Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of April 9, 2006

Matthew15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

I am so glad that the Lord asked “why?” I know that He knew the answer before He asked the question and that the answer was that He was being forsaken so we could be saved. We who trust in Him will never have to be forsaken. But by asking “why”, He has given us permission to ask “why“ as well.

I have been involved in two strong universities in my life time. In one, if you sat in the student activity center and listened to the conversations, people were constantly asking, “why”. In the other people were constantly asking, “how”. The “how“ university taught people how to do things. These students wanted the answers to the problems and were not too concerned with why the answers were the answers. In the “why“ university, the students wanted to know why the answers were the answers. When we ask, “why” we are reasoning. When we ask, “how”, we are doing. Both have their place, but I have always been a “why” person.

Sometimes Biblical teachers give me the feeling that if I ask God “why“, I am not trusting Him. Sometimes I ask why He has put me in circumstances that I don’t understand. Other times I ask why he has given me Biblical instructions that seem to run counter to common sense. But I believe that the Lord tells us it is all right to ask “why” so long as we do it with a submissive spirit.

Sometimes when we ask the Lord “why“, He says we don’t need to know why. We just need to trust Him. In Proverbs 3:6 we are reminded, “ In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Sometimes He says, “Because it is good for you.” In Hebrews 12:11, He says, “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

Sometimes He says, “Because it will glorify or honor me.” In Matthew 5:16, the Lord says, “ Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

So whether we are passing through circumstances we don’t understand or whether we are reading instructions for honoring the Lord in the Bible that we don’t understand, I believe it is all right and even a good thing to ask “why?” However, when we don’t fully understand the “why“, blessing still comes with trusting God to know and to do what is best for us. We still need to be obedient to the Lord’s “how” even when we don’t fully understand His “why“.

God is in heaven and we are on earth. He owes us nothing and yet gives us everything we need for life and for salvation. He does not have to tell us everything. He did not even allow the Lord when He was on earth to know the time of His own return (Mark 13:32). I believe that it is appropriate to ask “why” but we cannot demand to fully understand the ways of God before we trust Him and before we obey Him.

Bruce Collins

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