Click here for English version
Why Difficulties Remain
Rev Gordon Siu
Every now and then, Christians would ask: Why hasn't God answered my prayers? Why does my problem remain unresolved all these years? There are a few reasons why God leaves the difficulties in our lives:
1. Removing the present difficulty may bring about a greater difficulty: The Israelites were in Canaan, but God had not driven away all the local tribes for them. “But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land” (Exodus 23:29-30). Very often, we long for instant solutions to our problems, but the Lord of wisdom knows that questions need to be resolved at the right time. Otherwise, it will bring another problem. God wants to wait until we are mature enough to handle a problem-free situation before taking away the difficulty.
2. Leaving the problem with us enables us to learn: From another perspective, the Book of Judges explains why God did not remove all the difficulties right away. Here is why God left a few tribes in Canaan: “he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience” (Judges 3:2).
While our concern is just to solve the problem before us, God's focus is whether we have learned how to face the problem. He leaves the problem with us to give us the opportunity to learn. And when we have learned, the problem will be removed. In the process of learning, God will pay attention to our capability to make sure we can cope. He will not give us difficulties we can never handle.
3. To test us so He can bless us: God wants to know how we behave in difficulties – how we treat Him in those circumstances, whether we still obey Him and act according to His will. In the wilderness, the Israelites ate a kind of food unknown to them (manna) every day for 40 years. Why? “He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you” (Deuteronomy 8:16). God's test is not intended to pressure us, but to find a basis to fairly bless us.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us calmly rely on the Lord amid difficulties. God is really waiting to give us His blessings.
[The original Chinese article is taken from《牧野心路》(Listen to the Heart of A Shepherd) by Rev. Gordon Siu, published by North Point Alliance Church in 1993.]