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Why Me? 5.19. 2024 Bulletin

Why me?

It is a fact of life that evil, pain and suffering will eventually befall us all, no matter how righteous you are or how well off you are.  Even the rich elites of our day do still have their troubles, and certainly Christians do as well.  A natural question that arises is "why me?"  And a more advanced question would include "Why did God do this to me?"

In many ways this is the premise of the book of Job.  Job was quite a wealthy man who suffered immensely (at the hands of Satan, notably), and began to lament his situation.  Much of the book of Job details conversations between him and his 3 friends debating philosophically about the nature of evil and suffering.  His friends maintained that only evil people suffer and righteousness is always rewarded; thus Job obviously had committed some grave sin to have brought all this woe upon himself.  Really, Job's suffering was brought about by a debate between God and Satan, where Satan declared that Job would curse God to His Face if God took away His blessings.  Notably, God did not bring wrath upon Job, but He did permit Satan to cause this suffering.  With that in mind, lets return to the question of "Why did God do this to me?"

It's a bit odd that people only ever seem to blame bad occurrences on God, isn't it?  When someone in their family suffers or dies, when they endure financial hardship, relationship troubles or losing a job, major health emergencies, the first thought for many seems to be "Why me, God?"  God does not tempt anyone with evil, according to James 1:13.  He may test and try you, but God never tempts us with Sin, because that would be contrary to His very nature, as Sin is utterly incompatible with God.  When some ill fate befalls us, perhaps it is not because God is "tempting us" (it's definitely not that, mind you), but perhaps He is trying us, to see if we will remain faithful to Him, much like when He commanded Abraham to offer his son Isaac.  Or perhaps we should blame Satan for actually tempting us, and attempting to make us "curse God to His Face".  Out of all the billions of humans that have ever existed, do we really believe that Job is the only one who was ever the center of a debate between God and Satan?  He is the only one we know for sure, but I pose to you that it's quite possible other humans have been in similar situations, unknowingly.  After all, we don't read that Job ever realized what was fully going on.  It might be Job never knew he was being condemned by Satan, and that God was allowing Job to prove his faith.  Who is to say the same may not be true of us in 2024?

Let us also consider the apostles in the New Testament.  In Acts 5:41, after having been beaten by the pharisees, it says that the apostles rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer for His Name.  Isn't that remarkable?  Oftentimes in our comfortable 21st century world, we act surprised when people persecute us for our faith.  Perhaps we should endeavor to have more of the apostles attitude, and be glad not that we are in suffering itself, but that we are righteous enough to draw attention and to cause such a reaction.  Consider this: if we were not noticeably Christian, nobody would feel the need to persecute your faith.  You would essentially be hiding your lamp under a bushel.  Think also to Acts 16:25.  While in jail, Paul and Silas sang hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to it.  It's not that they were glad to be whipped and jailed unjustly, but rather that their faith was visible and evident, and genuine.  People knew who they served and the persecution they suffered was evidence of that. 

So let's bring it back to the 21st century.  Even though we are children of God and we do have His blessings that are unique to Christians, that does not mean we have a bubble around us that shields us from all harm.  Life still goes on, and this mortal world has troubles even under the best conditions.  Hurricanes, diseases, hardships and other misfortunes are a reality of the human existence, and this will never change.  As regards persecution due to faith, that is also a reality of being a Christian.  We are the minority.  Most people do not want God's light shined on them because they rather prefer the darkness, and they will fight against the light rather than be changed by it.  When we suffer hardships, let us never blame God for them, and never think that He is tempting us to sin.  That is against His very nature.  "Why me?"  Because we are mortal humans in a mortal, fallen, imperfect world.  When God designed Earth, it was perfect, and we failed Him by sinning.  This world is "our fault", not God's.  And like Job had to learn, God does not owe us an explanation.  We are in no position to demand that God uniquely protect us from harm and danger.  Rather than that, let us draw closer to Him when we are suffering hardship and persecution, and let those experiences rather strengthen our faith all the more (1 Peter 1:7).

DY

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