Featured this week is the late Rev. Kenneth Cox of Beulah Baptist Church, Hamer, who died March 23rd. Kenneth was on the original list of newspaper devotion writers, and this is his first article from March 1992. His mother has given permission to reprint Kenneth’s devotion.
Why Doesn’t God Do Something?
A tired, depressed woman stands at the bedside of her loved one who is dying in the hospital. The couple that everyone said would be the couple least likely to have any problems has just filed for divorce. A man who was once well-liked by his business associates finds that his fellow workers will not speak to him any more since he got his new promotion. Parents of a newborn baby are told by their doctor that their child has a birth defect that will follow their child until death.
Why doesn’t God do something?
Isaiah 55:8 gives us an answer to this question: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are our ways my ways, saith the Lord.”
This verse shows us the pondering of God. God is all mighty; He knows all. No tragedy that befalls a human in this world goes unnoticed by God. God is never taken by surprise when trouble comes. He is fully aware of the predicaments that we find ourselves getting into. Isaiah tells us that God has “thoughts.” God thinks about us. Before we got out of bed this morning, God thought of us. Before we go anywhere or do anything, God thinks of us. He made us from the beginning and He is not about to forget us, even though we may feel otherwise. Jesus said that God even sees the sparrow when it falls to the ground. God is not asleep. He has not left the planet. He is thinking of us.
This verse also shows us the perspective of God. God is able to distinguish and to separate our thoughts from His thoughts. Some people think that can earn their salvation by being morally good; those thoughts are not God’s thoughts. Others feel that doing what they please as long as they don’t hurt anyone else is fine; that way of thinking does not match God’s way of thinking. God’s thoughts are pure, holy, and righteous; man’s thinking is selfish, vain, and oftentimes evil. Therefore, when trouble comes and we wonder if God is playing a cruel joke on us, we need to remember that God’s perspective on our problem may very well be totally different from our own. What we perceive as being senseless and troublesome may be viewed by God as being purposeful and necessary. What is hopeless for man is not hopeless for God.
This verse also shows us the plan of God. If God knows we are going through tough and difficult times and if He is thinking about us, then why doesn’t He do something? The answer is: He has. Isaiah tells us that not lonely does God have “thoughts”; He also has “ways.”
The purpose behind all trouble that God allows to come into our lives is that we might”…be conformed to the image of His Son…” (Romans 8:29) This “being conformed” should take place in two ways: 1) salvationally; 2) situationally.
Salvationally, one needs to know that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again from the grave to pay the debt of the sins we have committed. One gains access to God’s power in his life by accepting His Son.
Situationally, one needs to see that God allows trouble to come so we can grow in faith. To “be conformed to the image of His Son” when problems come is to put our faith in God as Jesus did. Jesus always listened to hear God’s voice speaking to Him and then Jesus responded.
God may allow a person to die to draw others to become dependent on Him. God may allow a couple to face the agony of divorce to teach them that each partner is self-centered and not God-centered. God may permit a person on the job to suffer persecution from fellow workers in order to teach that person to be patient and sympathetic with others. Parents of a baby born with a birth defect may have to live with such a situation to teach them that life, with all its imperfections, is best lived in faith and trust in God.
God is at work in our lives- not only in the joys, but in the sorrows. His way may be a way of trouble, but at the end of the way is the promise that we are never forsaken by God.