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Is It Okay To Be Impatient With God?
by Dr. Henderson Ward
4/06/2017 / Christian Living
“How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2)
It is almost universally true that good, righteous people, call them believers if you will, have always thought God a bit slow in demonstrating that He is God, that He has the power over his creation, and that He will not allow foolishness to prosper.
We all know that God is merciful and patient, but sometimes the best among us think that in some situations God should act, must act, and somehow God does not.
The plain truth is, that sometimes we are a bit disappointed that God does not act to stop certain things from happening. Alright, we realise that God will not intervene in every situation where wrong, even monstrous wrongs, are being done, but pray, why would God not stop the believer’s innocent little todler from getting out of the house, crossing the street and getting his head crushed to a pancake by a passing lorry.
We know of hundreds, even thousands of situations where, if we were able, we would’ve intervened and stop the beastly act. We know that there were times when God allowed the righteous to suffer the most appalling brutality, and even though we know that God cannot do wrong, we still wonder why God permitted them.
Is there something wrong with us when we question God’s failure to act in certain situations, or is this normal behaviour for moral, thinking people?
Did God not make us to do this very thing, to question, to pass a verdict, to evaluate and make a judgement, to make an assesment on matters that call for analysis and determination?
Did God not promise us that the righteous will not suffer with the wicked, hence, for example, the rapture before the Great Tribulation? We see Tsunamis wiping out both sinner and saint, we see mudslides crushing both the good and the bad, we see terrorist suicide bombers devastating sinners and saints alike, and should we in these situations not wonder at God’s failure to act?
As I ponder these questions, it comes to mind that a surfeit of evil always bring to the fore God’s involvement in the immediate punishment of evil doers. We know, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27), and we are assured that no one escapes God’s judgment and justice, yet that which is to come does not prevent us from being alarmed at what is happening now.
Believers should not feel conflicted, or be alarmed when certain events of an extreme and devastating nature descends on the heads of the righteous, and they question why God allowed it to happen. Saints of old, from time to time, have done the same, and none more eloquently that the Psalmist in Psalm 10.
Here is the version that spells it out powerfully (Easy-to-Read Version), and you can see for yourself that the Psalmist was in a troubled state of mind:
“1 Lord, why do you stay so far away?
Why do you hide from people in times of trouble?
2 The wicked are proud and make evil plans to hurt the poor,
who are caught in their traps and made to suffer.
3 Those greedy people brag about the things they want to get.
They curse the Lord and show that they hate him.
4 The wicked are too proud to ask God for help.
He does not fit into their plans.
5 They succeed in everything they do.
They don’t understand how you can judge them.
They make fun of all their enemies.
6 They say to themselves, “Nothing bad will ever happen to us.
We will have our fun and never be punished.”
7 They are always cursing, lying,
and planning evil things to do.
8 They hide just outside the villages,
waiting to kill innocent people,
always looking for any helpless person they can hurt.
9 They are like lions hiding in the bushes
to catch weak and helpless animals.
They lay their traps for the poor,
who are caught in their nets.
10 Again and again they hurt people
who are already weak and suffering.
11 They say to themselves, “God has forgotten about us.
He is not watching.
He will never see what we are doing.”
12 Lord, get up and do something.
Punish those who are wicked, God.
Don’t forget those who are poor and helpless.
13 The wicked turn against God
because they think he will not punish them.
14 But, Lord, you do see the pain and suffering they cause.
You see it, so punish them.
Those who were left helpless put their trust in you.
After all, you are the one who cares for orphans.
15 Break the arms of those who are wicked and evil.
Punish them for the evil they have done,
and stop them from doing any more.
16 Lord, you are King forever and ever,
so I know you will remove the wicked nations from your land.
17 Lord, you have heard what the poor want.
Listen to their prayers, and do what they ask.
18 Protect the orphans and those who have been hurt.
Don’t let powerful people drive us from our land!” (Psalm 10: 1-18 ERV)
Notice what the Psalmist says in verse 12, “Lord, get up and do something. Punish those who are wicked, God.” It strikes a chord in our heart doesn’t it? It takes a lot of grace, inspite of everything, for us as believers to say, “...nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
Books by this author you may wish to read.
THINGS EVERY CHRISTIAN SHOULD KNOW (e-book)
Volume 1 – Five tough facts to be faced
STAND UP TO THE DEVIL (e-book)
Volume 1 – You must first identify him
ONE MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT ON GOD’S CLOCK (e-book)
Dr. Henderson Ward received his Doctor of Divinity in theology, with distinction, from Masters International School of Divinity, USA, where he is currently a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Ward's career involved pastoring, evangelism, and teaching. Copyright 2017
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