By John Adams, Assistant Director
When We Wonder, “What Is God Doing?”
Across our nation, around the world, tragedy strikes. From wildfires to hurricanes to wars and threats of war, we see heartbreaking news every day. Our personal lives are not exempt from suffering. Followers of Christ weep when a loved one dies. Any of us could be in a car accident or hear the doctor say we have cancer. It is normal to ask, what is God doing?
Our Natural Inclination
Trusting a God we cannot see and whom we cannot directly hear is not automatic. Instead, what comes naturally is worry. We think our way through what could go wrong and attempt to devise solutions for what we anticipate. In so many ways, instead of trusting God, we trust ourselves!
Scripture explains that both salvation and the faith to receive it, come to us as a gift from God. Faith in God is not natural, in fact it is so unnatural that God has to give us some faith for us to begin to believe Him. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
We Are Not the First to Wonder, “What Is God Doing?”
This faith in God does not spring into existence fully-grown. Trusting Christ for eternal life is the beginning of faith, not its high point. God longs for us to keep learning to trust Him as He allows us to walk through situations that stretch and grow our faith. Occasionally, He even sends us into those situations so our faith can grow. (The full biblical account can be found in Mark 6:30-53.)
Jesus sent His first disciples into a situation to grow their faith. But at the end of Mark 6, we read their faith grew little: “…they were totally amazed, for they still didn’t understand the significance of the miracle of the loaves. Their hearts were too hard to take it in.”
They had experienced Jesus feeding thousands of people, with just five loaves of bread and two fish. They’d seen Him walk to them on the water, but seeing Jesus present with them in that moment does not produce a response of faith. Instead, they disbelieve their own eyes and imagine they see a spirit.
Jesus kindly reassured them, joined them in the boat and then stilled the storm. The disciple’s failure to trust Jesus after the miracle bread made their experience in the storm more frightening, but did not diminish God’s care over them. Jesus saw their plight, came to them, calmed their fears and then calmed the sea. What an opportunity to trust Jesus more! How sad to read that, “their hearts were too hard to take it in.”
An Answer To “What Is God Doing?”
Like Jesus’ first disciples, we don’t always know what God is doing, but we can trust Him. Since we see Jesus testing their faith, we can expect Him to test ours. We can remember that whatever else God is doing, He is working to grow our faith. The same Peter who feared for his life in that storm-tossed boat, later penned this encouragement to all who follow Christ in the storms of life:
In every circumstance, God is working to help you trust Him more. When you see answers to prayer, God is growing your faith. When you hold onto hope in Him despite your fears or sleepless nights, your faith grows. When your heart breaks and His Spirit comforts, you learn to trust Him more.
What is God doing? At all times, in every circumstance, He is working to grow your faith. He may be doing more, but He will never do less. Will you choose to trust Him in the circumstances of today?