There is this question that we humans like to ask God: Why? It is a dangerous question and yet it is an important question to ask as long as we are willing to accept God’s answer in His Word. If we ask why and expect to receive specific reasons for everything that happens in our lives, then we are headed in the wrong direction with this question. If we ask why and expect to receive specific reasons for everything it will end up being very damaging for us spiritually. But if we truly do want to know what God says in answer to this question “why?” then asking “why?” is really the start of an important God intended journey of faith that every believer should take.
This question is answered in various ways throughout Scripture, but all of them are feeding into this answer: Why does this or that, good or bad, easy or difficult, stressful or relaxing thing happen? For His glory.
God is the source of all things, He is the sustainer of all things and He is the goal of all things:
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.( Romans 11:36)
Not only were we made by Jesus we were made for Jesus:
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16)
And given these realities all we do is to be for God’s glory:
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)
I would like to focus in on one particular way that the Scripture answers the why question about an event in the history of Israel. In the book of Joshua, Israel is finally taking the Promised Land after 40 years of wilderness wondering. They were to be strong and courageous as they acted by faith in God’s promises as they took the Promised Land. At the very beginning of this time the LORD led them across the Jordan River on dry ground. At the end of Joshua 4 we are told why. Often in Scripture the LORD tells us why even when someone was not explicitly asking. He does so with this very important word: “That.”
So why did the LORD lead Israel across the Jordan River on dry land? There is more than one answer to that question, but ultimately this is what was going on:
“For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the LORD your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; 24 that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, so that you may fear the LORD your God forever” (Joshua 4:23-24).
Do you see the twin purpose for the Lord leading Israel across on dry land? It is really one purpose with two categories of people in mind. The purpose is that certain people would know that God is mighty and that others would fear Him. Both of these things would draw attention to the unique excellence of God, in other words, His glory.
But who are these two different groups that are to grasp the glory of God as a result of this event? The first group refers to people in general. Everyone who heard of this should give glory to God. The second group refers to His own people, that they would “fear the LORD your God forever.”
When God works on behalf of His people the ultimate goal is His own glory. How will that happen? By magnifying His might to unbelievers and by drawing out a profound reverential awe of Himself from His own people.
On a more personal note: Why does God work in your life? So that unbelievers around you might acknowledge His might and thereby give Him glory and so that you might grow in your fear of Him, your reverential awe of Him.
This is what God does, can you embrace this? Can you fulfill your part in this? Are you thirsty for God’s glory? If you are then you will delight in God bringing you into and out of circumstances that will display His might to unbelievers and will cause you to grow in fear of Him which will further His sanctifying work in your life for His glory (2 Corinthians 7:1). Go ahead, ask God why in every circumstance of your life. But only ask why if you are willing to accept His answer: “For My glory, that is why you exist. I have purposed to magnify My might in you to all around you and I have purposed to astound you with My might and further your awe of Me in every circumstance.” Brothers and sisters in Christ, we have a part to play in God’s plan. The drama is always going and nothing in this life can legitimately stop us from pursuing our part. The Director of this drama is truly glorious. The most reasonable thing for each one of us to do is to pursue our part on a daily basis.