The headlines are stark and shocking in our daily paper! We read about the 28 innocent bomb victims killed and scores injured in Northern Ireland, the truck driver who lost his life because a slab of concrete was thrown into the window of his transport as he passed under a bridge, the young mother of three killed in a car accident on the corner of Wiley Street and Cascade Street over the weekend.
Why doesn’t God stop the trouble? Why do these terrible things happen? People often ask this question when trouble comes their way. It seems clear that when this question is asked, God’s ability is not in doubt, but He does not seem to act.
Why does God appear to do nothing about it? Let’s think a minute, what is it that He must stop? It’s people. It’s hatred, violence, bullying, selfishness, jealousy, bigotry, pride, dishonesty, carelessness and a whole lot of other things. Recognizing this then changes our focus.
The relevant question must become “Are we prepared to let God stop them in us?” Yes, that is where the problem lies – it’s us! What is to be done about our selfishness, our jealousy, and our sin? To be truthful, if we are not prepared for God to start there, we can never again ask the question, “Why doesn’t God stop the trouble?”
One thing is certain – that God will stop it all one day. If we refuse to be separated from that which God must judge, namely the sin in our lives, then we are involved in its judgement. If he is silent now, it’s because He longs to deal with us in mercy not judgement.
God has intervened for us already in Jesus. He did that so that the judgement of our sin would be taken to the cross. God can now deal with us in mercy because the judgement has been met. All will be judged, but there is a difference. All who put their faith in Christ can say that judgement for them is not in the future but in the past.
So, then we can change our direction and our attitude towards the things that are rotten, trust Christ, and let God give us the power to deal with the trouble in our own lives. God grant us the faith to trust in Him and to listen to the answers He gives us for our lives in his word. Amen.
Neil P. Schiller