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If the Lord Jesus cried out on His cross, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" is it okay for me to ask the question "Why?"
I wondered that for the longest time. My cries of "Why, God, why?" weren't voiced out of anger. For the most part, it was just a human cry of desperation, out of my own agony.
Over the years I've discovered it's no sin to ask the Lord why things happen. God can handle our questions. But here's the important thing: Can we handle His answers?
Yes, there are answers. But many of us get so caught up in asking "Why me?" that we forget about seeking those answers. The fact is, we may not like them. They may be hard to swallow. But we can't ignore the truth that God can and often does give crystal clear answers to our heart's deepest questions.
So why has God allowed the hurt you're facing today? You might find part of your answer in the words of Peter:
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 may participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13
You see, part of the answer to the "whys"you are asking might be that God wants you to have a small share in the sort of suffering your Savior went through.
Paul echoes a similar thought:
Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:17
Once again God gives us at least a partial answer to our "why" questions. It's almost as though God is saying to us, Why not? If Jesus went through so much ... so much suffering and heartache to secure for us that which we don't deserve ... if He went through the pain, why should we complain if we have to endure a tiny part of what He endured on our behalf?
The Bible makes it clear that suffering is mysteriously and intimately linked with the glory that lies beyond. The Bible passages we considered today remind us we can rejoice over the privilege of participating in the sufferings of Christ-so that we will be overjoyed when we share in His glory to come.
Granted, that may not be anything close to the kind of answer we want or expect to the questions we ask of God. But God's not the one who has to prove Himself here.
You've been more than ready to ask the questions. The real issue is, will you accept His answers?
"I'm speechless, in awe-words fail me. I should never have opened my mouth! I've talked too much, way too much. I'm ready to shut up and listen." Job 40:4-5, The Message
As a result, I can really know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I can learn what it means to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that, somehow, I can experience the resurrection from the dead! Philippians 3:10-11, NLT
Before you can accept God's answers, you first must hear them. You must allow Him time and opportunity to respond to your questions. He has promised wisdom to those who ask (James 1:5), but don't expect Him to shout or leave a text message on your cell phone. He will speak into the stillness of a quiet, listening, seeking heart.
Excerpted from 31 DAYS TOWARD Overcoming ADVERSITY by Joni Eareckson Tada Copyright © 2006 by Joni Eareckson Tada . Excerpted by permission.
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