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(Hymn: “How Great Thou Art”)


Do you ever find yourselves asking the question: WHAT’S WRONG WITH GOD? Certainly the Christians of the first century who were suffering persecution must have been tempted to ask that question. The Book of 1 Peter helps us all put suffering for the cause of Christ into the proper focus. Yet any believer who is diligently trying to follow Christ but finds himself confused and troubled wrestles with this same question:


Intellectually, we know the answer — There’s nothing wrong with God.

But (…examples of difficult situations)



God never asks us to deny reality. We are not called to be Stoics and to grit our teeth and say that it doesn’t hurt. That’s more the approach of Christian Science or some other cult — just tell your mind that there is no pain and maybe you can ignore it. Remember the message of 1 Peter — following after Christ is not a free pass to escape all suffering in this world; In fact, just the opposite:

All those who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer; will experience persecution; will find themselves in situations where they are tempted to ask “What’s Wrong with God?”

We need to seek after God for deliverance, but sometimes seeking after God can actually increase our pain!

A. When you know God is listening but not delivering (:1)

We know what the Scriptures teach about prayer — Ask and He will answer; Seek and you will find; Knock and the door will be opened —

Tremendous promises about answered prayer; about persevering in prayer

1 John 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him”

So that’s the catch: It has to be a request that is in accordance with His will; that just changes the question slightly: What’s wrong with the Will of God?

Our Understanding of the power of prayer Leads to expectations that God will do this or that; If I were God, this is how I would solve the present crisis;

We know God is listening — He doesn’t turn a deaf ear to our cries for help; He cares about us;

Why doesn’t He do something?

Why do I seem stuck in my present situation?

B. When you refuse God’s comfort and choose to complain instead (:2-3)

It takes faith to believe in the character of God = His goodness and love for you — when your circumstances are so difficult. Remember, He is the God of all Comfort;

it is easy to reject that comfort and get all stirred up

There is no joy in Muddville, mighty Casey has struck out; that sinking feeling when your last chance for success and deliverance has just struck out

C. When your troubles just won’t go away and there is no relief from the pressure (:4)

can’t even get any rest or sleep; can’t even close the eyes

pressure welling up inside; not even any ability to voice the concerns and get some relief that way

Troubles are designed to bring us closer to God

Illustr: cf. How a vine clings to an oak tree — wrapped around it; when the storm comes

— 2 possibilities:

1) if the storm hits the vine directly, it just presses it closer to the oak tree

2) if the storm hits from the other side, the oak tree protects the vine

In some of the storms of life, God intervenes and shelters us; while in others He allows us to be exposed, so that we will be pressed more closely to Him — B. M. Launderville

D. When you compare your present distress with your former joy (:5-6)

2 possibilities here:

1) bitterness — pity party = I used to have it so much better than I ever will again

cf. The new temple vs. the old temple

Ezra 3:12 comparing the glory of the Temple of Solomon with the smaller, less spectacular temple built under Zerubbabel (Hag. 2:3)

2) hope – God has blessed me this way in the past; I know He can bless me that way again

E. When you question God’s love for you (:7-9) — 6 troubling questions

1) Will the Lord reject forever?

2) Will He never be favorable again?

3) Has His lovingkindness ceased forever?

4) Has His promise come to an end forever?

5) Has God forgotten to be gracious?

6) Has He in anger withdrawn His compassion?

Some real pain here if we entertain the possibility that God has written us off;

imagine you have a terminal illness; How do you answer these questions?

(the lament of this psalm could be the cry of a rejected nation rather than just of one poor soul)

This is primarily why we still believe that God has a future for physical Israel — that God will someday literally fulfill the promises made to His people the Jews back in OT times; their unfaithfulness can never negate the faithfulness of God; He will come through on His promises; He will not cast them off forever.


A young man was trying to establish himself as a peach grower. He had worked hard and invested his all in a peach orchard which blossomed wonderfully; then came a hard frost. He did not go to church the next Sunday, nor the next, nor the next. One of the elders went to visit him to find out what was wrong. The young man explained: “I’m not coming to church. Do you think I can worship a God who cares for me so little that He will let a frost kill all my peaches?”

The elder answered wisely: “God loves you better than He does your peaches. He knows that while peaches do better without frosts, it is impossible to grow the best men without frosts. His object is to grow men, not peaches.” – Christian Worker’s Magazine

Rom. 8 – “nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus”

Issue = God’s Unchanging Character and Faithfulness to His Word


A. Reality of My Troubles BUT

B. Commitment to Meditate on the Greatness of God


A. Redemption — Deliverance for the saints of old (:13-15)

Holiness of God

Redemption by the Power of God (Red Sea experience in mind)
the Great God who works wonders

cf. The 7 wonders of the ancient world and then compare the wonders which God works

(History Lesson)

1) the pyramids of Egypt at Giza — built as tombs for Egyptian kings = the oldest and best preserved of the 7 wonders; built around 2600 – 2500 BC

2) the hanging gardens of Babylon; king had married a mountain princess and wanted her to feel at home with an extensive brick terrace about 400 feet above the ground;

slaves had to work in shifts in order to irrigate the flowers and trees with water from the Euphrates River

3) the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

built about 550 B.C. — the temple was entirely marble, except for its tilecovered wooden roof; a whole bunch of fancy columns

4) the statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece — made about 435 B.C. — 40 feet high —

showed Zeus on his throne; gold and ivory used

5) the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus — huge white marble tomb — built about 350 B.C.

6) the Colosus of Rhodes — huge bronze statue honoring the sun god Helios —

about 120 feet tall

7) the Lighthouse of Alexandria

(primarily associated with honoring the dead or exalting false gods) — not very impressive from God’s perspective

What type of wonders does God work??

  • Creation

  • Flood

  • Destruction of Sodom; turning Lot’s wife to salt

  • Appearance to Moses in the flaming bush

  • Plagues in Egypt

  • opening up the waters at the Red Sea

  • Pillar of cloud and fire to lead the Israelites in the wilderness

  • providing manna in the wilderness; sandals didn’t wear out

  • Thundering and lightning on Mt. Sinai in the giving of the law

  • Fall of Jericho

designed to judge the wicked and deliver and care for the righteous

B. Greatness Acknowledged in Nature (:16-19)

C. Greatness Displayed in Providential Leading of His People (:20)


Nothing is wrong with God!

God is Great and greatly to be praised!

God wants to bring us through our troubles in a way that will give us a testimony that will bring praise and glory and honor to His name; He has not written us off; He is building our character so He can use us in more powerful ways


If God can hang the stars on high,

Can paint the clouds that drift on by;

Can send the sun across the sky,

What could He do through you?

If He can send a storm through space.

And dot with trees the mountain’s face;

If He, the sparrow’s way can trace

What could He do through you?

If God can do such little things

As count our hairs, or birds that sing.

Control the universe that swings,

What could He do through you?

— G.E. Wagoner

“Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah”

“Saviour Like a Shepherd Leadeth Me”