• August 21, 2014

God knows what is best for us, even if it seems painful

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Posted: Friday, May 30, 2014 10:46 pm

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: I prayed and prayed that God would heal my grandmother, but He didn’t. I know she was old and in poor health, but she raised me and I’d always depended on her for spiritual and emotional support. Why didn’t God answer my prayers? It’s hard not to be upset. — M.F.

DEAR M.F.: We don’t always know why God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we think He should — and to be honest, it’s not always easy for us to accept this. I think of Job’s cry when he mistakenly thought God didn’t hear his prayers: “Why do you hide your face and consider me your enemy?” (Job 13:24).

But God loves us, and He knows what is best for us, even if it’s painful at the time. We see only part of the picture, but He sees the whole situation, and His wisdom is far greater than ours. He also knows our feelings, and yet He doesn’t reject us when we get upset at Him. Instead, He wants us to turn to Him and discover the depths of His love — a love so great He allowed His Son to die for our sins.

Yes, you prayed that your grandmother would be healed, and apparently she wasn’t. But listen: she was! Right now, she is in heaven — and all her weaknesses are gone! When we know Christ, God has promised that someday we will be given new bodies — bodies like that of Christ after His resurrection. Take time today to thank God that your grandmother is now free from all her earthly ills.

May you also turn to Christ each day and discover in Him the lasting spiritual and emotional support you need. And pray too that God will use you to help others, just as your grandmother helped you.

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: I’m graduating from college shortly, and am planning to become a high school science teacher. But most of my professors don’t have any use for religion, and they say you can’t believe in both science and God. Can I be a Christian and still be a scientist? — J.G.

DEAR J.G.: Yes, you most certainly can, and I hope you will, because God could use you to help others realize just how great He is, and how important it is to see all of life through the eyes of faith.

Frankly, it’s always been something of a mystery to me why some scientists reject God — and even urge others to do so. But if you look back over the history of science, you’ll discover that some of the world’s greatest scientists have also been devout believers.

Why did they believe — and why do many scientists still believe today? One reason is because they became convinced it was illogical to think that this world — with all of its wonder and intricate design — could have happened by chance. Instead, every detail is stamped with the mark of its Creator — God. As the Bible says, “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made” (Romans 1:20).

But most of all they became believers because of Jesus Christ. God has not left us in darkness; He came down from heaven and became a man — Jesus Christ. Think of it: God revealed Himself to us by becoming a man! Put your faith and hope in Christ, and then ask Him to help you begin to see the world through His eyes.

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: Did Jesus think God had abandoned Him when He was crucified? I’ve never really understood why Jesus thought God had forsaken Him, and I wondered about it again this Easter. Was Jesus doubting God? — Mrs. K.R.

DEAR MRS. K.R.: You’re referring to what was almost Jesus’ last statement during His crucifixion, perhaps only minutes before His death. His body had been nailed to a rough wooden cross, and undoubtedly He was enduring almost unimaginable pain. The Bible says He “cried out in a loud voice... ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Mark 15:34).

No, Jesus wasn’t doubting God; He still referred to Him as “My God.”

But Jesus was shrinking back from the horror He was about to experience — a horror you and I can barely imagine.

Remember: Jesus was completely innocent, not just of the sin He was accused of committing that led to His condemnation by Pilate, but of all sin. On the cross, all our sins were transferred to Him, and He was about to take upon Himself the judgment that you and I deserve for our sins.

What would that mean? First, it would mean that Jesus would be separated from God, His Father. The unbroken fellowship that He had enjoyed with God from all eternity was about to be shattered, for sin cannot exist in God’s holy presence. Second, Jesus was about to endure God’s judgment against sin — the judgment of hell that you and I deserve.

Don’t take lightly what Jesus Christ has done for you. Instead, thank Him for taking upon Himself all your sins, and enduring God’s judgment in your place.

Send your queries to “My Answer,” c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham

Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201;

call 1-877-2-GRAHAM, or go to www.billygraham.org.

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