random thoughts and things from all saints youth cell groups

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Are we scared to say "I don't know"?

We also spoke briefly last night about unanswered prayer and the pain that comes from it. Sometimes prayer does go unanswered. We've all been in situations where maybe someone close to us is very ill, for example. We've prayed fervently and constantly for God to heal them. And yet they don't get better. Something in us cries out for an answer to the "Why?" question in these circumstances. We may find ourselves thinking, either God can't do anything, or maybe doesn't want to do anything. It is right to feel confusion and to cry out to God at those times. Read the Psalms and see.

But, if our God is the God who showed himself to us in Jesus, then that puts things in a completely different light. If we're believing in a vague "god out there" of some form then we are indeed left with a god who doesn't care and even if he did couldn't do anything anyway. I could never ever believe in God if it wasn't for Jesus. In him, God steps down to Earth and lives with us. He experiences the whole range of human life and emotion and is not immune from pain, grief or bereavement. And ultimately he died an unbelievably horriffic death. He was spat on. Kicked. Mocked. Had nails and spears shoved into him and hung out to die. You cannot imagine a more hopeless scene. It was the day God died.

3 days later when everything changed. On that Sunday when Jesus passed through death and came out the other side, brought back to life. Out of utter despair and hopelessness came life and joy. And it is this, and this alone, that gives me hope.

So when we come with our "Why?" questions, it's OK to not know the answer. Instead, come to the cross of Jesus and weep. Come to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who knows exaclty what your pain is like, and he will hold you, his child, and sustain you in all your questions and doubts, and say, "Sunday's coming". Resurrection is coming. This is neither a God who doesn't care, nor a God who can't do anything. In fact quite the opposite. In Jesus, we see God as the One who loves us more than we could ever dream, and has done all that is necessary for all the brokenness of this world to be put right at the cost of his own life! We await, with real and expectant hope, the day when that victory is brought to completion.

"Your Kingdom Come".

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