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Is it ever ok to ask God, “Why?”

In: A Quiet Spirit, Trisomy 18

So many Christians think not. Perhaps they think the God who is gently taking them through a deep fire of trial or temptation now will add lightning to the mix if they question Him.

Perhaps they think that by questioning God they’re exhibiting a lack of faith.

Perhaps they think their friends would rebuke them for asking God for a purpose to their trials.

I had someone close to me tell me this week, “Stay close to God. I’d hate to go through what you’re going through as it is, but I’d really hate to do it with God angry with me!” I had a few other people tell me, “I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I bet you’re tempted to question God. Remember how much He loves you instead.” As if questioning God’s purpose for our trial was some sort of sin. And if I had the desire to question Him i was facing a temptation to sin.

While I appreciate every note, phone call (even though most of the time we haven’t answered them, I know!), message, comment on facebook, and gift, some of these particular comments got me thinking that perhaps there was something we were missing about our God.

I’ve been through trials before. Some in jr. high – “God, why did you let me leave my original copy of my state piano competition score at home? Now, after 10 months of 2 hr a day practice, I’ve been disqualified!” Some in high school – “God, why can’t I make a basket, even when my coach has put me in every. single. game?” Some in college – “Why innocent people in the twin towers? Why America? Why is evil seeming to win?” Some the day we gave birth to our first sweet daughter.

And now this. A deep trial that has rocked our faith to its core. After our faith had already been rocked to its core, we thought, twice in the last 6 months.

So, can we? Can I? You know, ask God for His purpose in putting me through such painful situations and trials?

Is it OK to ask God, the Creator of all things good, and the giver of all things good, for His purpose in putting us through some sort of trial that, honestly, makes us want to think that not knowing God would be easier than knowing He is good and all loving and still doing this to us?

Everything does have a purpose under the Heavens. (Ecclesiastes 3)

And all things are through God, In God, and from God. (Romans 11:36)

And we’re supposed to ask God – who created these purposes and knows these purposes – for wisdom. (James 1:5)

In fact, James said – When you’re in a trial, count it joy. Because this testing is going to bring about perseverance. And that perseverance. if you let it keep you in the trial until God deems it to be finished, when it’s finished its work, you will be perfect and complete – lacking nothing. But while you’re in that trial, If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.


Really? God will give us the wisdom we need to get through trials? He’ll give us the wisdom we need to make it through? And He won’t get angry at us for asking?

The wisdom for deciding whether or not continuing some hormone supplements that were supposed to help me stay pregnant (which I was taking this entire pregnancy when I thought the baby was “perfect”), when the doctors are advising against it now and are all telling me that this is only prolonging the inevitable and will just cause more potential physical and emotional issues for me when I try to deliver a larger, more developed baby?

The wisdom for coming up with a birth plan about a planned C section vs a natural delivery, which could potentially give me a few more moments of life with our little one should he or she make it to full term, but could possibly have me so drugged up that I wouldn’t be alert and able to enjoy those few precious moments?


But what about when I need a reason. When what I’m doing needs a purpose. Why am I here on this earth? To glorify God. OK, I can do this living, earth-thing then. I have a purpose.

But why am I under this deep trial? Is it ok to ask God that?

I’m submitting another resounding YES. Here’s why I say that.

It’s been done. And not just by Job. And me.

Moses did it.

“Why have you given me this burden to carry these people? I don’t deserve this. Just kill me.” (Number 11:9-11)

Joshua did it.

“Why, if you are so Sovereign, did you bring us here only to have us face this hardship? I would have done things differently.” (Joshua 7:7)

David, That “man after God’s own heart”, did it.

“Why do you seem to stand afar off and hide Yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1-2)
“Why are you so far from helping me and do not hear my groanings?” (Psalm 22:1-2)
“Why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1)

King Hezekiah, the one who said, “I’ve been good in your site, God. I’ve been loyal to you.” And God added 15 years to his life, He did it.

“Why have you forgotten about me?” ( Psalm 42:9-10)
“Why do you cast me off?” (Psalm 43:2)
“Why do you sleep, God?” (Psalm 44:23)

Asaph, the songwriter responsible for many Psalms, did it.

“Why does your anger smoke against your people, God?” (Psalm 74:1)
“Why do you withdraw your hand of protection, God?” (Psalm 74:11)

Jeremiah, weeping in deep sorrow, did it.

“Why have you struck us and not healed us?” (Jeremiah 14:19)
Why is my pain perpetual? Are you a liar and unreliable?” (Jeremiah 15:18)

Habakkuk did it.

“Why do you allow wickedness to win and allow good people to suffer? (Habakkuk 1:3)
“Why are you silent when the wicked destroy those who are more righteous than they? You are not fair!” (Habakkuk 1:12-13)

Jesus. God-Man incarnate who knew all things – and never sinned. He did it.

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:45)

Perhaps sometimes, we already know the answer to the question we ask. We just still don’t understand that answer. Jesus certainly knew all things. Surely He knew what was happening. But if He was truly sinless, then asking such a thing in the midst of the worst trial in human history can’t possibly be a sin. Perhaps its a natural human response to find a purpose for what we’ve been given from God.

In fact, “the cross not only allows us to ask why; it compels us to ask. Because when we’re asking why, we’re peering into purpose. It’s absolutely essential, in “tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword,” that we discover and cooperate with divine purpose so that we might be “more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom. 8:35,37).” (quote from Bob Sorge.)

And it’s OK to do.

Just…be ready for God’s answer. Because He says: Go ahead during those trials and ask for wisdom. God will give it to you – and He won’t rebuke you for asking. But if you do ask, you’d better ask in faith, not doubting the answer you get. “For the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.”

So ask. In faith. And confidence.

(*some study notes of the servant’s questioning God taken from Jeanette Miller’s Study entitled, “When Seeing is Believing”)



  • Jan Evett

    August 24, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Kim, you are right in your thinking, in my humble opinion. God deeply loves and cares for you and your babies. He can handle your questions and he has provided answers. Like you said, sometimes we know the answer, but we don’t understand the “why?”

    It’s okay to ask God for answers to the terrible and hard trials of life. Actually, he is the only one with all the answers. In his grace and mercy, he knows how much we can handle because he made each one of us. He also knows that sometimes we can handle the truth and sometimes we are not ready to hear it. He is patient and waits for us to turn to him. His anger (holy wrath) was poured out on his son, Jesus, to reconcile this fallen sinful world to him. He sees his children (believers) through the lens of his son, Jesus, and he is not angry. Even when we sin (and we all do), he waits for us to seek forgiveness and restoration.

    All of the evil of this world is a result of Satan’s desire to be like God. Satan is not like God though and all of the pain, death, suffering, sickness, weakness, disease, deceitfulness and sorrow are all the fault of that evil creature who turned against God – and who turned man against God. It may seem like he is winning today, but we know the end of the story (that has not yet happened) and God will have the final word and all of the evils including the source of those things will be destroyed. Those who put their faith and trust in God will not be destroyed, but will be made whole and will live eternally in perfect love with God and with each other. The hope in Christ is that we will live with him – unbroken, whole, complete – and with those we have known and loved in this lifetime who have also given their hearts to Christ.

    Trusting God means being able to put it all out there in front of him knowing that he will make all things new when sin and death have been completely destroyed. God loves you and he loves for you to ask him why and to trust that he will gently hold you even while you are going through every hard day and night. This brings him glory and this will bring you peace. Pray your why questions to the only one who has the answers and he will prove to be faithful by giving you hope and peace. God bless!


  • Karen

    August 24, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Good thinking. It is a comfort to know that we can pour out our heart to God. He does understand. He does care. He helps us in our weakness.

    It was 12 years after our son David died that I learned our son Jonathan came to salvation upon seeing the reality of death and eternity. Now Jonathan is preparing to be a pastor. While the sorrow is still there, God brought peace and assurance to His plan. One day in glory I believe we will understand the ways God is weaving our lives through joys and trials for His glory so that we might praise Him!


  • Brenda Barfield

    August 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    During Sam’s brain injury, there were many times I asked God “why?” Even though God told me he would heal Sam, I felt it would be soon. I had to remember that God’s timing is not our timing. It took 10 years for it to happen. Waiting is one of the hardest things to do when you do not know all the facts. You do ask God questions like “why” or “why can’t you let me escape this pain.” However, I always hung on to what God promised me, even when others told me I was crazy. No one truly knows what I went through and what I continue to go through because of the brain injury. Even though I knew God had it all taken care of, there were still times that I just wanted to die or for God to just give me a break in the storm. I had many people judging me that called themselves a Christian, but did not really understand, because they had not gone through it. I can say that I am stronger from those 10 years and that I felt closer to God during those years than any time prior. My spiritual walk has grown much deeper and my walk much closer, but I do know there will be more trials and storms to come, but God will be there to lift me up and carry me when I am not able to do so. I have also learned that everyone is in a different walk or place with God and it is not our job to judge their life or situation. We are to love them and pray for them and be a support. I have also learned to about what I want to say before it is said. Many times people with sincere hearts said things to me that hurt deeply. I love you Kim with all my heart and I hope this ministers in some way. You are certainly an inspiration to me and you are a reminder that even through our storms, that is the place where God really ministers to us.


  • Mabel

    January 20, 2014 at 11:48 am

    I didn’t get an answer to “Why.” All I got was “It’s okay; I’m taking care of it; don’t be afraid.” Well, I’m still waiting, I AM afraid, and I still don’t understand why.

    I’m just really, really tired of being here. And I can’t wait any longer.


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