Where Hope Thrives

"Where Hope Thrives” by Katrina Wylie | Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies | #BecomingMore #P31OBSHi, Katrina Wylie here! I’m super honored to continue our chat on #BecomingMore in our struggles.

In chapter 12, Lysa TerKeurst shoots straight with us. And I hope it’s OK I do the same because I have a confession to make — I am the queen of asking, “Why”!

Yep. I admit it. I can be found “getting down” with my 3-year-old self, asking “Why?!” … to everything!

Often times, this is to my benefit, leading me to great truths. But not always.

When I was pregnant with our daughter, my husband and I found ourselves in a sea of struggles. And when labor began on Good Friday, and continued right on through Easter Sunday, filled with complications, my first “Why?!” burst forth:

“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46b)

A somewhat unusual go-to scripture, right?

Unfortunately, as complications continued with my health long after her birth, a whole current of “Why’s” tugged at my heart, carrying me away from God and into a sea of hopelessness.

Ever been there?

It’s a tough place to be! But like Lysa lovingly points out, when we’re grieving the loss of something, whether it’s a loved one, our health or anything else:

“It takes time. It takes wading through an ocean of tears … It takes prayer. It takes making the decision to stop asking for answers and start asking for perspective.”

Shew! I don’t know about you, but hearing, “it takes time,” brings peace to my heart I didn’t even realize I needed. Peace in knowing I wasn’t alone and there isn’t something wrong with me.

I pray that peace penetrates that tender place in your heart, too.

Friends, I don’t know your personal stories — the struggles where you might call God’s faithfulness into question and your hope grows fainter. But one thing He’s shown me and has reinforced through today’s chapter is: when it comes to our struggles, hope dies in asking “why”, but hope thrives in asking “what.”

In other words, when we turn our “Why’s” into, “What now, God?,” THEN we’ll find ourselves sailing back to that place where we can begin to believe and live in God’s faithfulness again — back to that place where hope thrives.

Yes! May THAT be where we ultimately land through our struggles.

"God is faithful, and I want to live like I really believe it." @LysaTerKeurst #BecomingMore | Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies Week 4 #P31OBS

Let’s Chat:

Observe — Is there a time when asking “Why” was the wrong question for you?

Bible — Personalizing scripture is a great way to keep our hearts in hope! Personalize these verses in your journal/notebook, speaking them aloud and repeating them often. Highlight or underline them in your Bible. For tips on personalizing scripture, click here.

Deuteronomy 31:8

Romans 8:28

Romans 15:13

Jeremiah 29:11-13

Micah 7:7

Stretch — Let’s be intentional to replace our “Why’s” with “What’s”! Share your real life examples here and/or on social media, using hashtag #LiveItOut.

Everyone who comments on the blog today will be entered to win this prize pack including:

  • Taming the To Do List book
  • Ceramic Tumbler

Answer at least one of the Let’s Chat questions on today's blog and you’ll be entered to win this prize pack! | Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies | #BecomingMore #P31OBS

Today’s winner will be announced and emailed on Monday. You’ll have 48 hours to claim your prize.

Congrats to Azziale Arnold who won the prize from Monday ~ a pink polka dot mug and Praise You print! Azziale, check your email for details on how to claim your prize!

Have a great weekend!

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Comments

  1. I think most people have asked the “why” question some time in their life. In my anger I have literally asked God if He wants to play “tit” for “tat” then I’m ready. Oh what a mighty God we serve. I needed to be cut down right there and then, but my loving Savior just patiently waited for me to calm down and come to my senses. Now I ask God what do you want me to learn from this? Some times it’s more heart wrenching than other times but I try to keep my gaze heavenwards and not on the situation.

  2. My Why Story:
    I know for me; I was a Why? person also. until a couple of years ago.
    I had a great therapist tell me after a brutal, tear filled, 3-hour session, my need to know why, may never be answered and you need to be okay with that.
    That at some point in my life, the Why needs to not be as important as what am I going to do with it now that I know what it is. Light bulb moment for me. God wants to get to that point and get past the whys and go on and do His work with the information He has given us.
    If you think about it, just the Bible alone is spectacular, however, what you hear in your daily walk, just wow! I am so thankful, that I had a Christian therapist that pointed me and guided me straight to the Cross because I was to blind to find my own way. Now, I am able to leave the why’s out of my life for the most part. That’s hard and it’s a daily struggle. As well as being able to wake up, FOR God.
    Making that change in my life, makes my day so much more about Him than about me!

    • Stacy Lowe, P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      That’s a tough thing to settle in your soul, but so necessary. One thing I’ve had to remember is that we’re not MEANT to understand it all and we never will, not on this side of heaven. That’s where faith comes in.

  3. Heather Weseman says:

    I lost my mom unexpected last year. This chapter helped me

    • Stacy Lowe, P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Praying for you, Heather <3

    • Melissa Taylor says:

      Heather~
      I lost my mom a few years ago & I still I miss her so bad, I guess I always will. I trust God and His timing and don’t sit around and ask “why” but oh how I miss her. I’m sorry you experienced the unexpected passing of your mom, and pray that you feel God’s peace, love and comfort every day as you see glimpses of your mom in your own life still.
      Much Love,
      Melissa

    • Heather,
      I’m very sorry about the loss of your mom. I lost my mom 3 years ago. Losing moms is a hard thing. I’m so glad this chapter is helping you though and I pray for God to continue to provide just the right help and comfort you need.
      Love & blessings,
      Katrina

  4. Marilyn Bucci says:

    I have been through trauma after trauma asking why and finding His answer in word,His word and the Holy Spirit showing me that I am on the Potter’s wheel for more refining,His hands perfecting the cracks in my vessel that have hindered my journey with Him, hurts wounds scars healing and using it for My good Amen.

  5. N
    I had a cherished friend pass away study issues and unresolved issues with both my Bio father and ex husband whoah I thankfully have a faithful God walking with me thru the trials of life

  6. I struggled with infertility for years. My personal relationship with God was almost nonexistent at the time. All around me co-workers and students were able to have children and I was not. I asked “why?” quite a lot. I don’t think I really wanted an answer – just wanted to wallow in my pity party. And then the day came where I lost it and screamed and cried at the top of my lungs “WHY!?!?” And He answered. In the midst of my grief and pain I finally was able to hear Him.
    My relationship with God is much stronger than it was 16 years ago. When I find myself wanting to ask “why?” again, I remember this moment and know there has to be a reason I’m in that place. But now I’m going to start asking “what do you want me to do here God? What am I to learn here? What am I to teach here? What am I to give? What am I to receive? What do you want me to do here?” I’ve been missing that part in my pain and grief.

    • Stacy Lowe, P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      I heard a sermon years ago about Peter walking on water and how, even though he had an amazing experience with Jesus because of it, it came about because of his impatience and doubt in the middle of a storm. Jesus was already there, He saw them, and He knew they would be ok. They just needed to stay in the boat. Sometimes, that’s what He is asking of us, too- not to plead our way out but to hang tight in the boat knowing He is still in control and He still has a plan.

    • Kristen Paker says:

      I really like the question you have wrote to start asking instead of the “why?” I will most definitely need to keep these in the back of my mind!

  7. Always when something bad happens, like missing the train, I ask “why”? Now I know when something happens I don’t like, I will ask God “What’s now God?” I think it is really important to ask what he wants you to do and not why you couldn’t have it your way.
    And thank you for the suggestions on how to personalize scripture!

  8. Sue Russell says:

    I love the idea of replacing why with what! The change of words turns the question in a whole different direction… Love it!!!

  9. Cassandra Johnson says:

    O- I have asked “why me” with a lost of a job once, he showed me a few months later why.
    B- The Lord himself goes before Cassandra and will be with her; he will never leave Cassandra nor forsake her. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
    S- with the lost of that grief filled job, we were in the process of moving to another state and at that time my husband was living in one state and I in another. This freed up time to pack our home, study for a final exams for a collage class I was enrolled in and prepare for the final months of my son’s senior year of high school. I would not have had time to do all of this working that very stressful job. When it was all said and done the company completely closed their doors by the end of that summer. Talking about God seeing the end at the beginning!

    • Stacy Lowe, P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      I love that story! And moments like those are what gives us strength and faith for those other moments when we never understand the why. He is so faithful!

  10. Samantha Smith says:

    O — My childhood wasn’t the greatest. My mom was an alcoholic and then addicted to pills. My dad is much the same. I had so many people throughout my life that I can see God placed there for my protection. I can easily ask why I had to go through that, but instead I just trust that God will use it for His goodness. He used that situation to make me who I am today.

    B — All of these verses are so encouraging. I love knowing that God always has good in mind for me even in the struggles.

    S — I hope I remember this chapter when my next struggle comes along and though I might ask Why at first, I hope God will work on my heart quickly and change my question to what!

    • Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies Team says:

      I know in my life God always put there the people I needed to help me along my journey. Thank you so much for sharing and praying for you. God Bless!.

  11. I like the idea if applying this idea to same things. Everyday why questions like “why is my child being so mean to they sibling?” and “why didn’t my husband think to turn on the dishwasher before he left for work?. Instead of trying to figure out “what’s wrong with them” I cn look to God for what He wants me to do in the situation.

  12. Deb Chatley says:

    Two examples come to mind, first of al I grew up in an abusive home and spent many years asking why but as God began to heal my heart and allow me to forgive I began asking what, what did God have planned for my life and how could he use this to prepare me for my calling. I have realized that it is a tremendous tool as I’m called to work with children, God has given me such a love for children especially the ones that seem to not fit in, that feel alone and rejected. I know how they feel. Also I have real life example to share as I’m teaching kids about how God was with me even during a really hard time.
    Now more recently I’m tempted to ask why it seems like I carry a bigger workload than my coworkers but then I stop myself and say I’m blessed to manage this many projects and ask God that he get the glory as I do my best for him

  13. Michelle Cosper says:

    My why question has been my son’s behavioral issues. I keep asking why and keep not getting the answer. What a great way to help me get past my why!!

  14. Lori Starr says:

    I ask why too! Too much. I really cling to Romans 8:28. I am currently struggling with an overwhelming issue and need to meditate on the verses listed here today.

  15. Danielle Mackley says:

    With my husband battling depression and my son with anxiety/depressive disorder, I have begged and pleaded with God to rescue them. When my husband was so low and wanted to leave us, I begged and pleaded and asked “Why God are you not rescuing my husband who has been a faithful servant and follower of you, why are you letting this depression take him over! Why are you not listening! ” it was then I learned God is interested in the process not necessarily the end result. My husband has had to take this aweful journey to strengthen his faith, trust and prayer life. My perspective has had to change, I have been better able to support him and trust God for the results, without getting angry or frustrated with God.

  16. Karen Moss says:

    In my 65 years, I have asked “why” many times. About 10 years ago when driving across town to check on family members in two different nursing homes, the realization came to me: God must be preparing me for something. I have found that I ask, “What are you preparing for?” and sometimes “Who will I need to help by this experience?”

  17. Brooke Wiest says:

    It took a while for my “whys” to turn into “what now?” after I had a miscarriage last July. I couldn’t understand it. I had prayed for that baby. Wasn’t everything supposed to be fine? These constant “whys” hindered my ability to hear God and to feel Him working in my life despite the crushing grief. Having a new perspective has given me such peace and hope. And knowing that my baby is in heaven right now is pretty comforting. 🙂

  18. Going through a divorce about six years ago was the “why” time of my life. No one could figure out why my ex was being so hateful. Then all the debt and cheating came to light. My why was changed to what now through my God-girl friends who stood by me through it all. I may have lost life I thought I needed, but gained a MUCH stronger faith when I looked to God to get me through it. I have become much stronger by asking that “what” question. What do I do now, Lord? as well as: where are WE going today, Lord? and What do you want me to do with this, Lord? I realized that I wasn’t alone–ever, and it makes all the difference.

  19. My Why,
    Is Now this very second!,
    Today is my deadline to have my rent, car pmt, power bill, and only phone has to be paid TODAY!!! I’m trying to get a Job!! I had a great interview yesterday!! We are Hoping and Praying!!!! Husband is waiting for his VA disability!!! We have been up for 2 days going thru our stuff trying to find things to pawn/sell!! My daughter is 10 and she’s giving all here toys!!
    My family has been going thru alot since husband’s injury… My Husband and I are new Believer’s growing thru the gosbel and Our Wonderful God’s word. Walking as close as humanly possible next to him!!! We are the HAPPIEST WE’VE EVER BEEN since God has came into our Hearts saved us thru the Sacrifice of his Faithful son Jesus Christ or Lord and Savor… I may not have a car, phone, home, or power in the next 24-48 hours… and I had a break down at 3:30am this morning on my front porch in the cold smoking and I cried my eyes out to him for the first time for and hour with no sham just praise, thanks, knowledge, faith, and for hope to not ask WHY… I have to think back to Job 1 and remember what all he lost and never once did he turn from GOD like Satan Mocked he would!!!! ?

    • Stacy Lowe, P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Wow, Heather! My heart breaks over your situation, but rejoices in your faith! I am praying and believing with you that God has this all under His control <3

  20. Lynn Fincher says:

    O My why has been to move closer to family in Florida but God continues to place us in Alabama in ministry so now I will be looking at it differently to What Now God knowing His way is the best way.

    B Romans 15:13 Trusting in Him so that I may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
    S What does God have for me…
    #LiveitOut

  21. I always wanted to know why! I thought that was understanding. A couple of years ago I moved to west Texas and knew that I was supposed to be there. And nothing happened the way I thought. I began to ask why and Why. And WHy and WHY? I was almost in a panic because I didn’t know why I was there. I thought the Lord would reveal it soon (yep obviously I had a time table for his reveal). And then one day I heard his quiet calm voice ask. Are you ok if you never know why? Which stopped me in my tracks. I had to choose to be content if I never knew why and only knew that I went in obedience. Proverbs 3:5-6 is a regular go to verse for me to remember to lean not on what I can understand

    • “I had to choose to be content if I never knew why and only knew that I went in obedience.” – Wow. Powerful! I too love Proverbs 3:5-6. It carried me through my first big struggle period after becoming a Christian. It’s a good one for sure!

  22. Ruth Candler says:

    O- 6 months ago we lost my dad to cancer, and I found myself asking God why he would take such a godly man away from his family. My dad was the type of person that was constantly serving God, he went to the prison to minister to the guys that were incarcerated 2 to sometimes even 3 times a month. Even though I may never get the answer to my why, I am comforted to know that my dad served his purpose, and was a testimony to many.

    B- For I know the plans I have for Ruth, declares the Lord, plans to prosper Ruth and not harm Ruth, plans to give Ruth hope and a future. Then Ruth will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to Ruth. Ruth will seek me and find me when Ruth seeks me with all her heart. Jeremiah 29: 11-13

    S- Even though I may not ever get my why answered, I know that my dad was truly a testimony, because people I had never even thought about talking to have been sharing all of their memories with our family, and have been truly showing us what my dad did to encourage them, and keep their spirits up. I have learned that though we never know why God does what he does, he is always there to listen and direct.

    • Melissa Taylor says:

      I love your thought process Ruth. You are so honest in admitting your struggle and desire to know “why” yet you choose to trust God. Thank you for sharing this today & God bless you 🙂

  23. Thanks for today’s message. I continue to ask “why?” Regarding situations around my dad’s death. Holding onto the truths of God’s word is something that helps.

  24. I had lost someone very very close to my heart, and i too repeat the question why? I struggled with this loss for quite a long time, and then it hit me, God wasn’t punishing me, i had gone astray from him previous, and he new id run to him with my broken heart. I love the idea of instead of asking why ask what, what lessons is God teaching me.

  25. Marthe Hjortshoj (P31 O-Team) says:

    Observe–I lost my maternal grandma and paternal grandpa just 3 days apart in March 2015. I then suddenly lost my 45 year old mother-in-law in September 2015. All of those losses were difficult in different ways, but asking God “why?” didn’t seem to help. I need to ask God what He wants me to do now that I am in this situation.
    Bible–Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord Himself will go ahead of Marthe. He will be with her. He will never leave her. He’ll never desert her. So don’t be afraid. Don’t lose hope.”
    Stretch–Instead of asking God “Why me?” when I grieve or am anxious, I will ask God “What now?” #LiveItOut

  26. Melissa Brown says:

    O: My why moment was 5 months ago when my dad passed away. He was in a car wreck 3 months prior to his passing which lead to his passing if that makes any sense. He had some complications from that wreck which lead to his passes. He couldn’t walk he kept falling and the doctors gave his some powerful medications for the pain so my mother didn’t want him driving. So he did anyway and on that day he went to the store and on his way back he was not even 500 feet from home and he wrecked. I kept asking God why? Why? I wasn’t getting any answers. Till I opened my bible and started reading. Then I got my why answers. I thank God my dad didn’t lay and suffer. I thank God my dad didn’t grow old to forget who I was. I thank God I know where my dad is because one day I will see him.
    B: I put two different versions together. NIV and NLT Deuteronomy 31:8 “Melissa, the Lord himself will personally go before you and He will be with you. He will never fail you, leave you, forsake you, nor abandon you. Melissa, DO NOT be afraid nor discouraged.
    S: Instead of asking why I can ask What? What now God? What do I do now? I keep serving him. I keep moving forward. I keep thanking God for what he has done. We have a wonderful God. He took my fathers pain and he didn’t let my dad lay and suffer any more. Do I miss him yes everyday. Do I still cry yes and that’s ok too.

  27. It’s so easy to ask “why” during our struggles. I want to know the reason and everything is going to be okay. But also am I the only one to deal with this situation. Through his book and my First 5 reading, I am slowly learning God does have a plan and it is so much better than what I could have designed.

  28. I had a big “why” question after a horrible break up and a friend’s betrayal, and found myself literally kneeling on the floor feeling like everything I had was snatched away from me. Truly I should’ve asked “What now” because God was there offering me His hand.

  29. Throughout life I know that we all ask a lot of why questions… But that’s over for me! Now I will approach it differently. Personalizing the Bible verses was a very special exercise for me. Thank you! How powerful to know…”Carol, God is filling you with joy and peace, because, you, Carol, trust in Him!” Wow wow wow
    S- What can I do to serve you today Lord?

  30. O- I have always been a why person. I need to know why we do things we do. But I have learned over the last 2 1/2 years of dealing with a child with a drug addiction…it doesn’t help me to ask God why. In fact, it makes me sadder and more frustrated. Only in the past 5 months Am I learning to ask Him “What good will you make from this? Show me your glory in this situation.” It is not easy and there are days when I still want to ask why, but now I will make a conscious decision not too. God’s ways are not our ways. I desire so much to live in his will everyday!

    B- just learning to personalize and pray scripture. Yesterday I prayed for ages to send me a new set of scriptures to pray. Thank you Lord for this!

    • Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies Team says:

      The Lord always knows what we need when we need it. Thank you so much for sharing. Praying for you and your family. God Bless!

  31. I asked God a lot of why questions with my last break up. I couldn’t understand when everything was going so good that it ended so quickly. The enemy latched onto those why questions and made me feel next to nothing. However, God drew me back into Him, and I feel more content than ever with my singleness. I know that a relationship status doesn’t define me as long as I’m putting my all into my relationship with Christ.

    • Amen, Whitni! Remember that you are a daughter of the King of kings, and that alone defines you! You are worth waiting for, and you are definitely worth pursuing! Your Knight will find you after God finishes working on both your hearts. 🙂

  32. O—Thankfully, because I have asked “Why?” SO often over the years, God has given me the best answer: Isaiah 55:8. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. This is God’s version of “Because.” “Because I am sovereign, and I am bigger than this, Kara.” And eventually, I have learned to let go and let Him. I guess that is my version of “What now, God?”
    B—I think Romans 15:13 is my favorite verse from this morning. “May the God of hope fill Kara with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit Kara may abound in hope.”
    S—My biggest “Why??? moment comes through one of the deepest tragedies in my past. I was in a very dark place because of the death of my sister. “Why, God?” even went further to, “You didn’t listen to me! Do you even hear my prayers? Are you even there???” Yes. I threw that to God! And I walked away. I stayed away until God spoke to me through my father. I had been praying, “God, be with my sister. Be there. Be with her.” And my dad shared with me how at the end, he saw Jesus holding my sister in his arms. A vision God obviously had given my dad touched me so deeply I broke down into tears. “God, you were there! You ARE here now! How could I doubt???” God answered my prayers. He never left my sister’s side. Not once. God began a mighty transformation in my heart and soul that day that took years to root out some major stuff that had climbed in during the dark period. And our God is a mighty God. So now, the “what” comes more easily. I still ask, “Why?” But after God reminds me of His “Because,” the “So what now?” quickly follows. That’s how my husband and I ended up here in Champaign, IL! And each day is an adventure! Together, we praise God and press on.

    • Stacy Lowe, P31 OBS Study Leader says:

      Wow! That is a powerful story! (And I may or may not be crying now 😉 ) Thank you for sharing that with us <3

  33. My favorite part of today’s OBS was personalizing the scripture. So many times, reading scripture does become a ✔️ on my to-do list, and I neglect the importance of applying it to my life. My favorite verse from today is Romans 15:13 (personalized) – “My God of hope will fill ME with joy and peace as I trust in him, so that I overflow with hope y the power of the Holy Spirit”.

    I love how it uses the word ‘overflow’! God will not just give us hope in our struggles. When I place my trust in Him, that hope wil overflow!

  34. I have mainly been asking why Lord, on behalf of a dear lady in my church. She has faced the loss of 5 people in her family in a year’s time. She is seen as the rock of her family and I know it is God who gives her that strength but each time another death takes place I can’t help but ask Lord how much can this one person take as I have seen her get weaker under the strain of these losses. It’s hard not to wonder why. I just ache for her as I lift her up in prayer.

  35. Why? My life has been filled with why as well! I love the thought of changing that why? to a what? perspective questioning. Why is my questioning God’s sovereignty in my life. What shows my trust that in all things He is in control. A place I strive to live!

  36. Corann Westerfield says:

    I am in a situation that I really wanted to ask why God. The blog today has helped me redirect to what now God. I lay all down to the foot of the cross.

  37. Not “why”, but “what” I just love this so much. It spoke right into my heart.
    I know God has a plan. Always. Instead of questioning it by asking why; I need to trust Him and go with it by asking what. “What would You have me do next, Lord?” “What do You want me to learn from this?”

  38. Mary in NH says:

    O- The why? Question for this season in my life is, why is God allowing our precious grandma to suffer with memory issues caused by a head trauma? Will she ever be her old self again?
    B- I know that no matter what the outcome, the Lord is with us. Don’t be discouraged, don’t fear the future.
    S- What can I do to help? What’s the best use of my time, day by day to support my family in this crisis?

  39. Marilyn Johnson says:

    Thanks for this reminder to be positive and proactive in the face of adversity. “What next God?” definitely expresses to God our faith in him.

  40. Linda Hansen says:

    O – I have been asking why for years now regarding a family member that made a choice that split a family apart and too this day the evil still persists. This has put a whole new perspective on my struggle and the time that has been wasted with the “whys?”. I am going to start asking what now God and wait to listen for His voice to turn me in a new direction.
    B – What a great concept. I love the Amplified version of Micah 7:7, “But as for me, I will look for the Lord, and confident in Him I will keep watch; I will wait with hope and expectancy for the God of my salvation, my God will hear me”
    S – Going to pray God is going to turn my why’s into whats!!

  41. Rebecca Wiersma says:

    Going through desperate “Why” moments right now…..
    After a year of battling to keep my son in school after a horrendous false accusation his mental health just went haywire, we had to go to court and have been confronted with all sorts of strange turns in the road. I don’t know why, I don’t understand….. now we are still struggling and now with the hospital with same son trying to find out what is wrong with his blood counts. He had a bone marrow puncture last week and we are waiting the results. At the same time the school is being attrocious to the whole situation. I don’t understand why but I’m learning to just trust God does and He will get us through it.

    • Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies Team says:

      Rebecca, God won’t leave you and He’s right there with you. Praying for you and your family. God Bless!

  42. Deborah Duren says:

    I love this! I’ve been asking “why not me? ” for some time when challenges arise. I’ve so been trying to welcome these challenges as His pruning me and trusting that He knows “what” He is doing!

  43. My whys began a long time ago. Why was my daughter born with three life threatening congenital heart defects? Why was my son born with a cleft lip and palate? Why did my husband’s both betray my trust? I have discovered the whats many years later as God has blessed through these circumstances. He brought my father-in-law to him through my daughter’s illness. He brought my son to him through his many surgeries. My husband now is faithful and loving after counseling and prayer.

  44. Janet Wallace says:

    I think my first reaction to any sorrow is Why? but I love the idea of What is Next Lord? Micah 7:7 He knows my plans!!!! Yeah, I don’t have to worry about it.

  45. O~My why’s over the past several years have been about my now-ex-husband: why did he treat me so badly? Why was he unfaithful? I will probably never have answers to those questions.
    B~I love Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill me with all joy and peace as I trust in Him, so that I may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
    S~I am changing my whys to What do you want me to learn from this? How can I use my pain to help others?

    • I have asked the same questions. Know you are not alone. God has used me to share my pain with so many sisters that have suffered the hurts of infidelity, lack of unconditional love. God knows the whys and only reveals what we can handle if anything But the one truth is God will neither fail you or abandon you (Deut 31:8) is worth holding on to.

  46. Observe —Several years ago; I wanted another baby really bad. I didn’t want to stop at 2. I had 3 miscarriages in 9 months. When I got pregnant again; it was a go! Then, when I was 4 months pregnant; I got a phone call late one night from my sister. I knew instantly someone had died and I assumed it was my Mom or Dad. No….my 30 yr old nephew shot and killed his step-dad. (He had hurt my sister) Of course, he had to go to prison – It came out later than “my brother in law” had planned on killing my sister and nephew and leaving to a country with no extradition; he had even bought the 1 way ticket! SO….every one was extremely worried about me; this was the same time as O J Simpson killed his wife. I knew that we weren’t suppose to ask God why. I had been taught that in church. I just kept saying, God, I don’t understand this. My Pastor came over one day and told me that I had to thank God for the miscarriages. I remember saying, “Have you lost your mind?” He said, Gail, I don’t expect you to do it now. But one day, you need to get on your knees and thank Him. When you do that; He will bless you in some way – may not be till Heaven; but He will bless you for doing it. I hit the floor when he left and said, God, I do not understand why I have to thank you, but because of my obedience to You, I thank You, knowing You had a reason that I do not know. 3 months later; I was pregnant with my last child! I delivered a healthy little boy that completed our family. I somehow overcame the tragedy; even tho I did hurt emotionally. I did have depression to the point I saw a Christian psychiatrist. Since that time, I have grown in the Lord, tremendously. Also, my nephew was released from prison 6 months ago and is now living with my sister (not his Mom) and her husband and my Mom!!! God does work miracles! 🙂

    Bible —I have written down the verses and marked them in my Bible and will go back and write them down on index cards – or my journal to study them more. The verse that I went right to was Jeremiah 29:11-13, “Gail, I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give Gail a future and a hope. In those day when Gail prays, I WILL LISTEN!! If Gail will look for me wholeheartedly, she will find me.” AMEN!
    Stretch — When I encounter a problem now, I will say, OK God, what am I suppose to learn from this? And truthfully, I will probably panic; but I will call upon the Name of the Lord and allow HIM to guide my thoughts and focus on HIM!

    • Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies Team says:

      Gail, you shared your heart and I thank you for that. God was with you and your family every step of the way. God Bless!

  47. I love the idea of asking what instead of why. I struggled with secondary infertility and although I have two boys the ache for another child was great. It was easy to ask why and feel it wasn’t fair, especially when my friends kept having babies. Now I see that it has helped me be more sensitive to others and I grew closer to God during that time. I want to remember to ask God “what now” when tough situations come up instead of “why”. This bible study has been so practical and useful to me. Thank you!

  48. O: My life has been filled with why’s like so many other women that have posted today. When my trailer was totally destroyed due to fire and my 3 month old puppy perished in the fire, I remember all night crying “Why”. When my husband (ex now) up and took off, I remember walking around in a daze for months trying to cope, continue on, and crying out why. When, on the same week, my divorce was final, I was told yes, the lump was cancer, I remember crying why. In the middle of the night, after a day of chemo when even moving my head hurt and no one was there to hold me, I remember crying out to God asking why. During all of those times and everything before and after, God held me and He never left me. It has taken me a long time to realize that.
    B: Romans 8:28 – And I Jem Renee know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them and for me, Jem Renee.
    S: I will praise God and be thankful everyday.

  49. O–Yes. When I lost my 100% custody battle for my kids. I was asking God why would He let the kids go with their father and his mistress, why did He not stop the court from ordering joint custody, why did I have to pay child support when my ex abandoned us to have an affair. I see now that I shouldn’t have felt like God abandoned me, but I should have been asking what next. Thank God, He took me through the what next without me asking. 5 years later, I have full custody of my kids (he sees them every other weekend) he agreed to no more child support and I know God never abandoned me.

    B—Wow personalizing Deut 31:8 totally changed it’s meaning to me. New life verse.
    S—Not why were me kids affected by their biological mom’s drug and alcohol addictions and abandonment. But WHAT does God want me to do as their FOREVER mom. He brought us together for His purpose in all our lives. Excited to see WHAT He has in store for us. It’s been a craze 7 years so far and the journey is still new. Thank God His mercies are new every morning.

    • Proverbs 31 online bible studies team says:

      Hi Carmella,
      I am so sorry you had to go through that painful time, as a single mother myself I know the pain of legal battles and unfortunately the court systems version of justice not lining up with what is right. I am so happy to hear you have custody and things have since improved. Thank you for sharing your testimony!

  50. Brenda Thuman says:

    I don’t think there is a wrong time to ask why. Is there? The first time I asked why to my Lord was w
    was when we lost our first grandson. Was mad at the Lord for awhile a long while, but I
    have told this story I think so I won’t bother any of you with it again. But I think our Lord
    wants us to question Him. If we don’t how will we learn how, why, what, where and so forth,
    how will we grow spiritually? I don’t know. Just a thought from a pea brain old lady.

    • Brenda, I know that I ask why all the time. But it helps to learn to either instead of asking why, or asking after the why, asking God what is going to come out of this? What can I learn or what are you preparing me for? Praying for you. God Bless.

  51. Donna Morris says:

    I have asked why at times,so now I will turn it around and ask God what?

  52. We had a terrible year where there was loss after loss, job loss, loved ones (plural!), relational fails, a personal split with our church home, so much more. It almost devastated me. I pleaded, I begged, I asked for forgiveness for every possible misdeed. Even now there is so much from that time I just do not understand. But I no longer ask “why?” because the journey He has brought me on has taught me to truly trust the Who. God is so faithful, kindness in sorrow. Mercy in the pain. He loves us beyond the circumstances of rebellion, our and others. He is faithful and just and sometimes we just need to say, “I don’t understand this, Lord, but I trust You.” He is good. He is so good.

  53. Observe — I believe asking why in certain situations can delay your growth because it only takes a small seed of doubt to trouble your faith. God knows us so when I’m feeling uncertainty, I tell him. Often I’ll say God I really don’t understand this and that’s okay. The safest place I can be is in your will, so if this is what you would have for me, then okay. Let me walk in my strength and faith in you. Guide me to clarity and a resolution.

    Bible — I’ll be personalizing Jeremiah 29:11-13

    Stretch — An example is when I had a difficult situation with a colleague. At first I was asking God why is this happening, but after praying, I changed my perspective to what can I do to bless her, what can I do to show her your presence through my actions or what can I learn from you through this situation?

  54. This is GREAT advice… Replacing our Why God?With What God? .. Having the right perspective during our trials is so important!

  55. Since I found God 7 years ago I haven’t been asking why. When something bad happens I look to God and ask Him if this is about me and/or is this a way for me to help someone else?

  56. Asking God “Why?” turns my focus on me.

    Now, let’s say I was lost or was trying to figure out where to go. I don’t get very far asking, “Why am I here?” I get to a different place by looking around and observing, “Where should I go?”; “What’s next?”

    I have asked Hod “Why?” for years without answer and found that when I finally look up (out of my self-pity and disappointment) and ask Him, “What’s next?”, God is there leading me! Looking back, I kinda get the feeling my ever-patient Father wonders what too me so long!

    I ask less “Why?”s and ask more “What’s next?”. Sometimes God waits to answer, but He is faithful and always answers “What’s next?” ?

  57. This month marks the tenth year since my son left home to join his father in everything that the Lord had rescued us from and 22 years since we left that home safely. Rather than asking why, I have shared my story with two co-workers who are going through similar situations. Although I don’t know the rest of the story, I am trusting in God knowing that he is at work with the unseen even though I don’t see any evidence of his work with my human eyes. May He continue to use me for the what as I refuse to ask why.

  58. I definitely needed this today. I have been asking why way too much. We all have our troubles and sometimes that is hard to remember. I think what you are saying is that if we think about when we are asking why if we were to ask God, what do I do now that it would be much more constructive. I am going to take this lesson from today and try to practice it. It’s hard to change over night but I am definitely going to take this and work on it. I know we are not to question God but sometimes it is so hard. Thank you for your touching post today!

  59. Christianne McCall says:

    I’ve asked why so many times, but I am seeing how WHAT is a better way. I lost my job and divorced my ex husband all within a 2 month period. It was one of the worst times in my life. I wondered why it had happened to mme. Now I see what God had in store; better job, better marriage.

  60. Anna Currin says:

    Oh how I hate that I ask why so much. Why is it so hard to trust God in the hard moments? My daughter is 2 and has just begun the stage of asking why to pretty much everything I say. I’m going to be honest, after a while it drives me nuts! I find myself saying “just because that’s the way it is” “it works exactly how it is supposed to.” Thankfully God has way more grace and patience with me than I do with my daughter. However I don’t want to be that nagging child who is constantly asking God why. I want to ask what now? What would you have me do Lord! I strive to be a child of God who trust in Him no matter what the circumstance. I know that no matter what He works for the good of those who love Him, and that’s what I need to remeber when the question why pops up in my head.

  61. Jennifer Sears says:

    I recently just came out of a very tough season of God telling me no to both of my job situations. I had to walk away from people and employment that I loved. I fought God every step of the way and found myself in a deep depression questioning Him. I so wish that I had read chapter 12 during that time. God is faithful and was never far away.

  62. My “why me” is when my first child died while I was 7 1/2 months pregnant. I worked in a daycare center and another young gal was pregnant, not married and another worked there who already had a child, not married. I kept asking God, “Why me? I am married to a wonderful guy, I am a good girl, why do they get to have kids and I don’t?” A year, to the date, later, we had a beautiful healthy baby boy, who is now 17. I suffered a miscarriage about 2 year later and then was pregnant again. Around the 6-7 month time period, things started looking like the first pregnancy…again,why? It was at 24 weeks when they decided to do a Csection. Our daughter was 2 lbs 4 oz. She was in the NICU for 5 1/2 weeks. I started to ask why, but then looked around and saw bigger babies, but babies who had been in the NICU for months and with a lot of complications. Instead of why me, I started to say, why them? I found gratefulness in our situation. Grateful for our midwives, our perinatalologist, the nurses, the church family bringing us meals, my family for helping with our son, etc I still ask why sometimes when I watch my daughter who has cognitive delays and some other medical issues along with hearing issues, but I try to be quick in seeing the blessings she has brought to our family and that I see other kids in her special ed class that have more severe disabilities and really feel for those families. Yes, there are many times when I wonder why I couldn’t have had a “normal” little girl to be able to go shopping with (without tantrums and meltdowns} and look forward to dances, boys, etc. I have friends who have all, or most of their kids in college and they can do what they want. I don’t know if I will ever have that. Everyday brings a new challange. I don’t know what the future holds for our Mary, but I take comfort in the Bible verses that tell that God’s got it! I don’t have to worry. I am kind of a control person who liked to read the end of the book to see how things will turn out. I think this is God’s way of making me enjoy the now and having faith in Him! He’s Got it!!

  63. O- Why is my default question. I have struggled lately with a health issue. I’m not asking God why it is happening because in this case the Why really doesn’t matter. It is a struggle to remain positive and upbeat when the doctors can’t figure it out.

    B – I love these verses. They are so helpful to remember that God’s plan is perfect and while we struggle with setbacks, loss and other issues we have to continue to trust him; that is Faith.

    S – This is a great way to change the perspective and keep the focus on God’s plan for us. “why” is all about us, “what” is all about God.

  64. Laura Ashley says:

    Observe: Now that I think about it, every time I have asked “why” to God, it has been in a hateful way. I get resentful and wonder why he let this happen to me. I have never attempted to utilize the “what” instead, but I think this will be a great skill to develop.

  65. O.) I try not to ask why very often but more what I can do to help my family come closer to Christ.

    B.) I love Romans 8:28 such a strong reminder we are all called to do something.

    S.)Trying to focus on the what for those around me praying for wisdom.

  66. Shayla Donaldson~ P31-O Team says:

    I have often become frustrated with God when I have asked “Why” and gotten no response or not the response I was looking for. But I understand that in some of those situations, God was protecting me. Everything is not meant for our understanding. And we can’t handle knowing and understanding everything. It’s still difficult but I try to keep in mind that God knows best and He makes no mistakes. If He allows it, there must be some purpose in my life for it.

  67. 3 yrs ago I was faced with my biggest “Why God?” ever!! My 19y/o sister was killed in a car accident… In situations of severe loss like that I think it is ok to begin with “Why God?” If I didn’t approach God with my whys in the first place I would’ve missed the moments when I felt the warmth of his comfort and I definitely would have missed the healing I began to receive. Bringing my whys to God often results in my heart being led to honestly pray for his plans to be revealed and fulfilled… If a “why” is all we can pray, if a fist thrown in the air is all we can communicate, if a cry in anger so deep it hurts is all we can muster up…I say bring it to God. He can handle it! Through our open suffering WITH God we open doors where his unexplainable peace can seep in and surround our broken places… I will never know “why” my sister had to die so young. Sometimes that thought punches me in the gut & sometimes it is a reminder for me of how fragile and short life is and not to waste it….

  68. My first granddaughter was born last August. Before she was born,the OBGYN found a mass near her liver, which caused the pregnancy to be more high risk. After delivery, plans for surgery were put together. (After many specialists from all over tested and concluded that She was to have half of her liver removed at age 6 mos.) I did ask “why God, is this happening?” However, I believe through our prayers our “whys” quickly turned to “what’s next Lord?” Through many, many prayers no intervention from the doctors, ( they can not explain why her AVM inside her liver disappeared!) this precious 6 month old is healed. We leaned so hard on God. We have found such strength in Him!
    Micah 7:7- But as for Katie, she watches in hope for the Lord, she waits for God her Savior, her God will hear her.

    • Proverbs 31 online bible studies team says:

      Hi Katie,
      Praise God for this amazing testimony and miracle! Such a blessing to be able to see God work in the life of your granddaughter! Be blessed

  69. Shelley Nowlin says:

    This is such good sound advice. It is funny, at least in my world where I can hear this, and I know it makes sense but when the time comes to put this into practice it is quite difficult. That “why” seems so easy, so logical and honestly the first words that I want to utter out of my mouth. BUT if you can just trust God, if you can just believe that HE is who HE says HE is then you open up a whole realm of miracles and maneuvers to take place. It allows God to do the unexplainable in your life. Praise Him for HE is good.

  70. O- I think the why is our natural, human flesh response to hurt and pain in our life. I love how she said its ok, but we need to be asking, “what now God?”
    B- I love these verses! My favorite one is Deut. 31:8- He goes before us, nothing is a surprise to Him.
    S- now I just need to change my perspective and turn my selfish whys into what now?

  71. I think most of the time we ask “why” (though human in nature) it is not the best choice–which, btw, means I’m guilty several times/day! It really resonated w me however when our leaders said, “stop asking for answers and replace it with asking for perspective.” That is good!!!!!!!!! ???

  72. Stephanie Magruder says:

    I’m so guilty of the I have to’s and why’s of life. Yesterday’s message along with today’s are exactly what my heart needed! Thank you ladies for pointing out the I’m able ‘ s and What’s, of this blessed life He has purposely planned me for! This whole series has been incredible, but the attitude adjustment this busy mom of two has received the last two days speaks volume! #LiveItOut #attitudeadjustment #ivegotanewattitude #imable #whatnext #YES

  73. My son was born with some complications two years ago and was air lifted to a hospital 2 hours from where I had delivered. He had surgery the next day and two more his 1st year of life. I remember feeling at peace with the situation and just constantly asking God to show us what is next. I knew I couldn’t control the situation so after a few “whys” I put all my trust and faith in Him. Two year later we have a happy healthy two year old!

  74. Kim Walters says:

    I love what Karen said a few post ahead of me! “Asking why puts the focus on me” I hadn’t looked at it that way before. Asking “what?” Puts my focus on God. It’s a long story but my daughter is getting married in June and in Aug they are planning to spend a year or so in Senegal, West Africa. Her fiancé is a missionary kid and that is where he grew up and his parents currently live and it has become my daughters second home. There desire is to b missionaries. On one hand I’m extremely thankful that they are serving God but My heart is breaking into a million pieces because I feel like they are never going to “come home”. One of my down deep desires is to b near my kids. I feel really selfish because this is a chance for his parents to enjoy time with them that they haven’t had much of for the past 4 years and I have a hard time being excited for all of them. So changing my “why” to “what’s next?” I think will b really good for my heart! Even though I don’t feel built for handling the distance God will help me cope! This is also my blessing to manage like Lysa talked about this week. If any of you ladies have experience with missions like this with ur kids or family I would love to chat!

  75. Such truth.

  76. Caroline Lee says:

    2013 was one of the hardest years for my husband and I. In the span of 7 months, we had two cars totaled in rear end collision (I ended up with injuries), two emergency surgeries (one for him, one for me), and a couple of emergency room visits with our toddler. It seemed like it never ended. And as I asked over and over “why???”, after my surgery, we got our answer to “what now” without asking. We knew it was time for a new addition to our family. 2014 was one of the best years my husband and I have ever had. We got pregnant quickly and I had a beautiful, easy pregnancy and delivery of our second child.

  77. Audra Heinman says:

    Observe — Is there a time when asking “Why” was the wrong question for you? I believe that the time I’m going through right now… my accident, recovery, injury and surgeries… I have asked WHY many many times, then answered the “Why” with “It’s your own fault” and so on and so forth. I’m coming around to the fact that it might be the “What”. What do you want me to learn Lord? What do you want me to do? Where are you leading me? What are you GOING to accomplish through this and through me?

    Bible — Personalizing scripture is a great way to keep our hearts in hope! Personalize these verses in your journal/notebook, speaking them aloud and repeating them often. Highlight or underline them in your Bible.

    Deuteronomy 31:8
    Romans 8:28
    Romans 15:13
    Jeremiah 29:11-13
    Micah 7:7

    I plan on working on these scriptures through the day. When I take a break at work, I’m going to write one out and then tomorrow dig deeper on them. smile emoticon

  78. I learned a lot today. Why becomes What.

  79. I’ve lived most of my life with so many why’s that it made me completely exhausted and drained! God has been working mightily over the past 2 years, both in my heart and in my mind, to change my perspective. I’m growing in my faith to trust him at all times, especially in situations where things seem hopeless. By doing that one thing, he has taken the yolk of my burdens and given me freedom to live out the life he ordained me to live. It is so freeing and uplifting to know I don’t need to carry around my burdens or sorrows; that the things that have happened in my past are just chapters in a much larger book. And that book is filled with great stories of triumph and success – all because God has shown favor over me.

  80. I seem to always want to know why. Sometimes it is a good thing and sometimes it is not. Sometimes I don’t like the answer I get when I ask why because it makes me take a hard look at myself and what I could have done different or better. But God is good and He turns me from my why’s many times without a definative answer and I have learned to be at peace with that knowing that no matter what, He is in control!

  81. I have been asking why in different forms, off and on for 14 years now. I made a sinful choice and have been dealing with the consequences, in some form, ever since. I have asked what does God want me to do with the mess I created but find myself reverting back to the why questions. “Why just me?” is one question I cant seem to shake. I know the right “Why not me?” question to ask but then find myself, feeling sorry for myself. When Lysa wrote, “The secret is letting God’s Word get into you to achieve the purpose He intends.”, it really opened my eyes to drop the “Why?”. I pray for strength and wisdom to really get into God’s Word and show me how to achieve the purpose He intends for my life.

  82. Asking why was the wrong thing for me when we were working at a church and things were going great and then all of a sudden everything just came unraveled. I asked why when I should have asked ok what and where do you want to send me now Lord. We ended up leaving the church and did not attend a church regularly for a year. We have just recently gone back to church. It was hard to go back after being out for so long. I am still leery of jumping in with both feet. I think I want to stick just a toe in and test the waters for a while. We all were so involved in everything if it was happening we had a hand in it. Church hurt is the worst. They Christians are the ones who are supposed to love you the most. But when things happen you just have to step back and examine what has happened and see what the lesson to learn is and learn from and then just keep moving forward with God. #LiveItOut

  83. When my husband lost his battle with cancer at the age of 36, I do remember not asking God why but what am I going to do with out Him Lord? We had three small children, ages 8, 6 and 5, and facing a future of raising them without their daddy was overwhelming to me….but God!! He was with me every step of the way, throughout 15 years of being a single mom. He provided for us in supernatural ways as only He can, and while I would never have chosen that road for myself, I do know that God did an amazing work in and through me throughout those years. All glory goes to Him!!

  84. Why is almost always the wrong question. I try to resist asking it as much as I can.

  85. Well, what I can say is, the why’s always revolve around me not getting my way period. It doesn’t matter what the event is. An illness, why me? A non-select – why not me? A hurt – a loss – why me? When my mother passed away, I was angry. Why her? I was mad at God. I was not nice. It still hurts, but I have healed and have asked for forgiveness for my anger. Life is what it is and death is part of that. But I have learned to see God in everything and my actions before her death and the care I gave her were a reflection of God. I hold onto that and even as I know I will have to endure loss again in the future, I have a solid base from which to offer help and hope. My mother endured. My mother fought. My mother paved the way. And at the end, my mother found peace. There is no question of that. I thank God everyday for the way he brought a broken family together. I watched as a father (my grandfather) who had abused his children – and a mother (my grandmother) who had ignored it – prayed and cried over the loss of their daughter. I watched as my aunts and uncles – all holding hands – with the same parents – circled around my mother praying for her at the very moment she took her last breath. My mother’s passing did more than tear my heart in two, it brought an entire family – that had been separated for many years together and back to the Lord.

  86. O – I have asked so many why questions in my life. It was during those times I was too angry at God and turned away from Him instead of to Him. By doing so, Satan swiftly came in to answer my whys and my life was in turmoil for many years…..my why answers became lies and I believed them. I knew deep within me those heartbreaking times were not of God…I truly knew and felt that but could not comprehend “why” a loving God would allow them. The pain, hurt and despair that I experienced during those times were excruciating….the only feeling I had toward God was anger and disbelief. After years of a turbulent life I had a meltdown before God, I could no longer carry the weight of all that pain, hurt, hate and anger. I felt I had no other options but to run to God and hoped He would still be there. In despair I called out to Him, in pain I called out to Him and in anger I called out to Him…..I demanded answers,” why God, why God have you allowed this”? “What do you want from me”? That last question is when He answered me…….I heard his voice so clear so audible that I was in shock…..all He said was “You”. It was from that moment that I surrendered to Him….He poured in His peace, His grace, His mercy and His forgiveness…I could feel the heat flow through my body from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet….I have never experienced that ever before. I knew then that was God himself. All He wanted was me, my love, my attention, my admiration, my praise, my thanksgiving, my soul, my heart, my trust, my faith, my everything…..my life has been transformed from lies to truths. I weep as I confess this, one eye cries tears of embarrassment, humiliation and shame and one eye cries tears of joy, relief, and freedom. I have since learned not to question God, not to ask the “why” question because in doing so I’m questioning His sovereignty, His authority, His all-knowing and His love for me. I now ask the what, how, where, when and who questions…..WHAT can I do to bring you glory, HOW can I bring you glory, WHERE can I bring you glory, WHEN do you want me to go and WHO do I share this with…those are the questions He answers….and then pours His blessing on me when I listen and obey…..what an AWESOME GOD we serve!!!

    B – My life saving verses:
    Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)
    11 For I know the plans I have for Vicki,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper her and not to harm her, plans to give her hope and a future. 12 Then Vicki will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to her. 13 Vicki will seek me and find me when she seeks me with all your heart.

    S- Real Life Lesson: NEVER EVER question God with a “why”….it insults Him, it denies His sovereignty and authority He will not answer, replace the whys with what, how, where, when and who and it’s through those questions you will understand the why……I’m talking from real life experience.

  87. I think that is why(:)) I struggle so much is because when we ask why we have not completely turned over everything to God. We know that in the why there is a reason it is just not the one that I want. Then when why doesnt work we try to reason and answer for God. This study has really opened my eyes to alot of little things i let slide before and I am growing inside out. I spend alot more time with God and I am feeling his presence more.

  88. I have been praying for many years for God to direct me in finding a close friend. So often I have asked “Why can’t I find a friend? What is wrong with me since I feel like I am not likeable?” I know God wants me to be completely in need of him but this longing for a friend is so overwhelming.

    • I have asked the same why. Why can’t I find one of those close childhood friends as an adult. I miss those relationships and long for one as an adult.

      • God answers this prayer. Trust me. I prayed this for quite awhile when God brought me to doing P31OBS. Now I have prayer groups, prayer sisters, people I know that are there for me when and if I need them. Not only friends – but sisters. God Bless!

  89. Deuteronomy 31:8
    It was written by Moses to Joshua to encourage him as he would lead the Isrealites to the Promised Land.
    Personalized for me:
    Whatever my calling or next step in life is, I can be certain the LORD has gone before me. He will also be with me, never giving out or giving up on me. I never need to be frightened or unnerved.

  90. I ask whybwhen something happens tonmy loved ones. I dont want to wait; I want it fixed and I want answers. WhenKylie said she feltnpeace that she could wait on the Lots, that hagave me new perspective. Waiting doesn’t have to be on pins and needles. It can be about trusting the Lord and knowing he has a great plan for all of us. I feel blessed now after reading her insights.

  91. Lord, why am I sick and in pain so much of the time? I will replace that “why” with –Lord,”what” can I do to glorify You through my illnesses and my pain? How can I show Your love to others? 🙂

  92. I ask why when something happens to my loved ones. I don’t want to wait; I want it fixed and I want answers. When Kylie said she felt peace that she could wait on the Lord, that gave me new perspective. Waiting doesn’t have to be on pins and needles. It can be about trusting the Lord and knowing he has a great plan for all of us. I feel blessed now after reading her insights. (Sorry had to repost…too many errors in my last one!)

  93. O: I have always asked myself Why God why me since I was a little girl. I would notice that when I asked why things will continue to get worst and I would be asking another Why question. One day i received a phone call from my godmother saying she doesn’t know why she is calling me to read me scripture. Doing our conversation I started to cry and asked her why when I pray and ask GOD a question I feel he answers me with more problems, she quickly asked me to stop asking why and just give thanks and and ask what next and for guidance. When I began to pray with thanksgiving and explain to GOD that I don’t understand but I trust him and I will wait patiently for what he has next but to be easy because he only knows what I can handle I began to notice a drastic change in my life.

  94. Lauren Gonzalez says:

    I have been asking why often about my 3 yr old son’s behavior, trying to figure out if its just an age thing, the result of a new sibling, something I have done, or some combination. But I’ve come to realize the why isn’t necessarily as important as the what now and how I can approach parenting my child from a biblical perspective to show him the love of Christ and lead him to a relationship with Christ.

  95. Mary Tullila says:

    I can still remember sitting in one of my first Suicide Loss group meetings during that 1st winter of discontent , jus staring out the window at this cold barren tree. I heard nothing but the silent screams of my own broken heart wailing why Lord why? How could a man who promised me he’d never kill himself and leave me abandoned, only do so with thought out premeditation a few months later? Why would a born again Christian up and leave his family behind when we had forever yet to live? Why Lord why?
    It prepared me. It refined me. It remolded me. It grew me up. I would see more loss to come. Yet more simple Grace.
    It gave me the time to notice my first love all over again.
    Reborn. For His Glory..to tell my story.
    Beauty for ashes….a tree planted .
    It rebloomed…in the pain.

    • Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies Team says:

      Mary, your story reminds me of author Kay Arthur’s life, as she went through the very same thing. Your insight from going through it all is simply awesome. Thank you for sharing all you have learned, and no doubt you are a blessing to many.

  96. I most definitely ask “why”! I like the idea of asking “what” instead. Such a simple thing but an impact!
    The tips for personalizing scripture is such a powerful tool and will improve my Bible study skills and make it more than a crossed off item on my daily to do list!
    I can not think of a personal experience of replacing the “whys” with “what’s” but i am hoping that I remember that suggestion the next time the “whys” are circling!

    I am so very thankful for this Bible study!

  97. O — A couple months ago, my marriage was falling apart because I gave in to temptation and then my father was dying of cancer. I cried out “why me!” even though I brought the temptation onto myself. I wanted to know why He had to throw my dad into the mix too. I was being selfish and the furthest from God I had even been. But, luckily He showed me that He never left my side and I think my faith has really matured in the last couple of month.

    B —
    Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT)
    8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, Kristin, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with Kristin; he will neither fail her nor abandon her.”

    Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT)
    11 For I know the plans I have for Kristin,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give Kristin a future and a hope.12 In those days when Kristin prays, I will listen. 13 If Kristin looks for me wholeheartedly, Kristin will find me.

    S — I have learned that my “whys” in life, are the times I was far from God. Not having quite time so I really couldn’t see God. Not going to church and learning more about Him. Now, when I start to udder why, I pray. Pray for thanksgiving and pray to turn my why into praising.

  98. Anne Tyler says:

    This really helps me put things into perspective…the world teaches us to ask “why” all the time, but God says to trust His plan and have peace! AMEN!!!

  99. Thank you, Katrina. Good reminder for me to keep my eyes on Jesus and not my circumstances and to praise HIM and to thank HIM.

  100. I just love personalizing scripture. It is so much more meaningful that way and it really speaks to me! Thank you for all you do to further the Kingdom of God! Love you Ladies!

  101. Beth Anne W. says:

    O-I kept asking why after the loss of my twins followed by an ectopic pregnancy. It was a very difficult time and it took me a long time to get to the point of asking God what He wanted me to learn from it and what to do next instead of asking why it happened. I will probably never know fully why and I have to surrender that to God.
    B-These verses were so comforting to me today especially as I am struggling with some fears about the future. I need to repeat them over and over and hear God speaking just to me through them.
    S-God, what do you want me to carry away from my experiences with loss? What do you want me to learn about you? What do you want me to see that will help me face my future?

  102. Lorane Epps says:

    I have been known to ask WHY and you find yourself asking it over and over again; but growing and learning more of who GOD is, I started asking myself why not, think about the torment JESUS went through but we never read where he asked why? We all endure trials and tribulations, but each one makes us stronger. I learned to stand on his WORD and the more I did the less “whys” I had. Thank you Lord for your amazing grace!

  103. I am really struggling with “why” right now. My children’s lives seem to be a train wreck …. I have failed as a parent ): But I do know that isn’t true. I am 45 years old and just now begun to know I mean really know Jesus. My oldest is going through a divorce that seems to be heading in a direction that I would really have to question. But I have recently learned,well still learning that God really does know what is best. He does NOT make mistakes, help me Father to hold on to this no matter what the outcome of this whole thing is. I don’t put my trust in lawyers,in judges,in courts or even in myself but in You….Thank You, in the precious holy name of Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen!

  104. There are endless circumstances when asking why is not productive! Anytime things are not meeting my expectations, that would be a time when I should ask ‘what now” instead of “why”! I love the words to the song from the animated movie “Joseph, King of Dreams”. At one of his lowest moments, when he is in prison, he sings a song that speaks to me so profoundly: “You know better than I, You know the way, I’ve let go of the need to know why, ‘Cause You know better than I.” It is a freeing thing to let go of that need and just trust that God knows what is best!

  105. Angela Depew says:

    I have found myself in this place many times but I have also learned more in this place of why,just how to totally depend on God. My faith increases and I realize there is Nothing to big for our God. He never leaves or forsakes me and it is in these places he is holding us in the palm of his loving hands. God Bless you

  106. I lost my mother this year. It is so easy to ask God why. But I know there is still a purpose for my life. I just don’t know what yet.

  107. I have screamed why quite a few times in my life! Why was I molested as a child? Why did you let me marry a man who lived a secret life of homosexuality? Why did I deserve that? I have asked the last question about lots of things and if not on my guard that thought still creeps in. Never give up, though, because at 58 years old I am just now learning to ask the “What do you want me to learn, to do….etc….questions. There have been some distressing things with my grown kids lately and I have actually thanked God for the trial and said, “Now what?” I love Him so much. He loves me so much, too, that He wants me to lean on Him fully trusting that He is in control.

    • Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies Team says:

      Sheri, what an beautiful example you are to your children and others to stand fast in the Lord. Thank you for sharing your story. God Bless.

  108. I have been through the why’s a lot in my life . I love the idea of replacing it with what . I have learned who are we to ask God why , He knows our future we just need to have faith lean on Him and follow His footsteps .

  109. I am trying very hard to not cry out “why” anytime something doesn’t go right for me. I have learned that in every situation I have gone through there are people going through more difficult situations in their lives. I also know deep in my heart that when I go through difficult times God will not leave my side and that he has greater plans for me. I praise God for walking with me each and everyday.

  110. I have been asking why me Lord and I felt down when I asked this over and over after my stroke. Then he spoke to me and now I have been in the What phase and doing much better. I ask him what do you want me to do Lord? I am available to you and I tell u he has been leading and directed me daily. Yes I do have a day where the old me pops up “why” but I quickly get into the new me “what”.

  111. O- probably when my mom died. She died 2/25/81 I was 16. She died in an automobile accident. My dad found her at the scene of the accident. It was high profile the accident was in the newspaper. It’s been 35 years and it was my first feeling of pain and loss. I still don’t understand it all. It remains a doubt of faith sometime. While I have learned to accept it it doesn’t really go away.
    B- Romans 8:28 is a strong verse and often read it.
    S- things turned out ok in my life. My dad lived until 2008 and we moved on. Perhaps I’ll know the why later.

  112. Ria Gaines says:

    There have certainly been “why” times for me throughout my walk with Christ. Sometimes we hold the unintentional view that we should no longer question “why” when we’ve come to know Christ but we are certainly still human. As Lysa states in the book – it’s all about perception. I think it’s important to understand that the “why” is ok to think but not linger at. It’s ok to be human, but we have to let the supernatural take over and we have to let God work it out in the end! Loving this study!

  113. O: Yes, many times. Why did my dad pass away so young and so suddenly? Why didn’t I have more time? Why I am suffering still? The why question seems to make me focus on being a victim and I start wallowing in my self-pity. The what questions help me move on and ask God what my purpose is in this life. What does He want me to learn from these experiences? What now?

    B: All of these are excellent verses. I personalized Romans 15:13- I pray that God, the source of hope, will completely fill me with joy and peace despite my circumstances. When I trust in Him I overflow with confidence through the power of the Holy Spirit.

  114. Laura McClure says:

    I am encouraged by what God says to the Israelites in Deut 30. You can imagine all the Whys they must have had in their hearts, but God gave them such great promises that are ours as well!

  115. Kelli Lynn Wallen says:

    I always wanted to know why! I thought that was understanding. I really didn’t know that it was me (how rude am I?) and I realized last summer…after abuse my entire childhood…the loss of my father…the loss of my youngest sister…and that put me over the edge…finally I was smacked with the reality last summer…and honestly, i’m so happy i was….My dad would never be proud of me…I cannot control anyone else or their plans from God…I can only fix myself and love everyone else. So there Why ask Why? We all really can only accept what has been put before us, pray and lean on God for any questions that lay heavy on 0ur hearts.

    • Proverbs 31 online bible studies team says:

      Hi kelly,
      I’m sorry to hear of these painful experiences. I know that while our earthly fathers may be imperfect and in your case abusive and would never be proud of you…know this, God is your Heavenly Father. He is so proud of you! He loves you more than you can know. He is for you and is with you. I am so glad you are doing this study with us. Sending a big hug. God bless

  116. I think when tragedy strikes it is easy to ask “Why?” immediately instead of turning ourselves to the “What, now God?”. Our friends who have a young son just lost their home entirely in a tornado and the peace they radiated in communication with others has been evidence to a hurting world that there is hope in Christ. Their needs have been provided for through generous community and they are moving on without “What?” questions and are instead asking “What now, God?”. May we all follow their example.

  117. WOW! This is a message just for ME today!!! Thank you Katrina and Lysa for such a timely word from the Lord for me. I am going through some health struggles and I had reached the Why me… and hopeless phase this week. I have now begun to ask “What” and my perspective can change. This is my first OBS and I know I’m right where God wanted me to be today learning from you dear women. Thank you for sharing this word in season for me and so many others.

  118. Tennille Kenney says:

    Why into what, love it. Now to just really implement it into my daily life.

  119. I’m 50 years old and have already been through a knee replacement and 3 months ago, a hip replacement. I’m in the medical field and work in the hospital on my feet all day and take call. I would often cried out why God, why me! Why are you putting me through this. I now pray every night and day instead if asking why, i am asking God what are your plans are for me? My job duties are becoming more than my body can handle. I’ve been praying that God will lead me to a new career path less stressful for my body. With God’s glory, I started back to school and will be finished in a year. I praise Jesus every day!

  120. Wow. I’ve never once thought about seeking the “What” instead of the “Why” and what a profound difference I think it will make. I think I’ve been taught my whole life to question things, to ask why, so that I can truly understand the meaning of things. While this may work for some things, say in my finance profession, it seems to have the opposite effect on my personal life and leads to me spinning in circles at times because there is no why present! This is definitely a message I need to write down and make visible in my life and come back to when I’m struggling. Thanks for the awesome insight! Love when I have a little light bulb moment!

  121. Jackie Quiles-Marshall says:

    I have asked God why so much that one night long ago he gave me a name.. Princess Obedience without Understanding ♡ he said he doesn’t have to explain everything to me .. my job is to be obedient to Him and his Word. I had a really bad childhood, bad marriages and now health problems so why tries to lives on my lips. I just have to walk this out with my Lord.

  122. Why is the ultimate for me, I always figured that knowing the why is important in my coping processes, but I realize that I don’t need to ask why to questions that GOD has already gave me the answer for. In my time of study and growth I realize that all I need to know and understand is in the word of God. Like toys we don’t want to read the instructions on how to put them together and we get mad when they don’t work as shown on TV, Well we have to stop getting upset when we refuse to read the manual of life the bible!

  123. Lesley Geer says:

    O: I miscarried 8 years ago and “why” was a question I asked A lot!!! Now we have a son that’s almost 7!! We couldn’t be blessed with a more loving child!!!

    B: DEUT 31:8 is my life verse!!!

  124. I was a “why” child and to be honest a “why” adult. This can be good for knowledge sake, but not in questioning God. A few years ago I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and then another. At one point the doctor thought there was cancer, but thank God it turned out to be part of the autoimmune disease. During this time I started saying why me. Why do they keep finding something wrong with me? Why are you punishing me God? Well, I turned from Him and life got REALLY hard! I have learned to say why not me. What makes me special that trials don’t come my way. Now I say what can I do with these trials. I can learn from them and share with others and thank God I have Him to run to when I am weary instead of running away.

    • Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies Team says:

      Amen Brenda, always better to run to Him, He is always there with open arms. Heavenly Father, I lift Brenda up to you today, I ask that you cover her always with your abiding love.

  125. What a great reminder that God is always in control!

  126. Why did enter my mind through what I am going through are health issues being divorced it’s sometimes I do wonder why but I do know we service a great God who is carrying me through it all good always comes ou of the things we go through even though it is hard I like the what turning it around.every scripture from today’s post ministered to me he hears our cries and wil meet us right where we are.

  127. Candy Shepard says:

    I always ask why when it comes to God answering (or not answering actually) my prayers for my husband. I liked this because I am learning to ask “what now” instead of “why not”
    I question why God doesn’t answer my prayers sometimes and I have found that it is because He is trying to teach me patience, trust in Him, and learning to let go and let Him work. These are hard lessons for me to learn because I really like to be in control.

  128. It’s so easy to say ‘why’. I have worked hard to discipline my heart into ‘how can I learn from this, what do you want me to see God?’. The answers aren’t always what my flesh wants to hear. When I prepare my heart and ask for wisdom daily, I can take the ‘no’ and I can learn and hear God. My plate feels so full at times however I know and believe fully that God does know all the details for my life and the plans for it. I pray daily to give Him my worry, fear, anxiety, guilt, questions, anger, confusion, and desire for peace, encouragement, and His will. Thank you Father for loving us and for blessing us even in times of pain. You are greater than this world!

  129. Ramona Ross says:

    Observe: I once was asking God “why” do I have to be this way meaning that why do I have to have this rheumatoid arthritis raging through my body, why can’t I be free of the pain. After throwing my temper tantrum about it, I calmed down and realized that I am the way I am because God has plans for me using my pain and disease to help others. I just need to be patience.
    Bible: Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for Ramona”,declares the Lord, “plans to prosper her and not to harm Ramona, plans to give her hope and a future. 12 then Ramona will call on me and come and pray to e, and I will listen to Ramona. 13 Ramona will seek me and find me when she seeks me with all her heart.”
    Stretch: Sometimes I know not to question God. I try hard not to say “why” but “what” in any situation am in. I ask the Lord “What do you want mw to learn from this nor why is this happening to me?” Asking this question helps me to draw nearer to my Lord.

  130. Melissa Taylor says:

    As I’ve read through the comments here so far, I’ve wanted to reply to each one of them and tell you how much you’ve inspired me today. So many of you are facing situations or people that seem hopeless, but you are choosing hope by asking what instead of why. I love y’all!

    This chapter and Katrina’s post today were both great perspectives on hope. “hope dies in asking “why”, but hope thrives in asking “what.” What now God? With that question hope’s door opens right up! And the verses Katrina shared in the Let’s Chat Section~ PERFECT! Thanks Katrina! Love you so much!

  131. Michelle Strickland says:

    O – One time recently, I needed to take a short hiatus from a music project I was doing on the side. Being a go-getter, I told myself it was the wrong thing to do. I needed to just smile and persevere but God had other plans. After lots and lots of emotional prayer, God told me that I needed this break. Better things were in store and for my health, it was the right decision. This was a case where my “Why?” turned into a “thank you Lord!”
    B – “May the God of hope fill you, Michelle, with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 Powerful. Beautiful. Restoring.
    S – Yes! Let’s not question but act on our God’s love! 🙂

  132. I am guilty of asking “Why” especially if it seems so undeserving. But I must agree, I don’t stay in the Valley of “Whys” because even during my many trials and difficulties, I still know God is Sovereign and has provisions for me in my hard places ;even when I may not like or understand His methods.

  133. I’ve asked God why in certain situations here in our home. He has comforted me and given me peace in things, so I try to trust Him and ask Him what I should be learning or doing.
    Love the idea of personalizing scripture.

  134. O: There are times when hurt and loss aren’t big in my life, praise God! But discontent can creep in with ordinary things like weight loss, time to myself, etc. Those times too, I need to ask “what” I can learn instead of “why.”
    B: I personalized the verses. Thank you for collecting such good ones!
    S: Grrr, why won’t my daughter obey me?? into What are you teaching her AND me right now, Lord? #LiveItOut

  135. I used to be such a WHY person..with my first marriage the ‘WHY’ Was driving me CRAZY..and I read a book that said Do Not ask WHY..you will never come up with the answer..for that time I had to turn my WHY into WHAT does he ‘My Ex’have to gain by this??.kind of question than it made sense..bc I am not him so I’ll never understand his way of thinking.. I really needed this Chapter..because of my health my life as I know it to be has stopped..It has been a LONG LONG process.. I’m getting better and I’m NOT asking WHY..I have changed it to God Here I am How can YOU use me??.You know my circumstances You know my capabilities.. Father You know me better than me..Lysa T..God Bless you and Thank you so much.. God has Blessed us with you..with the whole Awesome Group here..I am Blessed???

    • Proverbs 31 online bible studies team says:

      Hi Marta,
      Thank you for sharing! I love this perspective on your asking questions like what instead of why. Be blessed

  136. What a great reminded that God is always in control.

  137. linda ruggeberg says:

    There are so many whys as we journey thru life. Today I have learned to let go and stop asking why, because God’s timing is perfect. For years I worried about my daughter who has a learning disability, health problems, and a job where they cut her hours all the time. How was she going to survive when I am not around? I prayed and prayed she would meet someone who would accept her for who she is. Not to long ago she was at work and a guy she used to be in the marching band with connected with her. Six months later they are engaged. You just have to trust in God to work things out and ask less whys.

  138. The scriptures for personalization are perfect. It always makes more sense when the words speak directly to me. I am so thankful for people like Lysa and the Proverbs 31 leaders and instructors for helping me understand God’s Word and how it applies to my everyday reality. xoxo

  139. We are studying your book ” Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl” at my church so this is really a great supplement. Right now I am approaching the 2 year mark of my husbands death and I am still dealing with the why’s. My Bible studies have given me peace and I know there will be a day when I am with him in heaven.

  140. this bible study has done so much for me and my bible knowledge. I’ve always had a deep trust in God’s word and a deep longing to know and understand what He tries to make me understand. thank you for the scripture references. I’m so grateful for these words!

  141. Michelle B. says:

    “Shew! I don’t know about you, but hearing, “it takes time,” brings peace to my heart I didn’t even realize I needed. Peace in knowing I wasn’t alone and there isn’t something wrong with me.”
    Yes! I’m right there with you, this is exactly how I felt reading Lysa’s words. I’m having a really hard time getting over my mom’s death, she died four months ago and I still have days where I feel like a house of bricks is sitting on me. It hurts so much. My family seems fine, no one seems to be hurting like I am. To read those sweet words, that it’s okay, that it takes time, that there isn’t anything wrong with me brought so much peace to my heart! And turning my why questions into what questions is what I have been trying to do, because it doesn’t make sense and the why’s only make me hurt more. Thank you, both of you, for your words and heart.

    • Proverbs 31 online bible studies team says:

      Hi michelle,
      I am so Sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. This sentence is exactly perfect, taking time , it may take a long time and yes there is nothing wrong with you…sending you a big hug. God bless

  142. Looking forward to learning more through the personalizing of the scriptures!

  143. Andrea Stansbury says:

    So many times I have asked why… but I also know that sometimes God speaks when we aren’t really looking for it. a story that I love to tell was from my college years… I went on a Women’s retreat in April of 1993 with the BSU. During that retreat one of the women shared how the first time she saw her husband the first thing that came to her mind was “This is the man you are going to marry” now this guy was not her type at all… they started a friendship writing letters back and forth as they lived a ways apart… and eventually they started dating, and got married. Well the following Monday (April 5, 1993)I am rushing to class (Chemistry if I remember correctly from strength training) and these two guys I knew (we weren’t friends but we hung out in the Methodist center from time to time) were walking in front of me. I remember looking at the back of one of the guys and clear as day I heard “THIS IS THE MAN YOU ARE GOING TO MARRY!” I stopped dead in my tracks… laughed it off as the power of suggestion… no way… heck if I had to be perfectly honest here the guys scared me… he was a very big guy (over 300lbs… probably pushing 400) and he stared at me (A LOT!!!!) (which made me nervous as at the time I was a tiny twig of a girl 125lbs, size 5… not I could leg press about 350 back then… but all my strength was in my legs.) so I went on about my life… heck there was a guy that was the brother of a friend at work that I really liked a lot…. The big guy asked a mutual friend if she could get my number for him right before summer time… I told her no… asked her to say something like my parents didn’t want me to get calls from guys (all she told him was I said NO.) One day the big guy walked into the pet store I worked in and I pointed him out to one of my friends at work and said “That’s the guy that keeps asking me out” She asked why I didn’t say yes… what was the worst that could happen? So I decided that next time he asked I’d say yes.
    anyway… that was a rough summer… his dad died (I remember seeing the obit in the paper and was sad for him) and I came close to getting raped by the guy that I really liked… So when the fall arrived and it was back to college I told myself this year… I am all about school I am giving up completely on guys all together…
    One day I am sitting in the Methodist center talking to another friend about some glamour shots pictures I had had done the year before… the big guy overheard us and said he’d like one (by the way he’d never tried to ask me again after I decided to say yes) So the next day that I saw him I had not one but 4 pictures, with my full name and phone number written on the back of each and gave them to him. (the date October 5, 1993) he was confused, but that afternoon at lunch (the Wesley(Methodist) Center had lunch on Tuesdays) as we were sitting there eating and listening to the speaker, I leaned back into him, and he put his arms around me for the first time… I knew in that moment that I had found home… from then on that was and still is my safe place.

    • Proverbs 31 online bible studies team says:

      Hi Andrea!
      Thank you for sharing your story! I loved reading this and seeing how God worked in your lives! God bless

  144. Aimee Bartis says:

    When my kiddos ask why over and over I grow weary. I know that GOD does not grow weary of me. But I don’t want to have a doubting spirit. I want to give myself time to grieve then accept GOD’s direction and prepare for what’s next. And I can look back on my ‘whys’ and see GOD was protecting me from something. And for that I am always thankful. Thankful that GOD is GOD and I am not. That he knows every hair on my head and has a wonderful plan for me.

  145. judy ruggiero says:

    Hi all, O- instead of why, because Gods ways are different then our ways, we ask what should we do now Lord? We as k why because we want to understand, because we dont understand. I never thought to ask what now God. That is better. So we pray and read the word looking for an answer. B- i liked personalizing, i pray Jeremiah 29:11 alot. It means more when we truly believe that God is talking directly to us. S-I need to know who i am in Christ and who’s I am, everyday. Thank you for this study. Amen

  146. Thanks so much for the Personalizing Scripture list! What a great thing to do! 🙂

  147. Gail Carter says:

    The time that “Why?” was my response was when after 43 years of marriage to a minister, I was given a relayed message from my spouse saying, “I’ve gone to Florida…I won’t be back.” After the initial shock came a numbing feeling then the questioning began. The next Sunday came and I had no money so I walked to a church up the street from my house. Amid a congregation of people I felt so alone. It was during a congregational led prayer I lifted my head and looked up to the heaven and the sun light flooded through the stained glass windows leaving a golden glow above. It was then God spoke, “You are not alone. I will never leave or forsake you.” From that time on I had a sense of peace and comfort amid the turmoil. Thank you God for being so faithful.

    • Proverbs 31 online bible studies team says:

      Hi Gail,
      I’m so sorry to hear about this tragedy in your life, but praise God for his promises for us! Be blessed

  148. I am really deliberately trying to switch my why to what instead. In health issues I find it so very trying. With news of so many dear ones battling cancer why is the first question. With financial problems, anxiety with children with isolation ,,,I ask why instead of what a god do you want me to see or do..lord even where are you a God would be better then Why!! Leaves me frustrated and more stressed out. Thank you for this chapter

  149. Observe: yes Bible: I love to personalize scripture! Romans 15:13 spoke the most to me today! Stretch: Instead of asking why I had to feel and go through all this pain, I will ask what can I learn from it instead. Who can I help?

  150. Why. Why doesn’t my son care about his grades when he is so smart and he will be a senior next year? Why can we not help him understand that he needs to do well in school if he wants to go to college? This seems minor but it has always been a struggle for us with my son in some area his entire life. We have never been able to encourage him or motivate him to change some of his bad habits and lack of interest in whatever it may be. It’s like pulling teeth with him every single day. So. I guess I should ask, what now God? What do we need to do to help him? Help us see the direction we should lead him that will be within the plan You have for his life. I need a good dose of wisdom with a side of patience sprinkled with a little hope. I love Jeremiah 29:11-13. I have verses 12 & 13 on my bathroom mirror. It truly speaks to my heart. Thank you for the reminder to seek Him for hope in whatever situation and quit asking why.

  151. brenda stover says:

    Oh yea!!!! Thats a first response…. I usually say that and then turn to what. What did I do? What happened..then I jump to why…cause I’m just not patient…….? I’m working on it..

  152. My husband and I went through a season of asking “why” a few years ago. We went through close to a year of fertility treatments, had a miscarriage, and then two failed adoptions. It was a hard time for me. But looking back, we are able to see that God had a plan for our family. And now we have 3 beautiful children!

  153. Krystle Luz Cintron says:

    Observe: 3/14/14-4/9/14 was the time when asking “Why” was the wrong question for me. The first date was when we found out my mother had stage 4 lung cancer (this is the first time I’ve actually written it out) and the last date was when she went to be with the Lord. It was too early in the diagnosis for them to be sure so we had to wait. The dates in between the dashes had (ohhh emmm geee Lysa’s dashes!!! I think I get the dashes now) been difficult as Moses was only 3 months into his recuperation from the stroke so I don’t know why but I just knew in my heart that it wasn’t the time for me to start asking “why.”

  154. O – 1996 was my year of asking God why a lot! In July I found out my dad had sexually abused two of my older systems for a number of years. In September my dad died and neither of my sisters were able to talk to him and ask him why he had done what he did. In November my husband of 17 years filed for divorce. My question was always, Why God did you allow this to happen? Looking back on it now, I can say that 1996-1999 were the years that my faith grew the most but they were also the hardest three years of my life. Somewhere along that timeframe I did change the why question to What are you teaching me now God? and thing take on a different perspective when you ask what instead of why.
    B – I love personalizing scripture and Jeremiah 29:11-13 is one of my favorites.
    S – Today I rarely ask why and usually ask What now God and What are you trying to teach me?

  155. Heather McManus says:

    The “why’s” in life have been a part of what prevented me from seeking a religion and a relationship with God. My family wasn’t religious or church-going, and I often doubted that there was even a God because of all the hurt and hate I saw in the world. How could there be a God if I had to ask questions like “Why did that baby have to die?”. “Why do terrorists have to kill innocent people?”. “Why are sick people created who shoot and kill innocent 5 years old while they’re in school trying to learn?”. But I recently had a baby- and let me tell you that that whole experience proved to me right then and there that there is a God, and He is amazing. I am now in the process of reading the bible for the first time in my life- I have yet to start going to church, and am still trying to figure out what scripture means to me and how I can apply it to my life. I’m trying to now view circumstances in my life and in the world as learning experiences- What does God want me to take away from this? In what way does God want me to help in this situation or crisis?

    • Proverbs 31 online bible studies team says:

      Hi heather,
      Thank you for sharing your testimony, I am so glad you are starting to read your bible. We are honored you are joining us for the bible study. Keep searching and God will lead you. I said a prayer for you to find a bible believing church that will help you in your walk with the Lord. One that will surround you with kind Christians to fellowship with. Although we live in a fallen world , hence all the evil we see, God is still in control and has a great plan for you and your family.

  156. All too often in life I have had more whys than what ifs…..in every situation I have realized after the situation ended that when I moved from “Why” to “What if” or “How” or “When” He has ALWAYS been sufficient!

  157. I ask God why sometimes. Most of the time I just learn to accept whatever is happening in my life. I’ve asked why when I’ve had a couple of my loved ones taken but then I think I’ve somewhat have become immune to feelings. I have learned to just accept whatever is happening.
    I had this vision or thought the last couple of months. From the day we are born our goal in life is to get to heaven. In the process of all this happening we are to be Christlike. So I’ve stopped worrying so much about the future, or saving a whole bunch of money or preserving things for later in life. Because later will one day come and we will no longer walk this earth, but we will walk with Jesus. I recently told my husband that I was going to live life better. Give more meaning time, money, and food. I want to use the things that we have and not preserve them because you never know when tomorrow will not be here. My goal is to get to heaven and I’m learning to not sweat the small stuff. If I have money, I give it freely…… If I have time to help, I do! God has blessed me with new way of thinking and I have found a new love for life!

  158. I ask “why” every single day. My life is more than complicated I blame myself for things that I have no control over only God does. I am so tired of trying to find answers and dig out from being worried all the time. I am in a situation where the things that I worry about my family, finances, brain surgery, keeping a roof over my head. I try to negotiate with God but I am slowly learning that doesn’t always work. I am not a very good wait and see what happens next person. I will pray and beg for some answers. I try not to let it consume me but a lot of times it does. I am so tired and wonder if there is any hope left.

    • Proverbs 31 online bible studies team says:

      Heavenly Father,
      I lift my sister Lisa up to you in this moment to give her a sense of peace and hope. Help her to not ask why but rather to know there is a purpose to her pain. Relieve her anxiety about finances, family , health, and any other concerns she may have. Give her peace that passes any understanding and help her to feel your love. I pray and ask this in Jesus name. Amen. Lisa we love you. God is with you.

  159. My “Why” moment came when my Mother was hit by a car & 4 days later was taken from us. I had always been overly attached to her & been her caretaker, my poor little broken bird! Half of me fied with her & although I couldn’t cry (& some family members thought that meant I didn’t care); it actually took me 8 years to heal from losing her & I was never to be the same. But although I questioned God, I feltHis deep protection surround me hours after the tragedy. A spiritual protection of my life & heart I’d never imagined! He got me through! I was a little soldier for everyone…it made my Dad burst into tears to see me! Be never cries. Why did God take my Mother & heal someone else almost simultaneously? I’m a Prayer Warrior that wanted to know why. Eventually I just accepted His wisdom & plan over mine & healing came…slowly!

  160. The biggest time in my life when I asked God why was when my oldest went to college-and then went his own way for a time. I felt like a failure as a mom and asked “why?” because I had put all the right things into this child-love, time, sacrifice, prayer, bible study, youth group, going to church, etc, etc., etc.! And yet I didn’t get the result I expected-a kid who walked the straight and narrow and did all the right things. And as Lysa says in Chap. 12, it took me time to wade through the hopelessness and sense of despair. In fact, I drowned in that sea for a time-my heart lost hope, became fallow ground, and really died. When a child goes wayward, it’s really like grieving the loss of that child. I didn’t want to feel pain anymore so I thought feeling nothing was better. I really didn’t intentionally stay there in that sea of hopelessness, I just didn’t know how to get out-I was praying, reading the Word, hoping, but just didn’t find peace. And then, after too much time and the realization that God had so much more for me, I simply asked Him for a desire again-a desire to know Him more fully and to experience life, hurts and all. And He so graciously met me there and slowly brought my heart back to life. He has revealed much to me through this time-“no person (my children included) will ever fill the cup of a wounded empty heart.” My children won’t be perfect even if I do all the right things-my desire instead is that they come to fully depend on Him for everything and walk with Him intimately. And I’ve been given hope, only through seeking Him and solely relying on Him for my contentment and fulfillment.
    This study has really brought theses past few years of struggle full circle for me. It has really solidified all God has been teaching me. Thanks so much for making it available!

  161. Ashley Lambert says:

    O: My why story is from my first marriage. I was married and thought we would be happy ever after! However, when I decided to go back to school to become a pharmacist, he could not handle his wife potentially earning more than him. He had an affair and we divorced.

    B: Jeremiah 29:11-13 – “For I know the plans I have for you Ashley, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper Ashley and not to harm Ashley, plans to give Ashley hope and a future. Then you, Ashley, will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you, Ashley. Ashley will seek me and find me when Ashley seeks me with all of Ashley’s heart.

    S: I have to admit in the middle of my divorce, I asked why a lot. I just couldn’t understand. I never had any idea I would get divorced and was extremely hurt by the betrayal. Now, almost twenty years later, I think I know the what and the why! When we got married, we moved to his home town. I didn’t know anyone but his family. I was very fortunate to make a close friend with a coworker. We were very close and to this day are the closest friends. She was a source of constant support through my divorce and going to pharmacy school. She never let me give up. She was also the one who introduced me to my second husband. She was the first person to know I was pregnant with all three kids. And after many years of living in different cities and states, God brought us to within 1.5miles of one another again. While we never grew apart, it is so very awesome to have her so close. During all of that, I strayed from my walk with God. But here is the best part!!! Her example of her faith and walk with God that she found a few years ago was the nudge back to God I needed. Now, we are going through OBS together and meeting to chat about them together. God is so good! Had I not married my first husband, I would never have met her and have her in my life. I was supposed to marry him so I could find my friend so that she could set me back on the path to walking daily with my Savior!!! God knew that plan the entire time. He knew he would allow me to proper through it. He knew I would seek Him again and He is here with me and it brings such joy to my heart! God is so faithful even through the difficult times.

  162. When I think about asking “why?” I have learned and still remembering “why not me?” I remember the sacrifice Jesus made for me and the sufferings He went through for me (us). Knowing that what I suffer will never be as severe as what He endured to save my soul.

  163. What a wonderful message and I cannot wait to share it and let it minister to the hearts questioning why but to let them understand it is ok to ask God just that.

  164. I’m in a “why time” right now. I’m dealing with health issues and despite many trips to the doctor and lots of testing, waiting, etc, I still have lots of questions and no real answers. I have pain, fatigue, abnormal labs, but still no diagnosis and no treatment plan. My still unknown illness is interfering with my ability to function well on a daily basis and I want to know WHY!!! I am truly mourning the loss of my health and at times it feels overwhelming and scary. This chapter is so timely for me. Lysa’s quote “It takes time. It takes wading through an ocean of tears … It takes prayer. It takes making the decision to stop asking for answers and start asking for perspective” really hits home for me. I’m trying to give this to God. I know this is in His hands and I trust Him to guide me and my doctors on this journey.

    • Proverbs 31 online bible studies team says:

      Hi Debbie,
      Praying for peace and comfort as you trust in God and wait on his plan regarding your health. Be blessed

    • Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies Team says:

      Debbie, praying for His healing and many blessings for you during this time. That the doctors will have wisdom and you will feel God’s presence and see His glory in this.

  165. Wow!!!! I love Proverbs 31…you make it easy for me to learn new skills when studying the Bivle. For instance in today’s post you had a “click here” that told me how to personalize scripture with Melissa. Boy that was a huge help for me with today’s post. You guys R O C K!! But of course JESUS is the rock… Thanks for all you do for all of us out here in cyber-land.

  166. My why moment came to a head last year. My older sister was a bully, in charge and expected everyone to follow her demands. I kept quiet all my life until she started to chastise my kids for not doing things as she thought they should be done. The first time, 5 years ago, I was able to finally overcome. The last 2 years with her bullying my daughter during her wedding planning and then another family wedding where my daughter was asked to be the matron of honor…. it just was too much. I cut off our relationship. I am praying to God to let me know what His plan is now. I believe He did tell me a couple of weeks ago that this whole experience was not about me but about His need to “wake up” my sister. That she needed to learn to keep her mouth shut and not continue to hurt all the people in her life. She has told everyone she can about our “falling out” and most reactions are that is “how she has been all her life” (saying mean things). Shame on all of us for not stepping in sooner with love.

  167. O – Looking back I can see many times where “why” was the wrong question! The mistakes of the past can’t be undone but I can choose to change my perspective from now on. “What next Lord?” will be my new response.
    B – Great verses! The one that is speaking the loudest to me is Micah 7:7: But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. It tells me that I need to be patient and wait for God’s guidance in His own time not mine. God knows best. S- Right now I am trying to decide how to help my sister who is having a few problems. I will pray for God’s guidance and wait for his reply. He will know the path I should take.

  168. I ask God so many times why? my husband left me for someone younger and it really hurt me for him to done that ,but it wasn’t all his fault but God has really made my faith so much stronger ,I started going to Church every Sunday ,and Wednesday’s too,so maybe that’s my what is for ,had he not left me I probably would never had started going to Church ,but I would hope I would though ,things do happen for a reason,my faith is stronger now I relied on God so much .

    • Proverbs 31 online bible studies team says:

      Hi Janet,
      I’m so sorry for your painful loss. As a single mom going through an unwanted divorce the pain of betrayal is heart wrenching and something I can relate to. Keep focused on God and stay in church, surrounding yourself with godly women and friends, focusing on what God has planned for you. Sending a hug. We love you

  169. I am a “why” person. One of the times I found myself asking why was after my miscarriage and infertility struggles. I found myself asking God all the time, “why me?”. Later (much later) I realized that through that awful, difficult time I found myself closer to God than ever. He used that 2 year struggle as a way for me to grow with him.

    I still find myself asking why about this often. Especially when I see or hear of people who have babies who do not care for them or abuse them. I still find myself asking God “why can they have babies and it was so hard for me?” or “why did I have to loose my first baby and these women can have healthy babies and not take care of them?’. I’m sure this will be a lifelong process for me. However, I know God has a plan and he blessed me with the most beautiful baby boy 15 months ago.

  170. For the last 2 weeks (really 2 yrs) God has telling me to get disciplined, get a schedule and stop trying to be everything for everybody. Then when I fail I ask “why didn’t you bless my plans”. Then our loving father says “I know the plans I have for you” I then pout and eventually see it his way. Everywhere I turned this week he has told me to rest, say no and to get my house in order. Just as I was planning to do more this email came. I’m currently pouting as I type this but I know there is a greater hope to which He’s calling me and it’s not an overcrowded to do list. Pray for me as I start today prioritizing and being obedient to Christ. I mean it, pray for me. ?

    • Praying for you! It not easy to lay down our own plans to take up the Lords, even when we know His plan is best. But it’s oh so worth it as you know.

  171. I clicked on all the verses listed and put my name in those verses. It really blessed me. Thanks so much!

  172. This is really what I needed to hear. I will ask what not why!

  173. Replacing “Why” with “What”….what a great way to approach a situation. It’s so natural to ask why, but it’s so true that if God told us why we probably wouldn’t like the answer. It’s in those moments we have to trust Him. To remember that His plan is perfect no matter how confusing and hurtful it seems to us at the time. I love Romans 15:13….I never notice this verse before but it is beautiful. To be filled and abounding in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit….just beautiful. I plan to use this new way of looking at things when I talk with others who are going through hard times.

  174. Today I can very easily ask why! I’ve been sick with a bad head cold and asthma since Tuesday then yesterday I couldn’t walk without a great deal of pain due to a muscle spasm in my lower back. Tomorrow I was supposed to attend a daytime retreat and after church in the evening gather a few women together to pray for a couple of women’s events that we’re having in April. So I could very easily ask why. Instead I asked what can I do with this down time, as well as rest. So when up to it have spent time in his word and going over Bible Study stuff and devotionals. I contacted one of the women in our prayer group to gather the women together. I contacted the woman in charge of the retreat and offered if anyone could benefit by taking my place at the retreat who otherwise might not be able to afford it. So I’m accomplishing what I can in the circumstance that I have been placed in at the. Moment and praise Him as I know he has plans to prosper me. Praise him that I know he heals my physical, emotional and spiritual self. Praise Him for being who He is!

  175. O – this is just what I needed right now. Just two days ago I find out about some sin in my son’s life, and until I read this post right here, I was busy being caught up in the why.

    B – it is the Lord that goes before my son and me. He will be with us, he will not leave us or forsake us. I will not fear or be dismayed. Deut. 31:8

    S – I am asking the Lord what now Lord? Where do we go from here? Show me how to respond and how to guide my son according to your purpose.

  176. I had a health scare last fall. Naturally the why’S started creeping in. I had picked up a little blank book with wisdom written on the front. I started writing out any bible verses that I found uplifting and inspiring. This helped me greatly. My health is fine now,but I turn to that book often still.

  177. Dina Janke says:

    I am a why girl. I ask too many whys…but I can tell you that every time I do replace my why with a what, it always is a game changer for sure. It completely changed my marriage going from a why to a what attitude.
    Right now I have a situation that I could sit and ask why all day long but at the end it will not help solve it, so I choose to ask what…what can I do to help this situation. The why never brings any comfort or peace, it just brings discontent, hanger, pity, etc…the what brings me strength, wisdom, courage, etc. I strive to be less of a why girl and more of a what girl…not an easy thing but the right thing for sure.

  178. Observe – When I felt I had to leave my husband, I didn’t know WHY that was happening. Now, 3 1/2 years later, we are back together and the question really was WHAT – What was I supposed to learn from that experience. We both learned a lot and are now happier together than ever.
    Bible – ” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer 29:11
    Stretch – I will be intentional in asking God WHAT he wants me to do next, or learn now from this experience.

  179. Cheryl Hertan says:

    I know 13 years ago when I was diagnosed with Breast cancer, I didn’t ask why but God how do you plan on using this. But there have been many times (financial struggles, family issues, loss of friendships….) that I have asked, even cried out, Why? My goal is to recognize God in my struggle at the beginning (instead of in hind sight) and ask what are You doing here and how can I join You? Fortunately God is patient with this work in progress, me!

  180. Observe: I decided to leave my stable, benefits-package job a few years ago because it was a toxic environment and ultimately was not a career path I was much interested in. I thought it would be a chance to do something I was truly passionate about and help the community. The thing was, I was so focused on trying to find my “forever career” that I became paralyzed. It was during this time that I kept asking God “Why” he led me astray, rather than asking him “What now?” and trusting in him. I was finding that I was focusing on what I “should” be doing, and missing the opportunities God was setting before me because it wasn’t the traditional 9 to 5 job that is deemed a success in society. When I stopped to ask God “What am I to learn?” and “What am I to give?,” I found that I was learning about myself in a more spiritually way, as well as being called to mentor a young boy who eventually was removed from his home. It was during this time that I felt God was talking to me, showing me that this non-traditional job I was led to had a more meaningful purpose by being able to walk alongside this boy through the transition and be able to provide a sense of stability for him.
    Bible: These were all such wonderful verses. I thought that Jeremiah 29:11-13 most reflected where I am with my journey to find purpose in my works. Here is my personalized version: For I know the plans I have for you, Ashley, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, Ashley, plans to give you hope and a future. Ashley, you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Ashley, seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart.
    Stretch: I will keep this in mind this weekend and try to be more intentional about asking God what, rather than Why.

  181. When my ex-husband walked out on me and our three daughters I wanted to know why? Why wasn’t I good enough? Why was the other woman so perfect? Thankfully a wonderful Christian counselor helped me to see that I will never know the why and the answer doesn’t define me. Years later I am happily married to a wonderful man and we have such a beautiful relationship. I’m so glad I chose to walk with God through all of this and forget about the why. My relationship with God is so much closer than it ever use to be.

  182. I will be doing my best to turn my Why’s into What now God. Thank you Jesus. On the video that Lysa did, I really enjoyed what she said. The one thing she kept repeat was “Thanksgiving moves the heart of God”. What a awesome verse. Just thanking and praising him for everything in good times and bad times. Thank you Jesus.

  183. Denise williams says:

    I always ask Why? Why this? Why does it have to happen like this? its why, why, why?
    then i turn it around and say God help me with my Why’s and then He puts it to me that is the way
    it should be..thats Why? Asking Why all the time makes me think that our God is so powerful to give
    us the direct answers to those questions. if we didnt ask God Why then we wouldnt be able to know the answer
    to those questions.
    i also look at it that God gives us the Whys for we can look more into His word and discover what we need to answer those Whys.

  184. The Lord showed me years ago that asking questions was not a lack of faith but an example of how strong my faith can be when I am looking to God for the answers and not man. Even when the answers I get are not what I want – they are still God’s answers and that is good enough for me.

    • Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies Team says:

      Amen Janet. Yes, how we need to learn the lesson to look to Him for the answers, and to bring Him the initial questions. Blessings to you…….

  185. Sandy Sweet says:

    Yes! When I started hearing God’s voice and feeling like I needed to leave my job at the church, my first response was why? Why me? I knew my job! I knew the church! I knew the people! Why did I have to go?!
    Once I understood that God was calling us out of the church, my “why me God” changed to “what do you want us to do? Where do you want us to go? How do you want us to serve?” His first thing for us is to REST! We have been so busy, we never took time to rest. As we rest, we are seeking His voice and being fed for the first time in a very long time. I know that He will plant us in a church He wants us in and we will once again begin to minister in the areas He is calling us to.

  186. I wish I had a shift in attitude last year! Instead of asking “why” when a family relationship became strained, I should have been asking, “what” I could learn from the situation. But grace and mercy abound and I have an opportunity to see this family member in a few weeks– so I’m so thankful for the new perspective the Lord has given me regarding the situation.

  187. I have a really bad habit of asking”why” and I’m trying to get better about asking God to change my perspective if my circumstances are not meant to change right now! It’s hard to remember, but he has a perfect plan for us and his ways and thoughts are higher than ours so we have to trust that he’s using us for good whenever we are in a sea of struggle!

  188. When my mother got Alzheimer’s disease, asking why was not very helpful. However, pondering what God wanted me to do was very helpful. Everything fell into place so that I could retire and take care of my mother. I believe it was providential. Taking care of my mother was mutually beneficial for both of us. Despite the sadness of seeing her decline, I was blessed to be with her to the very end.

  189. 8 “The Lord himself goes before Karen and will be with Karen; he will never leave Karen nor forsake Karen. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

  190. Cleasa McLain says:

    I have played catch up today with last week and this week and my heart is so full of love & hope that I can have a better attitude. I have had read so many things that I really really needed to hear. I learned years ago to not ask why after a good friend was murdered in her home. I was mad at God for a long time but my mother was finally able to get in my head that sometimes things happen and we may never understand why. I learned to ask what can I use from this experience to help others or myself to have a closer walk with The Lord. This is the first Bible Study I have actually been able to almost keep up with and I haven’t given up on it. I have learned so much and I Thank You Proverbs 31 Ministries for blessing me so much.

  191. Observe – One time when asking ‘why’ was the wrong question was coming to terms with being an alcoholic – until I stopped asking why I couldn’t admit or, more importantly, accept that fact and actually starting working a recovery program.
    Bible – I liked Deuteronomy 31:8 – “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” which has morphed into “God leads my steps and will be with me. I need not fear or become disheartened because He will never abandon me.”
    Stretch – I need to replace “Why does this person keep texting and calling me?” with “God, what do you want me to do about this situation?” I know I will get an answer, just have to remember it will be on His schedule, not mine!

    Everybody, have a great weekend.

  192. Cheryl O-Team Member says:

    I needed to hear this reminder today. I need to remember to ask, Lord, what do you want me to learn/experience during this instead of why is this happening. I am so thankful for Lysa and the Proverbs 31 ministry pouring into all of us!

  193. Mary O'Marra says:

    It was totally amazing when I was reading this. Just two weeks ago my baby sister was told that her cancer was back. Oh yes the but Why God I had prayed, my family had prayed she was doing so good, I told the Lord when she was lying in a bed close to death , I knew he would heal her no matter what the doctor had said.
    Which they told me take her home she is to far gone. I knew God had a different plan for her life and he did one doctor finally took her, did the surgery she went through a year of Chemo with not one but two ports in her body, she was just hammered with this drug for a whole year she was so strong and brave and we kept praying that God would heal her. At this time all she wanted was to live so she could be with her daughter who was dying of Huntington’s. Praise God our Lord got her better she was able to spend time my niece before the Lord brought her home. My little sister had struggled so with a sick child and another daughter that was younger feeling neglected because of her older sister needing so much attention it truly put a strain on the relationship. Now my niece has been gone a year, my sister just spent a wonderful two weeks with her other daughter who is 37 and has a five year old son and yes God healed that relationship it was just a miracle. We all just kept praising God for all he had done and now this her cancer is back Why now why when my sister is happy again why I thought you healed her I believed you healed her. Well now I’m not asking why, I’m asking the Lord please show me what you want me to learn from this. Praise God he is showing me he truly is I just have to be still in his words everyday worship him praise Jesus for what blessings he has already given my sister and know he will continue with his blessings no matter what because of Jesus I will and so will my sister always have joy and always will have the Love of our Lord rather
    on earth or in heaven with him. Thank you Lord for loving me, I praise you Jesus for forgiving me my asking you why. In Jesus name. Amen

    • Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies Team says:

      Mary, thank you for sharing your family’s story with us. Praying He will keep you all in His perfect care and peace, whatever may come. Many blessings.

  194. Brenda Love says:

    What a great lesson! I have not asked God why, since 1987. My best friend, Karen had just told me she was expecting her second child. How I longed to be a mom. I remember asking, “God, why can’t it be me?” In my heart, I did not mean instead of but along with her. However, the next day, she called and told me she had miscarried her precious baby. I immediately was reminded of my quick under the breath question to God and fell upon my knees begging for forgiveness. What I longed for wasn’t wrong, but having an attitude of “why” was wrong. Over the years, I have changed that to “why not me?” Who am I to think that the trials and life circumstances I have endured were not meant to draw me closer to Him? Early in my Christian walk, I would pray, Lord, help me to love like you. Help me to forgive like you. Help me to show grace, mercy and compassion as you do. Looking back, I see He has answered that prayer. I am in no way as loving, or forgiving, or able to show grace, mercy and compassion exactly like Him, but each day I lay my cross at His feet and ask Him to help me be more like Him.

  195. Kelsey Godfrey says:

    O: “WHY God is school so difficult for me, i want to give up.”, “WHY God would you allow this heartbreak and hurt in my life?”, “WHY God are letting me go through this alone?”. Man, if I haven’t said these at least 100 times…. It’s amazing, though, to see how my attitude has changed and even when we go through difficult seasons of our life, each trial is an opportunity to seek God and lean on Him and rest in knowing His perfect plans are for our good. For me, It’s all about remembering to trust in Him.
    B: Thanks for sharing these verses! I am adding a few of them to my prayer closet for reminders of His perfect unending love.
    S: It’s amazing the switch that changes inside me when I simply remember to not ask “why”, but to instead ask “what can I do to glorify You even through this situation God”? #LiveItOut.

  196. Some of the biggest struggles in my life caused me to shake a fist at God and ask why. But I found that until I began to ask what, I could not see what good He might want to bring from it. Those circumstances have caused some of the most profound growth in my life. I’m so grateful!

  197. Kristen Jackson says:

    O- WHY would she ever speak to me that way! WHY would you let them hurt my feelings! WHY do they treat my husband so differently than their other son?! These were all questions I asked myself after an argument with my husbands parents.

    B- I particularly liked the way I read Deuteronomy: God has paved a path for you and will always be with you. He will never abandon you even when you think he has. Do not be afraid! Have faith!

    S- I need to start asking God what he wants me to do about certain strained relationships that I have.

  198. Maggie Voth says:

    This was a great reminder to stop with the why’s. I have found myself overwhelmed lately with life, work, family, just everything! And then I start the not good comparison game. This has reminded me that instead of asking why all this is going on to press in to God and ask what He is teaching me through this. Thank you! 🙂

  199. O-When I asked why about past miscarriages, the what is that I really learned patience and wasn’t ready for kids back then, I needed more time to mature and become the parent my kids needed to thrive.
    B-I’ve been practicing personalizing scripture more and so glad I learned how to do this 🙂
    S-Instead of asking Why my relationships aren’t what I hope they would be I will ask What does God want me to learn and apply to improve them #liveitout

  200. Oh have I asked why! God answered, but not to the particular question I was demanding to know, desperately wanting to be relieved of my anger and deep grief, so I just did not notice that the answer He readily gave was there; I was simply shown another way of life that was filled with abundance, that I could just reach and take and gradually recover from my fall.

    When I finally realized that He already answered me, this “answer”, this realization, came pouring into my soul like crystal clear water, like lush green mountains and fields spreading deep into my being. His answer, without my asking for, provided me with what I needed – much much more than what my anguished and repeated ‘why’s asked for.

    I could do naught but be deeply grateful, and repent for my impertinence and ignorance.

  201. Elizabeth Irby says:

    O–When my 9-year old nephew was diagnosed with a life threatening illness, I asked, “Why?” After he received a bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy and radiation, the disease had progressed so quickly that he lost his vision, his mobility, and eventually his ability to eat on his own. For the last 15 years, he has been unable to see, in wheelchair, and on a feeding tube. During that initial season after his diagnosis, I asked the Lord “Why?” on so many occasions. Eventually I came to accept this was the way my nephew was going to be, and I became more thankful for his laughter, for his spirit, for the JOY he brings to everyone around him, and that he has lived so much longer than the two years the doctors predicted. Looking back I can see how my “why?” questions did draw me away from God, but I can also see how my honesty, vulnerability, and openness in sharing ALL my emotions with God–from the extremely bad to the good–ultimately brought me closer to Him.

    • Proverbs 31 online bible studies team says:

      Elizabeth
      I’m sorry to read about your nephew and his tragic health situation. I am so happy to read how God is working in your lives despite this pain. God bless

  202. Felice rodriguez says:

    O : when I ask “why” it never seems to be good for me.

    S : instead of asking why am I struggling in almost EVERY aspect in life I can ask WHAT are you trying to strengthen within me lord through my struggles.

  203. My “why” question right now has been fixated on “why our finances won’t improve”…today i changed my “why” to “what can I learn from our current financial situation Lord that You can use in me?”

  204. Why does life have to be so hard and after today’s reading I’ll be trying to remind myself “What’s this for” and “What’s next” waiting patiently.

  205. Candice Stauffer says:

    I’ve never been much on asking “why” when things happen, I seem to mostly just roll with it, for better or worse. But the comment on ASKING FOR PERSPECTIVE struck a strong cord in my heart. THAT will be part of my daily prayers now. Perspective – for every aspect of my life – it doesn’t just apply to when things “go wrong”. I’m very appreciative of this concept!

  206. O & S- I used to ask why quite often…why my 50 year old brother in law died of a brain tumor and why my best friend died of pancreatic cancer in the same year…I heard a sermon about a year after the passings, and it was clear that we may never know the answers to our why questions and if God did share the answer, it may not comfort us like we think it will. I love that Lysa shares that we need to ask “what now, God?” That is hard to do but God has a glorious plan for our lives and He does know best. Recently, I asked why regarding a work situation and my husband said, maybe God wants you to show His love and to be glorified through you at a public school…hmmmm, a what instead of a why…Thank you Lord. We can glorify God no matter what the situation is. I make this sound so easy as I write this but there are days when I leave work and would love to talk to my godly best friend who is now spending eternity with our Savior. I often times need to be reminded of Hope and the what now, God instead of the why
    B- I love Romans 15:13 and when I personalized the verse with my name, I feel as if God is speaking to me personally.

  207. This chapter was exactly the reminder I needed. My husband and I have been trying to get pregnant with our first child for over a year. I could easily be asking Why hasn’t it happened yet! We are getting ready to move to Tx sometime within the next year, and he just lost his job. I could easily ask why that had to happen now! But instead I choose to trust God and expectantly and patiently wait on His timing for our little family to start. And I trust that even in these circumstances, His plan and purpose will prevail and He is doing what is best for us now and in the long run! God is good all the time! And instead of letting the whys draw me away from God, I’d rather run right into His arms!

  208. I remember when my husband didn’t want to leave his job with the family company to better for our family I always kept asking why why why and just prayed every night that something would come along better. And that just wasn’t the right time for him to leave, he finally took the step away a year ago and is at a job that he truly loves and is closer to home. While he does work long hours he is truly happy where he is and I think it was jut God’s timing and I will never question it again. God does everything in his own time and he has a plan for us all and we need to trust his timing

  209. O – So many times I’ve lost hope and became bitter and angry, supposedly at others but deep down it was toward God. I felt like I was doing everything God asked of me yet relationships and jobs were still ending…I so wish now that I hadn’t wasted all that time and energy in asking why’s and instead had stepped up to the plate and asked God what he needed me to do now.

  210. “Why” seems to be the most used question by most of us, especially me. I think it’s human nature to find a reason for things that happen to us, especially bad things. I had a job opportunity offered to me that would have started after I retired. I was SO excited about what I thought was a dream job. After I retired, I waited for the job to materialize and it never happened. Then another opportunity came, and turns out that was WAY better than the other one; in fact, this job was at my church. I know God was teaching me that His timing is not mine, and His plans are WAY better than I could ever imagine. But it didn’t stop me from asking why during that uncertainty. The “what” turned out to be way better.

    • Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies Team says:

      Kimberly, thanks for sharing. Love your perspective on asking why, yet eventually getting to that “what”!

  211. Gloria Freeman says:

    For over twenty five years, I have battled an illness. There were times when it got really bad that I ended up in the hospital for weeks or at home for months because I was in so much pain. Many times I asked God “Why” crying hysterically. I was a single mom with two children who did not get much support from my ex-husband, so I needed to be well so that I could work and provide for my children. I couldn’t understand why I was ill. I was a very energetic person and I felt I had a lot to offer, but on the other hand, I felt robbed of my life. Even now I still feel that way sometimes because it hasn’t gotten that much better. Also my mother who was very supportive, got sick suddenly and passed away a few months later at the age of 56. It’s been fifteen years, but I clearly remember how angry I was with God. I prayed that He would heal her and I couldn’t understand why she couldn’t live. I was hurt for many years. Now I ask God what He has in stored for me. I know that He always had a plan for my life and no circumstance will detour Him from fulfilling His Plan. Now that I have surrender, I know that His Will shall be done because He promised that He will never leave me or forsake me. I am at peace now and so excited to see what God has planned thorough all my experiences. I not sure what it is, but I know it is beyond anything I could ever imagine. I Love You God!! Thank You for Blessing Me.

    • Wow, Gloria, in reading through your testimony I am struck by how much your perspective changed in your surrender. I can relate to a lot of what you’ve shared here and by the time I read to the end, I was praising and thanking God with you!

  212. O- My why questions have been on why does my past things keep happening to me, Why my Finances are not in order, Why this is happening to me? Why my worries, negative thought (suicide thoughts) are popping up? Will I find a way? After reading today passage, I realise the best thing to do is to replace the Why with What which makes sense on how to overcome the problem.

    Jeremiah 29:11-13
    11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. This verse seems to speak up to me and has always been in my mind since the day I first had about it.

    S- Instead of saying why lord, why my finances are in bad shape, Why this is happening? can replace with w Lord what is in your mind in regard to this issues, What can i do with my worries and fears over my life.

  213. Dawn Heasley says:

    I am in the middle if my whys right now. I just lost my husband to brain cancer and yes i struglle with “why”. Why did he have to get cancer in the first place? Why wasnt he healed from the cancer? Why am I living with my sin right now instaed of having my own house? I struggle but I know God loves me and I know he has my best interest at heart. I may never know the answer to my whys and I will have to learn to be ok with that.

    Dawn

  214. When my son was born prematurely 4 years ago, he was in the NICU getting bigger and seemed to be within days of coming home when we learned that he had a life-threatening infection. He would need to be transferred to a different hospital for tests, surgery, and 7 weeks of PICC line antibiotics. Not only was I terrified of losing my son, I knew that even if he survived, he would be staying in the hospital for 7 more weeks, which would include his first Christmas. During this time, his twin was still in the hospital where they were born and I wasn’t able to get to both hospitals every day. I have never asked God “Why?” more passionately than I did during that time. However, I quickly realized that knowing why wouldn’t help my son. Instead, I needed to ask what I could do to help him. I needed to be there to advocate for him. I needed to pray for his doctors and nurses. I needed to give thanks for the extended family who were visiting and holding his twin when I couldn’t. My son is still with us because one of his surgeons chose to stay late on a Friday night to repeat a test, searching for answers that would lead to the emergency surgery that would save his life. This was a doctor I had worked with, questioned, and prayed for all week. When I stopped asking why and instead prayed for what and who we needed, God answered my prayers.

  215. I needed this so much today. I have found myself asking why alot. Thanks for changing my perspective.

  216. I have even said to God, ” Can you hurry and let me learn what I need to so that I can get thru this trial.” the scripture I go to is Psalms 119:124 Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy and teach me thy statues. 125 I am thy servant, give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.

  217. WHY is a question I have been asking myself for the last couple of years. Changing it into WHAT NOW GOD is very freeing! I love this approach! I need some time to really process what this will look like in my life but I am excited about having a starting point 😀

  218. After I got cut from student teaching for the second time, I found myself asking why, but the answer wouldn’t come. It was only after I started asking “What’s next?” that I started relaxing and trusting that the situation would work out in God’s time.

  219. I often find myself asking “why?”
    Why is her life easier? Why is her husband so attentive and mine seems to not even notice me?
    Why does my nephew (age 2) have cancer?
    I am praying that God will remind me to ask “what?” Lord, what do you want me to learn from this? What do I need to change about myself? What do I need to surrender?
    “I need to make the decision to stop asking for answers and start asking for perspective.”
    Deuteronomy 31:8
    “The Lord is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”

  220. I recently had my heart broken by a wonderfully Godly man. I had thought God had plans for our future together and then all of a sudden it was all taken away. My first response was Why?!?. However, while crying “why?!” I instantly was overcome by peace. I could hear and feel the presence of the Spirit assuring me that this was part of His plan. I just had to trust. I got up and out of bed, wiped my crying eyes, and asked the Lord what now? Since then so many doors have opened for me. I have never felt so at peace and so happy. God closed one door but he opened so many more. He gave me peace and joy to be content with the life he’s called me to today. Even in the darkest moments we can always trust that God knows best and he has a perfect plan. Praise the Lord! 🙂

  221. My husband is about to graduate college and a job opportunity came across his email once and he ignored it because it was out of state. It came across again and we just asked “why” this state, school, etc. the hardest thing is knowing it is gods will and not what your plans maybe.

  222. Lauren van drunen says:

    For me, this echoes Lysa’s video comments from an early week about a perspective of managing blessings and seeing God right in the the middle of what’s around us. When I refocus on God always with me, peace and hope are the outcomes. “What are you showing me God? Open my eyes to see your desire for me in this, not the circumstance.”

  223. Bible-i would have to say the time I had a miscarriage!!! i
    observe- Romans 8:28King James Version (KJV)

    28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

    Stretch- I can stop asking why my daughter has the disabilities she does, and ask what can we do so she can have the best live possible?

  224. My ultimate why situation was my cousin taking his own life. He was 16 and I was 9. He was my world and on top of that I had just found God. Well needless to say I turned away and it 30 years too come home to Him. I now understand where I went wrong but I still think my path was paved by Him no matter how long it took me to find it. The verse in Micah speaks the most to me right now. I feel as though He waited for me and now I will always wait on my Lord for He will hear me. I think my what question would be “what do you need me to do to help others going through surviving a suicide”? I am waiting on His answer. Maybe nothing, maybe it was about me coming to terms or maybe it is about reaching out to others. All I know for sure: there is no why anymore.

    • Proverbs 31 online bible studies team says:

      Amy,
      I’m sorry to read about your cousin passing so many years ago. It’s great that you are trusting God to know how he will use your pain to be a blessing to others. God bless

  225. God’s timing is always right on…I actually found out this week that an eye condition I dealt with for many years and that I thought was gone is now reoccurring…I went through courses of medication, eye injections, a laser surgery and a surgery in each eye…I am 37 and I have cataracts from the steroid injections but I could deal with it because I thought the inflammation was gone after all of that 8 years ago…since then I have had two kids and life was moving on…i started having some of the same beginning issues and dr told me today that I have some inflammation again…immediately I ask why and start thinking ahead to what might happen from all of this…I also am reminded of Lysa’s story in chapter 8 with the long legged girl who suddenly found out she had cancer..how her blessing had another side to it…I am told often how pretty my eyes are…I appreciate the compliments but if anyone is envious they don’t know the other side of it…good and bad…however it got me thinking today that God gave me these eyes and I must be equipped to handle them…and this…and it reminds me that I can because of God….so my new question to ask is what now? And he pointed me to gratitude today…I am trying to focus on my blessings and trust in Him who gives me strength even through the unknown. The verse I personalized was Deuteronomy 31:8 and I replaced you with me: ‘The Lord himself goes before me and will be with me, He will never leave me nor forsake me. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.’ Perfect reminder for me…

  226. Yes I have said WHY GOD/ Why did my marriage fall apart? After many years of the craziness and I finally let go and after a lot of time. Then GOD happened and then I asked WHY? again. GOD placed Philippians 4:8 in my heart and melted it and now I have a very happy marriage to the person that tore my heart apart. After reading this weeks chapters I can ask What now GOD? I want to let God’s Glory shine through all the pain and letting go and now the JOY he has given me. Forgiveness is a two way thing. When you can truly forgive it will bring you great JOY.

  227. O; The Why’s come when I am choosing and doing choices I made and my choices are always with tough consequences, So I am always asking why couldn’t I hear from you God? And then kicking myself.
    S; Now I am learning and saying “What are you telling me God?”

  228. I lost my mom a year and 8 months ago and I have asked why a whole lot. I dont ask that as much anymore because it really doesnt help to ask why. Asking what now God is a much better use of my time. Thanks for the reminder. I hope I can say what now instead of why because I lived with my mom for 40 years and I really miss her but God has really been there helping me through this and he has been blessing me.

  229. O: YES! My company shut down in 2015 and I received an offer with the new company taking over the business. I wasn’t sure I wanted the job, but took it because it was a sure thing and everyone else had to look for something else. Everyone who didn’t get a job, got a hefty severance package (2 weeks for every year of service, my severance would have been 34 weeks of pay!!) I was so sad I had a job. WHY? are you leaving me here Lord? Why? It really needed to be more of a What is the reason you are leaving me here? And I think I see it more now, but then it was just a bummer!
    B: Added them all to my journal!
    S: it’s always possible to ask What? What do you want me to see here, Lord? What is my purpose? What are you trying to get me to understand? #liveitout Why asks for an answer, what seeks more than blames.

  230. When I was first diagnosed with MS I asked God why me. When things like this come so suddenly into your life I think most people would ask that question. I’d had my precious 5 year old granddaughter visiting for a few days, and I went to work, and all of the sudden, I felt funny and I couldn’t see my computer screen. I called my eye doctor, and ended up finding out I had a optic Neuritis, so badly in my left eye that I’m almost blind in that eye. After being sent to a neurologist and having lots of tests, I was diagnosed. Then, mine turned into a form that causes Scoliosis so severe that my spine literally collapsed. At the same time I was having a lot of marital problems also. But I didn’t give up. And I only asked why for a little while. Then l asked why not me? What is so special about me that I should be immune to life’s heartaches? Nothing. I know and believe that God lets these things happen to us for a reason. I’m so blessed. God has healed my marriage. Isn’t that just the most wonderful thing? We have been married 23 years. We were having very serious problems and God healed everything. We are both Christians. But it’s hard when one person has a disability. I still work full time but I have my limitations. This is one thing I know. Being happy is a decision you make every day. And I make that decision. I decide to love God, read my Devotionals, His Word, and put a smile on my face. And Jeremiah 29:11-13 has always, always been my favorite verse. Because I know the plans God has for me are to prosper me and not to harm me. And that God wants , really wants to give me a wonderful hope and a beautiful future. And that’s when I pray to God, I know He answers my prayers, not always yes, not always the way I want, but I know my Savior is there. He says when I seek Him, really seek Him, He will be there. I believe Him.

  231. Observe& Stretch
    : Asking Why
    When My Dad died I was 14 years old, he was the kindest loving man! We felt safe with him around.
    After his death somehow growing up I thought God was a punishing God and I knew to love someone
    Again would hurt. I finally realize something inside of me is broke, when it comes to love it’s a numb feeling always attached by me from so many betrayals. I have 3 children and a husband and 3 grandchildren
    I love the concept about asking for Gods perspective in all our circumstances, and I praise God for all the scriptures Lysa has shared in becoming more about the love of God (John 15:9 I am embracing the Love of God right now and the idea the my heart shape void belongs to him. My prayer is to move from a Lukewarm Christian to becoming more in my heart. And that god will heal and permeate my heat with his love.
    Bible: In this verse so much promise to Love me and not harm Teresa Glory to God
    Jeremiah 29:11-13 New International Version (NIV)
    11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

  232. Denise Renk says:

    The question why for me is why not me, if Jesus suffered and went through all that he did, who am I not to suffer.

  233. Asking what: Wow! This will help me so much through my daily life! I’ve always asked why. Asking what will help me in both good and bad. I typically don’t ask why when something good happens, but I don’t ask the what question either. This should be life changing if I practice it as I should.

  234. I am a “why” person! I like to know each and every step of ANYTHING (a plan, work projects, even cleaning…haha) I have this need to know all steps A-Z AND be on board with each and every step or it feels like I can’t function.
    So when my first husband died suddenly at 33 years old my whole entire “why” world crumbled!! There is no answer that any human can give that will satisfy this “why” only God can give you peace about this type of situation. I already know part of the “why”…I have not had to speak to my former in-laws in 4 1/2 years (just two months after his home going). I know this might sound cold but that is one huge blessing…they hated me from the very moment they found out about me nearly 8 years ago now. Also now my heart is very tender towards widows, that would not have happened on this level without going through it myself. While it was very difficult I would not trade it for another life!

  235. Sandra Munoz says:

    I remember when I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis (the horrid sister of Rheumatory Arthritis) and Fibromyalgia. I broke down on the phone with my mother in a 7-Eleven parking lot. Practically loosing breath from tears wondering WHY I had been chosen to suffer. WHY I had to be in pain for the rest of my life! I am learning now that this moment, these diseases have brought me ever closer to the Lord. Not only that, but here lately I have been speaking to the Lord saying… “Lord I know you put this illness on me because I am strong enough to take it and be the example to others! Just give me the strength to remember that and keep going!” Some days I still ask WHY when I am in a lot of pain but after the tears I say.. WHY NOT! Someone needs to know that you can work through these diseases even on your most painful day! Someone needs to know that they are not alone! Someone out there needs to know that my faith has been strengthened, my patience being tested but calmed, my tears fall in the hands of God and He strengthens me daily (even when I want to give up). I am to be a light unto someone elses path. I am to be the example of HOPE in a severely trying time! Now instead of crying WHY, I cry out give me strength to be positive voice in someone elses struggle! Amen!

  236. dianne booth says:

    WHY WHY WHY—so thankful God redirects my “whys” to “what”– His compassion are
    new every morning -when I am up at 5 and household sleeps on to 7– your great faithfulness
    meets me to allow my feeble praise of who You are and ushers me into Your Presence. Thank
    you God for meeting me where I am and You are my every present help in all circumstance.
    May Your character be reflected and may all I do bring honor and glory to YOU.

  237. Erin Morrow says:

    O- I have been working this year on asking what instead of why.
    It is hard but I am slowly making it a habit.
    B- Deuteronomy 31:8 Do not be afraid do not be discouraged.
    This goes perfect with my new habit I am trying to start.
    S-I have been having horrible dreams about my grandmother. Instead of asking why I am asking what k can do to help it. Turns out it just means spending more time with her.

  238. What is happening now Lord, I am sorry that I let outside influences make me question what you are doing, I took focus off you and became afraid. Thank you for the verses this morning and help me to wait on you and to remember your ways are not our ways, and your plans are greater than whatever we can dream or hope for. Help me to hold on and find my strength in you Lord.
    I ask for your peace that surpasses my understanding, give me joy and comfort as I wait on you, helping me to keep my focus on you Lord in Jesus name I pray,amen

  239. I struggle with this! I have always felt the need to know ‘why’. If I can see it/understand why, I can see hope and keep going. My life, as I have known it for 16 yrs, has fallen apart. I was diagnosed with RA, I have lost 3 very important people, my husband left me and I had someone who was close to my family steal most of my things. I have long given up asking why! This was great timing for me, yes Lord, what now! I can loose everything, but NO ONE can take MY God! I refuse to listen to the lies of the enemy, my God WILL NEVER leave me. I have come a long way in 5 years, thank you Jesus for your blessings every day!

  240. Kimberly Heffner says:

    I have experienced so much change lately…some good, much of it not..my heart hurts from many losses in the past few months. I love the quote from Deut. 31:8 and have been clinging to the promise that I can cast all my cares on Him and need not be afraid. I have been asking why a lot in light of all the change and loss but i’m seeing the wisdom of turning that question into “what”. What now or what next Lord? Knowing that He has my best in mind no matter what

  241. Observe: I have asked God so many times in different situations WHY? But never really felt that he was hearing me or understood my heartache. I think it was because I took my eyes off of him, and looked at the situation, tried to control the situation, which ended up a disaster.
    Bible: I love all of these verses, they are so encouraging and uplifting, just to know how much God loves me.
    Stretch: My Why’s! The only think that keeps coming to my mind is, 2 Corinthians 4:18, So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. The Lord gave me a verse back in 2011 when I was going through a very emotional time.
    Jeremiah 31:16-17 This is what the Lord says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded, declares the Lord. “They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your descendants.” declares the Lord. “Your children will return to their own land.
    So this tells me I don’t need to know why! I just need to trust in God, serve God, love God, give all to God and REST in his presents.

    • Observe: I have asked God so many times in different situations WHY? But never really felt that he was hearing me or understood my heartache. I think it was because I took my eyes off of him, and looked at the situation, tried to control the situation, which ended up a disaster.
      Bible: I love all of these verses, they are so encouraging and uplifting, just to know how much God loves me.
      Stretch: My Why’s! The only think that keeps coming to my mind is, 2 Corinthians 4:18, So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. The Lord gave me a verse back in 2011 when I was going through a very emotional time.
      Jeremiah 31:16-17 This is what the Lord says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded, declares the Lord. “They will return from the land of the enemy. So there is hope for your descendants.” declares the Lord. “Your children will return to their own land.
      So this tells me I don’t need to know why! I just need to trust in God, serve God, love God, give all to God and REST in his presents.

  242. Instead of grumbling about WHY my nurse manager treats me so disrespectfully, I have been changing my tune and asking myself WHAT if I just loved her and chose to not judge her. This has given me such fresh eyes to see that we are equal and both sinners in God’s eyes.

  243. #LiveItOut Proverbs31OBS
    Mary says: Hi yall, my step-brother took his own life @ age 21! on Dec. 20. I couln’t help but ask “Why & everyone around me did the same. As he died, we all felt like we died with him. I asked my Pastor ,”Why,” he said, dont ask “Why”. God knows why . That gave some comfort because God’s in Control, right? So now I read & begin to understand today’s study about the “Why” questions lead only to r hope dying & the” What now?” questions lead us to hope. I can now begin to move forward, to minister to my siblings & family in the midst of r brokenness & tragic devastion of losing r loved one so unexpectedly. I feel like I need to develop closer relationships with them more than ever before. Also share Gods Word with them more than ever before. Life is short. Death is sure. Sin the Cause. Christ the cure. We need to share Jesus’s Love more… rest in Him Thank U for today’s message! What a God send.?

  244. I’m currently struggling in my career since I made a career change three months ago. I’m asking “why”? are challenges arising and “why” am i going through difficulties with my colleagues. Instead I should be asking God what he can do through me to use me in my work place as a light of his Word.

  245. Observe — Is there a time when asking “Why” was the wrong question for you?
    Why is often where I start when I go to God in prayer for insight into a situation. But I can’t park with the “why.” I need to move to seeking His perspective and finding the good that can come from this place … which I probably won’t be able to see right away.

  246. First time doing an online bible study, good so far, looking forward to reading more!

  247. Wow I have fallen behind in the study and even in keeping up with the emails but today God allowed me to have a couple hours of time with him alone and how he is speaking to me through this! Especially through personalizing the scriptures. And Oh how I could use the Taming the To-Do-List. Actually I came home to an empty MESSY house and Christmas lights still up outside. I came home thinking I’ll read a couple of the emails and jump right on getting the Christmas lights down and the house cleaned before my husband gets home with our two toddlers. But God had much different plans. He showed to to say so what if the house is messy and who cares what the neighbors think that the Christmas lights are still up what is more important right now is spending time with Him!

  248. O-Amazingly, when I was first diagnosed with M.S. I didn’t ask why but what. Maybe it was because I was in so much denial that I couldn’t even feel my symptoms. Eventhough I was asking what, I wasn’t listening or waiting for God to answer. With time I’m learning to hear his voice and now it’s not a matter of why it’s a matter of how…how are you going to use this to touch other people with your glory.

    • Mary says : can so relate to this Holly this will surely give Glory to God by U going thru Ur M.S. situation. Trust in Him to help U minister to others who r going thru this similar trial. Consider this a blessing as U pray for Him to strengthen you & care for U. God opened doors of opportunity for me to be able to minister to others about my situation. I pray He will also Bless U ?

  249. Times I should of turned the Why into What questions would be with all my sons brain surgeries. I should of used those times as times of witnessing for he brought us through. Each and every time could of been so much worse but he recovered and has minimal residual difficulties. We are truly blessed so not Why but What. Very blessed this week with the entire study of praise and thanksgiving and guarding our tongues.

  250. Got a bit backhand this week but this was such a great teaching!!
    Turning our Whys into Whats is essential for being able to move forward and activating our faith and trust in God! and to not stay stuck in the deep hole of anguish and despair! Sooo important and yet so hard to do at times! What a blessing it is to have good christian friends with us at these times who can faithfully remind us to look up instead of down and ask What instead of staying stuck in the Why that we probably will never be able to answer until we meet with Him face to face! Thank you Lord for my faithful friends!!!! And thank you Lord for this faithful team of teachers and speakers who are sharing their hearts with us throughout this study!!! AMEN

  251. I have had a lot of why’s, first with the five miscarriages I have had, the last being in January 2015 that was so raw and painful for me as I was 44, finally decided I was okay with the three beautiful children I had, then found out I was pregnant on Christmas day and would have been due on my birthday. Secondly, many whys with the falling out with my parents over eight years ago when I was three months pregnant with my third child. Many whys and heartbreaking tears at that time, but my life has totally changed since then and has been filled with lots of joy, many deep faith experiences, and a closer relationship with my husband, which they were trying to tear apart. Love the Bible verses. they all spoke to my heart.

  252. Chargaile Askew says:

    Katrina, after I ready your blog last night (been a busy week and running behind), I took each of the verses you listed and wrote out each one making it very personal. I loved the feeling of assurance I felt after seeing my name in place of “you”. I really should practice this more often.
    As to the why or what question, I think it is easier as a human being to want to moan…why. What calls us to make action and we do enjoy the “woe is me” way of life.
    Great post, thank you.

  253. Anita Kuhlman says:

    Lord help me see the “what” you are working for good in my sons battle with his addiction.

  254. I’m late to the discussion, but my favorite answer when I find myself asking “why?” is found in a Rich Mullins song: I know it would not hurt any less, even if it could be explained.

  255. Observe — Is there a time when asking “Why” was the wrong question for you? Sometimes I think all I ever do is ask the wrong question. I need to consciously stop asking “why” and start asking “what” as described by Lysa.

  256. Observe — For a long time, I would ask God “why” when I was dealing with an anxiety attack and caught up in depression. The question I would always ask is, “Why won’t you get me out of this, God?” He didn’t answer me for the longest time because that was the wrong question. I finally learned that asking him, “What now?” would help me more and was better in line with discerning his will for my life. I’ve been able to recover and better handle anxiety since I started asking “What now?” instead of “Why.” It’s still hard for me to do but it’s becoming more of a daily habit and I’m healing from this.
    Bible — This was the first time I had read Micah 7:7. “But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my savior; my God will hear me.” What a gift to wait patiently on our Lord knowing He is there.
    Stretch — Instead of “Why is my husband having such a hard time at work?” –> “What do you want us to learn from this situation, God?” Instead of “Why do I keep having recurring worries about my health?” –> “What am I supposed to do next, God?”

  257. Observe – When my husband passed away suddenly 8 years ago, I did ask “why”, but because those around me so encouraged me in faith, I was able to grow to “what now”.

    Bible – Jeremiah 29:11-13 have been the verses that I most rely on.

    Stretch – I cannot say that “why” is not a question that I ask on occasion. But, I have learned that life is too short to not show love and caring to those around us.

  258. O: Currently is a time where I am tempted to ask why. I had to let the man I love go. He has a lot of healing to do from his divorce before we can have a healthy relationship. Was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I want to ask why isn’t it ok for me to be with him and help support him as he walks through that hurt. I now know it can’t be me. In asking what has revealed what the Lord has planned for me.
    B: Deut. 31:8 is what got me through church today. Right now it hurts to much to even look at him. I cry every time I do. Sitting at the same table with him was very difficult but I know the Lord is there for He has gone before me. He holds my hand and will not leave or forsake me.
    S: What the Lord wants from me is to let His light shine through me even in my current circumstances. this has allowed me to forgive his ex-wife for some of the things she has done to contribute to our break-up. To build a relationship with her inspite of my feelings.

  259. >> OBSERVE: There have been several times, in the past, when asking “Why” was the wrong question for me. In each of those circumstances, God had taught me that, instead of asking Him, “Why?” or “Why me?” I should be asking the question, “What do you want me to learn from this situation?” I am a firm believer that everything that happens in life, whether good or bad, occurs for a specific reason. With negative experiences, there are usually valuable lessons attached to them that God wants me to learn.
    I know that God is in control of my life, and He knows every single experience I will encounter on my journey through life. Because of this, I try to view my struggles as teachable moments from the Lord.
    God is faithful and such a caring Father! Although I will go through changes and transformations at different stages of my life, God will never change. He is the one constant source of truth in my life.

    >> BIBLE: When I personalized the verse, Deuteronomy 31:8, I sensed that this verse gave me encouragement and reassured me that God stays beside me and walks me through my circumstances at all times. Because God goes before me, walks in front of me, He knows what is going to happen and how things are going to play out. Even in negative circumstances, God is still with me. He hasn’t abandoned me or given up on me. In God’s eyes, I am not a hopeless case.
    One part of the verse that stood out in my mind was the last sentence: “Do not fear or be dismayed.” This verse commands me to have courage and not be intimidated by my circumstances. There is an implication that I should remain strong and not give up in the face of new or negative circumstances because God is still with me by my side, and He has not abandoned me to face my experiences all alone.

    >> STRETCH: I will try my best to be intentional to replace my “Why’s” with “What’s”. When my mind is so consumed by the circumstance that just occurred, especially a negative one, thinking about a “What” statement is usually furthest from my mind at the time. I pray that God will help me to turn my mind from a state of the “Why’s” to the “What’s” in challenging times and encourage me to focus on being proactive instead of reactive.

  260. Observe — Is there a time when asking “Why” was the wrong question for you?
    Absolutely, it was when I was younger when my Grandmother passed away. I was very close with her and I watched her suffer and her health decline as she dealt with colon cancer that spread to the liver. She went through chemo which was terrible to witness. When she passed I was filled with grief and anger. I asked God “why did You take her away?” This of course only lead me further and further away to the point where I actually was claiming to be atheist. I was so angry and I couldn’t understand the reason. Had I, at that time, shifted my questions it may have turned out differently. Fortunately through some unexpected means I found my way back, and while it still hurts I know it wasn’t God’s fault and I’m learning to respond differently instead of turning away in my struggles!

    B- Deuteronomy 31:8 – And the Lord, He is the One who goes before me. He will be with me, He will not leave me nor forsake me; do not fear nor be dismayed.

    S- Wish I had an example to share but I’m still working on applying this to my life. I plan on using this wisdom with my current struggles in my marriage.

  261. Sara Potter says:

    O- “Why?” Is the wrong question to ask when I’m one of the only singles at my church.

    B- My favorite verse this week was Romans 15:13- “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Even when our circumstances feel crummy, God is our hope, will fill us with peace and joy when we seek Him and His will in the situation.

    S- A why to what in my life is about God’s timing. I feel like I should be closer to getting married and starting a family, but God is allowing me to stay single in this part of my life. I am able to more fully participate in ministries of my church, and am readily available to friends and family in need. I am glad God has me where I am now because I feel like He’s been growing me a lot in the past year or so. I’ve been able to focus more on the things of God instead of other things, and I’m happy God has allowed me to do that.

  262. Great reads in chapters 10-12. I’m hoping to be able to create life long changes.

    O-During being divorced I had a LOT of why’s but it seemed the more I asked the more hurt I became. The papers were drawn before I even knew that he wanted to leave. There were no signs (I asked mutual friends and they had no clue either) we had a weekly date night, he was still acting married to me, I never knew until he handed me a letter saying he wanted a divorce, then told me he’d already filed the paperwork. 20 years, 4 children, and I got a letter…sigh….I know in the end of it all I’m better because of it. But I have to challenge myself not to keep asking why but turn it over to God. My life is fuller with Jesus in my life, full of joy, peace, kindness, generosity and love and because of my love for Him I can forgive my ex (even when I may be hurting by memories)

    B-Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill Shana with all the joy and peace as she trusts in Him, so that Shana may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    S-I’ve been working on changing why’s to what’s by not asking but taking the issue straight to God. God has the best plans for me and my loved ones. I just need to surrender to Him and rely on Him to give me the perspective that I need for any situation He puts in front of me.

  263. I have asked “Why” many a time. The verse from Jeremiah 29 though has been the verse I have sought—- to remind myself through the midst of whatever circumstance I am asking “Why” — That I find comfort in knowing his plans for me are not to harm, but to give hope and a future.
    This week lesson made me think that I am going to try and change my thinking ; Instead of thinking “Why?” I am going to ask “What am I to learn from this experience ?”

  264. O: It seems like asking “why?” is always the wrong question. I have heard that instead of asking, “why me, God?” we should ask “why not me?” My “why” is often wrapped up in pity-feeling sorry for myself-which is never a good thought train. I think what Lysa said about asking “what?” instead of “why”” was a great perspective. You can always assume you are going through whatever struggle you find yourself enduring for a “good” reason (Romans 8:28).
    B: “The Lord himself goes before you Liz and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid Liz; do not be discouraged.” (Deu 31:8)
    “And we know that in all things God works for the good of you, Liz, who love[s] him, who [has] been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
    “May the God of hope fill you, Liz with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
    “For I know the plans I have for you, Liz,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jer 29:11-13)
    “But as for me (Liz), I watch in hope for the Lord,
    I wait for God my Savior;
    my God will hear me.” (Micah 7:7)
    S: I’m in that sleep deprived, exhausted all the time, never seem to do anything but take care of kids phase of motherhood. Instead of asking “why can’t I get enough sleep” or “why can’t I ever get a break” questions, I’ve been sensing that there are some things God wants to teach me-how to be more intentional about my time, for instance, how to be more organized about my day, how to prioritize my marriage etc. I certainly have not arrived at the answer-but he is definitely molding me and shaping me through my circumstances and focusing on that is helping me not to get caught up in the “why can’t things be easier” sort of mentality.

  265. A few weeks ago, fellow OBSers and P31 were so sweet to encourage and pray for me as I shared my own story of loss and grief…and for so long struggling with the question WHY?!!
    With HIS grace, and y’alls encouragement, I have begun to focus on the WHAT NOW,
    and have found the confidence to begin to turn my “mess” into a “message” of hope and healing for others;
    Something that I believe HE has been calling me to do, but I was too afraid.
    I just mean to express my gratitude for the tools the this study, and P31 has given me on the path
    to #Becoming More.

  266. I have dealt with chronic anxiety, Ocd and depression since I was 10. From missing out on so many things, too humiliation for constantly backing out of social things, to having to drop out of a degree I had planned on doing since grade school and the list goes on I find myself asking why growing up and I woll admit I do it as an adult too. Why do I have to struggle with so much that is so easy for others, why do I have to be different than others. Or not handle stress well. It is hard when you struggle with something that affects you mentally and physically to not have days where you think why me God. I have always tried to be a good, caring hard working person. I love the idea of changing the why to what can i learn from this trial. What can I do from here. That might be the mindset I need to deal with work stress right now. It has been really tough lately. Thank you for this idea.

    I am able to look back on my struggles with anxiety as I have gotten older and can see that without the struggles I would not have my spouse, my two best friends, my job and the ability to be more sensitive to others. I still have alot to work on though when my stress is pushed to the limit and trust in God more and ask what not why.

    I really liked Deuterotomy my verse.

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