Why Dost Thou Strive Against Him?
“Why dost thou strive against him?
for he giveth not account of any of his matters.”
There are many things that happen in this world that can cause us to question God and his ways. “Why did you let this happen to me (or to someone else)?” “God, don’t you care?” “Why didn’t you answer my prayer?” These are just some of the things that we may say (out loud or in our heart) during these times. I can remember a time many years ago when I was alone, I had no employment and money was running out. I had no church. Friends had forsaken me. Worst of all I believed that God had abandoned me. The path ahead looked black as death. During this time, I was so distraught that once I knelt down beside a wall in my rented house and started hitting it with my head while crying out “God, why do you hate me so much?” Oh yes, I have been there. But now I can say with all of my heart that God has been wonderfully gracious to me! In his kindness he brought a missionary into my life who befriended me and became a minister of grace to me, bringing me back to Christ. God showed me that he does care and that he does answer prayer.
Job was a man who suffered great things, questioned God, and wrongly accused him:
“Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me? When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint; Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions: So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life. I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity.”
But God was merciful to Job:
“Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”
Jeremiah was a faithful prophet of God and yet he wrote the following words:
“I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath. He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light. Surely against me is he turned; he turneth his hand against me all the day. My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones. He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail. He hath set me in dark places, as they that be dead of old. He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy. Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.”
But look at what Jeremiah wrote later in this same chapter:
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
My friend, there is much sin in this world and many of the things that you see and experience are the result of that sin whether it be your sin, my sin, or the sin of others. The devil is also busily doing what he can to destroy lives. But many times we fail to see God’s hand in the rough things that he allows. Our natural tendency is to blame God and sink into bitterness, anger, or depression. But, whether we can sense it or not, God in his compassion and mercy is still there.
“But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.”
If you are not one of God’s children by the new birth (repenting of sin and putting all of your trust in his finished work on the cross to cleanse you from all sin) then your greatest need is to become God’s child through simple, childlike faith. Trust in him today or ask someone who knows him to help you understand how to become his child.
If you are his child but are experiencing rough times, then know that you are not alone and that he will have compassion on you. If you are his child and see someone else who is having a rough time, then why not be a friend to them by showing them God's love?