The 'Why Didn't God' Syndrome

Suffering is a universal reality. At one point or another, every human being encounters it in some way, shape or form. Many Christians struggle to reconcile this reality with the fact that we serve a loving, all-powerful God. We trust God and firmly believe in His sovereignty, yet still wonder why He allows suffering to happen.

So many of us frequently find ourselves with a bad case of the “Why Didn’t God” Syndrome.

Why didn’t God answer my prayers when my child was sick? Instead, he or she died.

Why didn’t God hear my prayers for my marriage? Instead, my spouse had an affair and left me for them.

Why didn’t God answer my prayer for my career? Instead, I lost my job.

Why didn’t God hear our prayers for our unborn child? Instead, he or she has birth defects.

Why did God let me get cancer when the atheist across the street is 80 years old has never been sick a day in his life?

Why did God allow the death of a fine young pastor, husband, and father of three last week at the hands of a drunken driver?

Why didn’t He? Why did He? WHY???

"Why God" questions seldom, if ever, get answered in this life. And even if God gave us His reason for permitting or purposing things, it presupposes that we would have the confidence and maturity to accept His answer.

So, for the believer we must embrace mystery and sovereignty.

Mystery finds a resting place in such scriptures as Isaiah 55:8-9: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Sovereignty finds its resting place in such passages as Romans 8:28, "And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.(Amplified Bible) 

Things don’t just have a way of working out. It is God who works all things together for His glory and the good of His people. God is at work for us, purposing, providing, procuring, and preserving. Providence is at work for us externally because of what God has purposed for us eternally and what His grace produces for us internally.

This providential work of God covers all things- sweet things, sorrowful things, satanic things, sinful things - God works together for our good. All things- bereavement, sickness, disappointment, depressions, discouragements, blighted hopes, busted dreams, nervous disorders, family problems, children who are breaking their loved one's hearts, - "all things."

Romans 8:28c, “…according to His purpose." The word purpose means "an intelligent decision which the will is bent to accomplish." The universe is either an evolving, random, chance-ruled, purposeless affair that begin by accident, will end by an accident and so we are no more than accidents suspended between accidents, or it is a universe that is God-designed, God-created, God-governed and thus there is a future that is God-assured.

The mystery and sovereignty of God enables the believer to rise above the circumstances of life because, although they do not know why in terms of the immediate, they know WHOM they have believed and our confident He knows why and what he is doing in terms of the ultimate.

Without embracing the principles of mystery and sovereignty, we will become outraged and begin the interrogation process against God. Why me? Why my family or friends? Why now? Why in this manner?

Without a shut mouth and a worshiping heart that allows for God’s mystery and sovereignty, unanswered prayers, seemingly senseless tragedies, and deadly diseases and disasters, will move us off of Hallelujah Square to a dead-end street that's infected with the deadly “Why Didn’t God  Syndrome.”

We must pray earnestly and regularly against our tendency to become outraged against God and doubt both His goodness and greatness in not answering our prayers the way we desired. Failure to do so leads to rage against God.

A number of years ago, a pastor told of a young man in our Irving, TX who was killed in a car accident. The funeral home asked him to conduct the funeral service. The day before the funeral he went to the family’s home to discuss the service. As he prepared to leave, he asked the young man’s mother if he could have a word of prayer with them. The mother became enraged and shouted at the pastor, “There will be no praying in this house! God took my son from me! No, no praying in this house!”

Always remember that our God is able, and His sympathizing person, his strengthening presence, his sufficient power is adequate to enable us to respond in a faith-based, positive, powerful, productive way to every situation in life.

But in this unwavering confession of faith in the ableness and goodness of God, we must allow the awesomeness of God’s Majesty to shut our mouth, the actions of God’s Mysterious ways to satisfy our misunderstandings, the ableness of God’s Might to shape us into maturity, the activeness of God’s Ministry to settle our minds, and the availableness of God’s Mercy to stabilize our moods.

Bow your head and by faith enter the throne room of the Father’s glory, mercy and grace. Mercy there is great and grace is sufficient. Declare into the painful perplexing circumstances in which you now find yourself, “Our God is good and able to deliver me and my loved ones and friends from this fix we are in. BUT IF NOT, He is still great, good, and my God - both now and forever. I will not bow to circumstances, disease, or even death itself, because our God is able and actively in the process of reversing the curse. Although He may not fix things immediately, and to my liking, yet He is in the process of fixing them ultimately and eternally. And through Christ His Son and our Lord, by the power and presence of His Spirit, I am a forever member of Father’s Family!

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

God is a good, good Father, even when things are very, very bad!