When we go through a difficult time or life doesn’t go our way, we often ask ourselves “Why me Lord?” We think life is unfair or that we don’t deserve it. We try to figure out what we did wrong because, otherwise, it doesn’t make sense.
In this day of social media and selfies and all that goes along with that, we have because very self-focused. If something doesn’t prosper us in some way- make us more money or promote us- then it must not be from God. It has become the age of the “me gospel”. Today, if we see someone going through a desert-like experience when everything seems to falling apart or struggling financially or not prospering like we think they should, then they must have done something wrong.
However, throughout the Bible, we see story after story of people being persecuted for the Gospel. In the book of Genesis, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and spent a long time in prison for something he didn’t do before God promoted him. (Genesis 37 & 39)
After following God into a land that God promised to show him, Abraham encountered a severe famine and had to flee to Egypt where things got even worse. (Genesis 12)
Jesus spent 40 days in the desert without food and being tempted by the devil and then died a horrible death. The Apostle Paul spent much of his ministry in prison for the gospel.(Matthew 4:1-11)
These are only a few examples. You can continue to ask yourself “Why Me Lord?” and blame God for your problems or you can press in closer to God and let Him strengthen your faith. Why not change your perspective and find out what God wants to do in you and through you. What is he trying to teach you? What is his purpose in your present circumstances? In each of these examples above, God had a plan and a purpose for allowing Joseph, Abraham, Jesus, Paul, etc. to suffer.
God used Joseph to help his family survive during the severe famine that was happening in the land. (Genesis 45:5)
After suffering through the famine and having his wife taken by Pharoah in Egypt, Abraham became the father of many nations and was the ancestor to the Messiah, Jesus. (Genesis 21:1-5)
After Jesus was tried and tempted in the desert for 40 days, He came and ministered in power, “preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all sorts of diseases among the people.”(Matthew 4:23)
God has reasons for our “desert experiences” just as he does when he puts us in positions of influence and power.
It says in John 12:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
Our faith is like that seed. Sometimes it must fall into the ground and die before it can bear fruit. It is through those times when you don’t feel like you can go on any longer, or in going to places you never wanted to go, when you reach the end of yourself and you can’t see any way out, that God can really work. He is strongest when we are at our weakest.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
He wants us to reach out to him in faith. He wants us to grow closer to Himself. Maybe you didn’t do anything wrong. Maybe it’s your season to grow in faith. The disciples in the Bible were heavily persecuted for the gospel and counted it a privilege to do so. Many dying horrible deaths.
Maybe, just maybe it isn’t about me at all but about what God can do through me where I am at. Who is around me that may need help? Who is God putting in my path? Maybe what I am going through is all about others and not me at all?
When Joseph was in prison, he was able to interpret the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker. (Genesis 40)
While in prison, the apostle Paul led many people to accept Jesus as their Savior. (Acts 16)
Jesus never sinned at all but died a horrible death on the cross and as a result, we can now spend eternity with God in Heaven instead of the horrible alternative.
This world is full of sin and heartache and pain and life isn’t always going to be easy. It is very tempting when things get hard or don’t do our way to ask “Why me Lord?” However, it is often through our desert experiences that God can work miracles. Reach out in faith, not blame, and He will be faithful. Keep your eyes on God and keep them open on the needs of others around you. Nothing happens by accident. God has a reason for everything. Search him out and he will be there for you.