There are other very similar questions also frequently asked about God: such as Why does God allow the innocent to suffer?, Why do bad things happen to good people? and Is God using pain and suffering to punish us?
There’s also the understood prefix to these questions: If God can do anything and God is good, why…? Answers to these questions are critical because our picture of God can be distorted by the lack of good answers. Many conclude that since the innocent, even little children, do continue to suffer, God either must not exist or that He is just not concerned about the plight of mere humans.
Herb Montgomery, in his book, Finding the Father, examines the commonly held belief that God can and does control everything.
Although God is able to handle the question why, the very question is based on unbiblical, yet cultural, assumptions. When we ask why, we assume that:
(1) if God had wanted to prevent something, (2) He could have, (3) but since He didn't, (4) He must have wanted it to happen.
If God is up in heaven meticulously controlling every event that transpires on Planet Earth, allowing some things to happen and preventing other things from happening, it would seem logical to conclude that He is allowing things, even bad things, to happen only because He wants them to happen for some good reason. Some will say that nothing happens that is not God's will, or rather nothing happens to you for which God did not have a purpose.
In the most famous prayer ever prayed there is an alarming statement that runs in blatant contradiction to the above reasoning. It is in the Lord's prayer, and we are taught to pray, "Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10).
The cultural assumption is that God's will is always done in our lives. If God wants it to happen, it will, we say. Notice the contrary implication of Jesus' prayer. Where is God's will being done right now? The prayer is clear—in heaven. Where are we to pray for God's will to be done? On earth. Why pray for God's will to be done on earth if it already naturally is? God's will is being done in heaven. Where is God's will not being done, and where are we to intercede and pray for God's will to be done? On earth.
The Bible teaches that God is currently engaged in a formidable struggle to have His will done on this planet. In many instances God does not get His way. Often, what God wants is not being done.
It sounds like our picture of God, our foundational assumptions about God, have to be correct before we can expect to get a correct answer to this God Question. The assumption that God always gets His way may not be correct.
After you finish with this question, you may want to select from the Questions Cloud the question: “What is God Like?” But right now, click the MORE button below to continue a little deeper into this question.