Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Desperate Prayers of "Why?" and "Where?"

Psalm 118:6, "The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?"

"If God is for us, who can ever be against us?" (See Romans 8:31). This verse ran over and over in my mind in the recent months. I'd heard it a handful of times, but now it was a verse God was beginning to bring revelation to me through.

How many of you have ever found yourself praying, "Lord, if You're for me, then why _____?" Why when I prayed did my loved one not get well? Why are You allowing this to happen when You have the power to do anything? Why am I doing my best to follow You yet finding it's harder rather than easier? The list of "whys" is endless.

For many years, I too prayed the "Why?" prayers. Many times, I cried out in desperation, "Where are You, Lord?!?" I knew what the Bible said, but rather than confessing what I knew to be true, I allowed doubt to creep in and cause me to question God rather than to trust Him.

As I began thinking about how God is on my side, my life began to change. My prayers changed from a desperate, "Where are You, Lord?" to an "I know You're with me right now even though I can't see You, and I know that You are for me even though I don't understand why things are turning out the way they are at the moment."

As my prayers changed, my heart changed with them.

Think with me for a moment about this one truth: "God is for me, not against me. God is on my side."

What changes when you begin allowing that truth to sink in?

For such a long time, I doubted that God was on my side. I would allow my circumstances and how I felt to dictate to me whether or not I believed God was for me. Finally, this mindset was being renewed, and I was finding how wrong I'd been all along.

My prayer shifted from a question of, "If God is for me..." to a statement: "God IS for me."

When we feel like God isn't for us, we begin viewing Him as our opponent rather than seeing Him as being on our team. We get defensive and don't want to submit to God because we feel as if what He is directing us to do isn't for our best. How many of you know that when unity is broken, the power is lost with it?

Ever since God brought this revelation to me, I have watched my relationship with Him thrive and be stronger than ever before. No longer do I ask, "Where are You?" because I already know He's promised to never leave me or forsake me. No longer do I ask, "Why is this happening?" because I know that God sees what I cannot see, and He loves me so much that He gave it all for me.

There's a song by Kari Jobe that's really hit home on this subject. It's called "You Are For Me".

Perhaps today you're facing a circumstance that makes no sense and you're tempted to ask God the same question I have multiple times before, "Where are You, and why are You allowing this if...?"

I'm not trying to make light of your situation. I've been there, but I know that as long as we are stuck on the "Why?" and "Where?" questions, we'll never find the answers we're looking for. However, if we will confess what Scripture says that God is for us and not against us, and that He will never leave us or forsake us, we will find the comfort we need and the strength to endure. We may not know the answers, but we will have unity with the One Who knows everything and find peace even in the midst of not knowing.

All I need to know is that God is for me and with me.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I've been so convicted about the times I've doubted You rather than trusting You. So many times I asked "Why?" and "Where?" rather than believing that You are for me and with me. God, sometimes life doesn't make sense. That's where faith comes in. Help my trust in You and unity with You grow stronger and stronger so that no matter what comes my way I can say with full assurance, "God is for me, not against me. He is on my side and will never leave me or forsake me." In Jesus' Name. Amen.