The Best Thing to Tell Yourself When You’re asking “Why?”

May 20, 2022

“And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” Romans 8:28 (Amplified)

“Why?” is an old, old question. Surely as long as there have been children, there has been the question. It’s repeated a thousand times a day by curious kids who wonder about the color of the sky, why we have to use money to buy things, or why the flowers disappear at a certain time of the year. And even though we get some of those questions answered when we are young, the  “Why?” doesn’t really go away. It just changes. Deepens.

As we grow, we ask “Why?” less and less about the things we observe around us, and more and more about the circumstances we experience. Especially when those experiences are painful:

  • Why would she do that to me? I thought we were friends.
  • Why did he have to get sick? He seemed so healthy.
  • Why did he leave? Is it my fault?
  • Why did she die? I prayed that she wouldn’t die.

Same question but different object. And as the object changes, the complexity of the answer increases. That doesn’t mean that the answer to, “Why is the sky blue?” is not complex; it means that it’s straightforward. But when we ask “why” about personal matters that have plunged us into despair and despondency, it’s not so straightforward. These answers are harder to come by.

So what do you tell yourself as a Christian during moments like these? And trust me, they are coming, if they’re not already here. What do you say to your soul when everything within you is crying out for some kind of explanation?

Perhaps the best answer to this question is another question. Maybe the best answer to “Why?” is this:

What has been revealed?

Here’s the logic behind that second question: We don’t know everything, but we do know some things. And the “some things” that we know do not change regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in. 

  1. We know, for example, that God is working all things together for the good of those who love Him, and for His glory (Romans 8:28).
  2. We know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and perseverance is a key component of our spiritual maturity so that we don’t lack anything (James 1:3-4).
  3. We know that there is a progression that comes with difficulty and suffering: suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope (Romans 5:3-4). 
  4. We know that what men intend for evil, God works for good (Genesis 50:20).
  5. And we know that the measure of God’s love for us is not our circumstances, but that He has already proven His love for us in the death of Jesus on our behalf (Romans 5:8).

These are all things we know because these are things that have been revealed

And when answers haven’t been revealed, you can rest and move forward into what you do know. But always remember that there are some answers that won’t be revealed to you until you are face to face with your Savior. 

Until then, your heart can be calmed with what has been revealed to you through the Word of God.

My heart is not proud, Lord,
    my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
    or things too wonderful for me.
But I have calmed and quieted myself,
    I am like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child I am content. (Psalm 131:1-2)

Written by Michael Kelley, Guest Contributor

To read more of Michael’s writing, check out his daily blog, Forward Progress http://michaelkelley.co/