God and the Righteous?
Christians wonder: why does the Lord abandon the righteous at times and seem to not listen to their prayers? The Bible teaches that the Lord never abandons the righteous (Hebrews 13:5). But He allows them to go through certain trials for good purposes (James 1:2-4). The Scriptures give us several examples of individuals who have went through such trials and experienced total deliverance:
A- Job was a perfect man. But to him, it seemed that the Lord had abandoned him completely when He allowed the devil to destroy his children, ruin his possessions, and finally attack his health (Job 1,2). And what was even more difficult is the fact that the Lord could not explain to Job the reason behind this sudden change in His dealings because that would defeat the purpose of the whole trial before the Universe. Job had to live by faith alone and trust the Lord through his trials. Job won the battle of doubt saying, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15). As a result, the Lord rewarded Job greatly for his unwavering faith and “the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning” (Job 42:12).
B- Joseph was a perfect man as well and the Lord promised him (through dreams) that he would be a leader. But instead of receiving the Lord’s promise early in life, He allowed him to go through very severe trials. Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold as a slave to the land of Egypt. There, Joseph was again accused falsely because of his faith in God. Consequently, he was punished and sent to prison. It seemed that the more Joseph tried to stand to principle the more he felt that the Lord abandoned him. But in all these trials, Joseph didn’t fall into sin saying, “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). So, the Lord rewarded him greatly and his dreams came to pass and he became the second in command over the land of Egypt (Genesis 41:41-46).
C- Lazarus’ sisters (Martha and Mary) were faithful to the Lord but they could not understand why Jesus, who healed all the sick that came to Him, would not come on time to heal their brother Lazarus who was dying, whom Jesus loved. In fact, when Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, He purposely waited until Lazarus died. It seemed that the Lord abandoned them. But through their severe trial and mourning, Martha expressed her faith in Christ saying, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world” (John 11:27). So, the Lord rewarded the faith of the sisters and resurrected Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43,44).
The Lord doesn’t abandon the righteous but He requires steadfast faith for “without faith it is impossible to please” Him (Hebrews 11:6). The Lord has revealed His ultimate love at the cross when He offered His Son to die and carry the guilt of humanity (John 3:1116). So, when people fail to trust their Creator and Redeemer, they fail to please Him. When the believers go through trials, they need to fully trust their Maker knowing that “all things work together for good to those who love” the Lord “to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
In His service,