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Sermon of the Week 
Tuesday, May 17 2022

WHY?

If you have children, you will have no trouble with my title.... They have a question for everything. I believe God wants us all to go back to that time in our childhood when we had a question for everything and we weren’t afraid to ask...

A friend once asked Isidor Rabi, a Nobel prize winner in science, how he became a scientist. Rabi replied that every day after school his mother would talk to him about his school day. She wasn't so much interested in what he had learned that day, but she always inquired, "Did you ask a good question today?" Rabi said "Asking good questions, is what made me decide to become a scientist."

Let me begin with a global statistic 139 million babies are born each day, and 62 million people die every day. Which is an increase in the world population of 77 million people every day. 

The population of the world as of May 10th, when I checked, is 7 billion, 900 million, 800 thousand. That means, there are 7 billion, 900 million, 800 thousand people asking “Why” every day.

Of course this is taking into consideration that there are three kinds of people in the world, those who watch everything happen, those who make everything happen, and those who are always asking “why things happen”....People have a lot of questions....

Why do they put Braille at the drive through ATM? Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii? Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour? Why don't Psychics always Win the lottery"? Why isn't there a special name for the tops of your feet? Why is "abbreviated" such a long word?

God created the “Why” and put it in every human being. Hecreated a desire in mankind to search and discover.... as a matter of fact, in the gospel of Luke alone, Jesus answered a question with a question 89 times. In the gospel of Mark, there are only a few occasions when Jesus did not answer a question with a question. Jesus developed a questioning community with the disciples. He wanted them to seek deeper understandings of what they thought and believed as individuals and as a community. 

Jesus asked some penetrating questions.......that demand an answer...

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet lose their own soul? (Matthew 16:26) 

Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? (Luke 12:26)

Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Are you not of more value than the birds of the air? (Matthew 6:25-26)

If God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, why won’t He take care of you—oh, you of little faith? (Luke 11:11-13)                                                                                                         

So, we should never be afraid to ask, “WHY?” Because if we always settle for the easy answers we stop growing. Our relationship with God becomes stale. Our worship becomes predictable and routine and we get religious. (Yuuck) and the fellowship in our church community withers away to just mundane, idle chatter. It is imperative that we ask questions.God desires for us to ask questions as we come together. Questions about faith, hope, and His workings in our tests and trials. 

1 Peter 3:15 always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks you about the hope that is in you, and do it with gentleness and respect,

Jesus, in His humanity... fully man, yet fully God... spent every evening alone with the Father, receiving answers to the “why”, of each day of his ministry and the “why” of the day ahead, so that He could fulfill the will of God in His life.

John 5:30  I can do nothing on my own. I judge as the Father tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will.

To ask why, is not a sign of unbelief, it is a sign that we are healthy as Christians and are open for fresh revelation and new insight from the Lord. God put the “Why” inside of all of us, and that need to know comes from His spirit in us. 

"Why?" -- Why is this terrible thing happening to me? -Why did I lose my job? -Why did I get sick? -Why is my family member sick? -Why did that wreck happen? -Why did they die so soon? -Why is my family so messed up? Didn’t Jesus say “Ask and it shall be given, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall open.”

We must ask from a position of trust. Not every question will get the answer we want or expected. So it’s vitally important that we ask from a position of trust in God. 

When I don’t understand, I need to trust, until the answer is revealed. 

Satan loves to take advantage of the answers that are delayed. His first attack is always to undermine our trust in God, and cast aspersions against him. Where was God when my child died? Where was he when my marriage was destroyed. Why has He let my family fall apart. In the midst of delays, I need to remember....

Isaiah 26:3-4 “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock”.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths”.

Let me give you one more....Jeremiah 17:7-8 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes and never fails to bear fruit”. Ask your “Why’s” from a position of trust!

So my belief system says that Jesus has already been there ahead of me and he knows the way that I take. He’s prepared for my arrival, so that where he is, I may be also. That’s how Peter walked on the water. He simply went to where Jesus already was. He walked upon trust. 

The answer to my “Why” is not always for me. It may be for someone else. It may be for the wife who is about to give up, or the child who is questioning their faith, the pastor who is ready to call it quits, or a soul that’s about to go into eternity unprepared. 

Holy Spirit may be preparing us to encounter someone at their divine tipping point, and in that defining moment we were the one He chose to change a destiny, and in so doing, redefine their eternity. 

My cousin James, was on his way to open his restaurant, when God told him to go to the hospital and see my adopted, atheist dad who was dying of cancer instead. He questioned the impracticality of not opening the restaurant on time, but he trusted that the answer was in his obedience. Did anyone hear that..... The answer was in his obedience..... And because his “why” was based on his trust in God, he led my dad in the sinner’s prayer and gave him a bible, which Bill Elliott was clutching in his hands when he passed into eternity.                                                            James 1:6-10 But let us ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways”.

We ask in faith.....and sometimes your “Why” will take you over into the realm of miracles. You will have to step over into the supernatural to find some answers. Because the answer lies outside the explainable and can only be found in the impossible. That leap into what made the sun and moon to stand still for Joshua, and the Red Sea to part for Moses, and Philip to be transported into the desert to meat an Ethopian Eunuch... might be where your answer will be found. 

Listen to what Paul wrote to the Colossian Christians....                            Colossians 1:27 “For God was pleased to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”.

Christ in you is the answer. As you grow in knowledge and wisdom by asking all the “why’s”, you become the answer looking for a question. So never stop asking in simple faith, believing that what Paul said to the Corinthians is true of each of us....

2 Corinthians 3:2 You are living epistle, for He has written upon your hearts, so that you may be known and read of all men.”

Your family, your friends, your coworkers and neighbors are reading your epistle that has been written through your own searching, and your own times of discovery. they are looking for some answers. So when God’s Spirit responds, are we willing to be the answer they can read from the pages of our lives?

For 7 years the Israelites were at the mercy of the Midianites.They would come and destroy their crops and treat them like slaves. Gideon, was threshing wheat by the wine press, so he could hide if the enemy showed up. Gideon was a man of God, and he asked in Judges 6:13,      "If the Lord is with us, why then has all this befallen us?" God did not say to the “Why” of Gideon... “Who dares to question my providence”. Instead, hechose this very man to be the answer and the one to set Israel free. The man with enough gumption to ask why, was the very man with enough motivation to do something about it, because he asked from a place of faith and trust.                                                                                    In Exodus 5:22 Moses cries out, "O Lord, why have You done this evil to Your people? Why did You ever send me?" God chose a man who asked “Why, and was ready for action, and ready to be part of the answer, because he asked, believing God had the solution.

If God can’t do it, then it must be bigger than God. But nothing is bigger than God. That tells me that there is nothing that my God can’t do. But He still reserves the right to do it His way, in His time. Trust Him, all things are still possible to those who will trust and believe. 

In the midst of our asking “why” we don’t have to ask “how”, because Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life”

He is always working on your behalf, even behind the scenes where you can’t fully see. In that place where you see no way out, in that struggle where you see no solution, in that problem where you have no answer, lay it before Him. Every worry. Every care. Be reminded that He is with you today, He knows your way, and has a plan. Trust Him right now.

Luke 2:48, Is where Mary, after three frantic days of searching, finds Jesus in the temple. Her first words are this question: "Son, why have you treated me so?" Jesus responded to that question with, "Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business?" The next verse says they did not understand the explanation. What we see here is that it was perfectly legitimate for Mary to ask why, but the asking is no guarantee you will get an answer that you understand. The answer was there, but it took time, and growth in her understanding before it became meaningful to her.

We should ask why, but we should also be patient, and recognize that the answer may not be easy to comprehend. Therefore, there is a need for patience and persistence in pursuing the answer until a foundation of meaning and proper application is established.

Hannah could not have children. She was baren and she went to the temple daily to pray that God would give her a child. She promised God that if He would give her a son, she would give him back to God. Well, she found out that she was pregnant after all those years, and when Samuel was 12, she brought him to the temple, to be raised for the service of God. 

People must have asked Hannah why?.... Certainly God doesn’t require that of you. You’ve been childless so long, and now God would expect that of you!

Listen, no one else can walk your path of obedience for you. No one else can surrender for you, or even understand what you must do in obedience. But because Hannah did not lose her trust in God, and she remained faithful, Samuel became one of the greatest prophets God ever raised up for the nation of Israel.Because one woman questioned from a place of trust in God, her question became the answer for a nation of people.

A young boy traveling by airplane to visit his grandparents sat beside a man who happened to be a seminary professor. The boy was reading a Sunday school take-home paper, and the professor thought he would have some fun with the lad. “Young man,” said the professor, “if you can tell me something God can do, I will give you a crisp, new dollar.” The boy thought for a moment and then replied, “Mister, if you can tell me something God can’t do, I’ll give you a whole stack of dollars!” (come on church)

You’ll get some amazing answers when you ask your questions from a place of fullness and not emptiness.

Ephesians 5:18 “Be filled with the Spirit.” The Greek term used here is (keep being filled, or stay filled) with the spirit. Or remain in a state of being filled.

The disciples of Jesus faced many problems, many unresolved issues... betrayal, injustice, rejection, and false accusations.... but because they kept filled with the spirit, prison doors were opened, accusers were silenced, God’s power was revealed, and the gospel was preached throughout the land. Oh, stay full, of the spirit.                                               Ephesians 6:18 “Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints”.                                                                                                                                     I’ve often wondered how many of my “Why’s” have been answered while I pray to God in mysteries of my spirit. Paul said “Our spirit prays in mysteries, that our mind does not understand.... He also said “our spirit bears witness with God’s spirit” ....           

Let me suggest some answers God might be saying to our Why’s ......                                   1. Trust Me. I have My reasons but you’re not ready yet. 2. I have allowed this, so you will grow. 3. You weren’t willing to listen. 4. You’re asking for the wrong reasons.       5. I allowed it so you would rely on Me. 6. Just Wait, I’m bringing everything together. 7. I have something better in mind than you would have chosen. 8. I’m protecting you from yourself. 9. It’s time to grow in your walk with Me. 10. Because I love you.   

One of the final moments of Jesus, in his physical body, was a “Why” moment. 

Matthew 27:46 "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?''            The greater your nearness to God, the greater will be your anguish in his absence. No one but Jesus couldplummet to the depths of His “why”, on the cross. This was the ultimate “why” of absence, for in that window of time, we see Jesus experiencing our hell. Hell is the absence of God, and Jesus was there, to take the keys of death, hell and the grave and deliver them unto the church.

Something is wrong with a believer who does not ask why, when he feels the absence of God, who does not agonize over the absence of the stirrings and moving of the Spirit in their life. I don’t understand those who call themselves Christian, who immerse themselves in the world and never open the scriptures, or bow in prayer and worship and who never witness to others, that they might find the answer to the deep “Why” in their own soul...

Oh, God, Wake up a divine “Why”.... and let it cry out in the depth of our soul and spirit!

We will probably never know the answer to all of our “why’s”this side of heaven. But, what we can know and cling to are these truths:                 God is good. God is love. God is perfect.God is in control. And God never makes a mistake.

Prayer.....Lord, thank You that in spite of your “no” or Your “wait” or even Your silence, You know what is very best for me and You promise to work for my eternal good, not just my temporary satisfaction. Thank You that in every situation, in all the pain and pressure and circumstances beyond my control, You are making me more like Yourself, as I give up my will and surrender to Yours. I understand that I may ask why, with a humble heart as I am ready to receive whatever answer You provide. Thank you for helping me to see that it is not the question that creates obstacles in my relationship to You. Rather, it is the manner in which I present myself to You. Lord, You have given, and I have received the Holy Spirit. Please help me to be open to His counsel so I may continue to know You more and I may become the person You created me to be. Thank you also for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, as He intercedes for me in prayer.  He knows my heart better than I do. I may yearn to know why, but it is You who knows me best. 

When I approach You with an attitude of gratitude in my question of why, I demonstrate my trust in You. Your word says “without faith it is impossible to please You”, so I choose to believe that You have it all under control. Thank You for being a good, loving, all-knowing and ever-present God who will not let anything touch me that hasn’t first passed through Your handsfirst. In the name of Jesus, I give you praise and honor.... Amen

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