Here is a sincere question from a person who is struggling with her faith: “Why does it seem like when people need God the most he turns his back on them?”
Here is my answer to that question:
When God Turned Away
Let me preface it by saying it’s gonna seem like a non-answer, but bear with me. The biggest need of ALL men is for the stain of sin to be removed from them. All of us have no need so great as this. We all deserve eternal punishment for our sin. So God sent His only son into the world so that the world might live through Him. God sent Jesus to be the propitiation for the sins of all who believe in Him. That means that sinners can have their biggest problem completely erased by believing that Jesus was resurrected from the dead and trusting Him as savior. So in reality, God does NOT turn His back when “people most need Him.” God actually already took care of our greatest need. It is we who have turned our backs on Him. It is we who turn away from God and then, when we don’t like the consequences, we blame Him.
For example, God says not to lie. Then we lie anyway and then life gets terrible and we’re like “Where’s God?” God was there before you lied telling you not to lie in His Word. He didn’t turn His back on us, we turned our backs on Him, pushed Him away, and He left us to the consequences of what we truly wanted, a life without Him. So it seems like God turns His back on us but actually, He just allows us to have what we really wanted. We wanted to sin. He let us have it and because He loves us He lets us feel the effects of our sin. If He didn’t let us feel the pain of sin, we’d never turn to Christ as savior.
When God Doesn’t Help Us
Now, sometimes bad things happen TO US. God let’s other sinners sin too, and sometimes their sin affects us. God lets perverts live, right? This only seems to create victims of their perversions, right? But God will one day punish all evildoers. So He hasn’t actually turned His back, but He’s patiently allowing evil to persist to give us time to hear the gospel and repent. If God wipes away all evil this moment, He could theoretically protect everyone from other sinners, but He’d have to wipe away ALL OF US too, because we’re all sinners. So although it seems like God isn’t there for us when bad things happen, we can take comfort that we know God permits those bad things. There is a purpose to our suffering; it isn’t random chance. And there will be an end to it. This is our hope and comfort.
I want you to read these posts my friend wrote about a passage of scripture that says to “Draw near to God.” I think they will help you understand what I tried to communicate here.
Draw Near to God - Part 1
Draw Near to God - Part 2
Draw Near to God - Part 3