Where’s God When I Need Him?

“God didn’t help me in a crisis, so has he let me down?” 

This question was asked by a Kansas City Star reader.  On Saturday the Star has a column “Voices of Faith.”  The questions are answered by a panel of religious leaders.  Two different men answered that question. 

Duke Tuffy, “pastor of Unity Templeon the Plaza,” wrote: Is there a God somewhere in the heavens judging what prayers to answer and what prayers not to? If so, what criteria does that God use? Does he answer prayer based on a person’s worthiness; how often one goes to church; how desperate or incapable one is?  

Tuffy answered his own questions by saying, “I believe the answer to all of the above is no”. He asserts, “God doesn’t intervene in our lives.”

Both the question and “Pastor” Tuffy’s answer reflect a lot of what many are feeling today.  Where’s God when I need Him?  There must not be a God who answers prayer.  And if there is a God at all, He’s certainly not involved in my life on a daily basis.

In fact, Tuffy tells the questioner that we have the “intelligence, power, imagination, faith, and many other spiritual attributes” to solve our own problems.  He then adds, “When faced with challenges I suggest you get off your knees, back on your feet and step forward, knowing one step at a time, one day at a time will lead you out of the darkness and into the light.  

Interestingly this answer is in direct contradiction to what the Bible teaches!  The prophet Jeremiah, “Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself;  It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.”  Apart from God our walk is futile.  Our vision is blurred.  Our understanding is limited.   

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  (John 14:6, NIV) When we are “in Christ” we have access to The Father.  Our walk is focused.  Our vision is clear.  Our understanding is enlightened.  I can’t  lead myself out of darkness into the light.  Jesus is the light.  And he leads me out of darkness into the light.  (John 12:46) 

When we are hurting, should we pray?  James says, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.” 

Does God even care about our daily pains and problems?  The apostle Peter says He does “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (I Pet. 5:7) 

So, does God know what’s going on in my daily life? Is He involved?  In Psalm 139, David affirms that Jehovah knew his coming.  His going.  His thoughts.  His secret desires.  He can finish your sentence before you ever say the words!  He knows you inside and out! 

Well, does God hear and answer our prayers in times of crisis?  Jesus says he does.  And illustrates it in the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8.  He says a certain woman  sought legal help from an adversary. She sought relief from a judge who neither feared God or respected people.  Yet, she kept coming to him asking for help. Finally, he tired of her continual pleading and answered her request.  

Jesus’ point is simple.  If an unrighteous judge will grant a request due to persistent pleading, how much more will a holy and righteous God avenge us of our adversaries?  And so, Jesus says, “Men always ought to pray and not lose heart.”  

I will say the second “pastor” did a little better job with the question.  “The Rev. Justin Hoye, pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Church, Kansas City, North” said in part, “If God does not answer in the way in which we asked him to intervene, it is not a sign of his absence or his indifference. Rather, such an occasion is an invitation to remain open to how God is addressing and responds to the cry of our hearts.”

Where is God when I need him?  He is there.  He cares.  And He hears.

So, if God answers prayer, and I’m still hurting.  Why?  Tomorrow we will address that issue and answer the question: “Why does God allow suffering?”

–Ken Weliever, ThePreacherman

10 Comments

Filed under God, Prayer

10 responses to “Where’s God When I Need Him?

  1. Always a difficult question. I do believe God is always there. He answers prayers but sometimes the answer is “No” or “Not yet”. It’s always difficult to understand why things happen. I had a co-worker who was brutally beaten & left for dead almost 4 years ago. She died after 5 1/2 days in the hospital. I still can’t comprehend the whole situation. It’s one of those times when you just don’t understand why. I believe God was present, I don’t think he abandoned her or anything. I still don’t understand why it had to happen….why things like that happen to people. It didn’t make me doubt God or his presence in our life. God gave us free will & some people are going to do things like that. God could have done something to prevent it, I believe He has the power to do anything He wants to. Why He didn’t prevent it, that I still don’t have the answer to but maybe there are things we just aren’t meant to understand. I had just read the book “The Shack” right before this happened & it really helped me deal it. Maybe that makes no sense & maybe it’s not the right thinking. I just believe God is always there even in times of crisis but sometimes, it is hard to explain that to people.

  2. John Grant

    Great post. God is good…. all the time. This week celebrate freedom ….. freedom in America and freedom in Christ.

  3. Gail Story

    Hey Ken. I asked myself the same question when my dad was dying, who was a faithful Christian, while another man I knew who was almost an atheist had a heart attack and stroke and should not have lived through the night, but did and is still alive today 7 years later. I can only say that God wants everyone to be saved and he is giving this man another chance to change to Him. At least my dad had the assurance of salvation and was ready to go. But it doesn’t make it easy to understand that sometimes. Thanks for your thoughts on this. Gail

  4. Funny thing, my blog today is on the same theme, how God sometimes works through adversity in ways we don’t realize. It is difficult for us to understand why God allows suffering, for me the key thing is to trust and hold on through it; looking forward to reading your post tomorrow

  5. Sometimes we pray for ourself and that is not good for us but God knows it better than we. God does what is better for us.

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