does not come from your hand, but still you are allowing the devil to harass me. When will it ever end?”

The secular demands an explanation for all the pain and suffering in life. They say, “I simply can’t believe in your God; I must have more love than he does because if I had the power, I would stop all this suffering.” I am not going to attempt to answer why there is famine, flooding, disease and destruction but I do know that as the world questions, I can respond, “He is weeping over what humankind has done.”

In my opinion, no person other than Jesus has suffered so much as Paul, in so many ways at the hands of so many people. At the very point of his conversion, Paul was forewarned of the sufferings he would face: “But the Lord said … ‘I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake’” (Acts 9:15-16). Jesus himself was declaring here, “I’m going to show Paul how greatly he will suffer for my name’s sake.” Likewise, if you have set your heart wholly on Christ, determined to know him intimately, you will experience hard times and afflictions that cold, carnal Christians know nothing about.  

David writes, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19).

While God did not bother to explain anything to Paul or bring an end to his sufferings, he revealed to him how he would make it through each trial with victory: “[Jesus] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:9). You don’t need to understand it all — God’s grace is all you will ever need.