Summary: How does God intervene?
A. INTRODUCTION: QUESTIONS PEOPLE ASK ABOUT TRAGEDIES
1. Where was God when . . .?
2. Doesn’t God love those victims?
3. Did God know this tragedy would happen?
4. Doesn’t God care enough to protect them?
5. Couldn’t God have prevented this tragedy?
6. Why didn’t God do something?
7. Apply these questions to your tragedy.
OTHER QUESTIONS CHRISTIANS COULD ASK
• Why doesn’t God keep me from sinning?
• Why didn’t God get me spiritually ready?
• Why didn’t God protect me from spiritual harm?
B. WHEN DID GOD NOT COME TO THE RESCUE?
1. When Satan wanted to try and tempt Job, but God said, “Behold, he is in your hand . . . spare his life” (Job 2:6, NKJV).
2. When Joseph plunged downward. Brothers abused him . . . sold him. He was unjustly accused and imprisoned. “You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good” (Gen. 50:20).
3. David was threatened with death for 13 years by Saul.
4. God did not keep Ananias and Sapphira from lying. “Great fear came upon all the church . . .” (Acts 5:11).
5. Paul’s and Barnabas’ fussing and split. “Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus . . . Paul chose Silas . . . went through Syria and Cilicia” (Acts 15:39-41).
6. Paul suffered physically, probably the eyes. “I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me” (2 Cor. 12:8). God wanted to demonstrate strength in weakness.
7. God’s answer instead of intervention. “My grace is sufficient for you for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).
C. PEOPLE WHO EXPECT GOD TO SOLVE ALL THEIR PROBLEMS
1. They expect Christianity is a bed of roses.
2. They misunderstand God’s way of doing things, i.e., division of labor.
a. God expects us to do what is given us to do.
b. God will do the supernatural, which only God can do.
3. They have faith without works, which is dead. “If you say you have faith, but it does not work, your faith is dead” (James 2:17, ELT).
4. The parent who does their child’s algebra assignments bypasses the learning process.
5. Those who expect God to solve their problems, black themselves from reality.
6. “All things work together for good” (Rom. 8:28), not our comfort, happiness or success.
7. Those who live in denial of problems, short change their growth.
a. They become bitter over problems.
b. They are unable to help others.
c. They won’t grow in Christ.
8. They deny their identification with Christ. “The sufferings of Christ abound in us” (2 Cor. 1:5).
9. They misunderstand the role of suffering. “Since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same mind” (1 Peter. 4:1).
10. They may lose their sense of purpose and vision.
D. WHY GOD DOESN’T RUN TO OUR RESCUE
1. God rules the world by laws, and broken laws have consequences, i.e., problems and challenges.
2. God uses problems so we can learn from mistakes.
3. Just as pressure (in exercise) makes us strong, so successfully solving problems and suffering make us spiritually strong. C. S. Lewis says, “Suffering is a gift of God.”
4. God doesn’t run to solve problems because He’s already told us what to do in Scripture. “These things became our examples” (1 Cor. 10:6).