It’s been a heartbreaking, faith snatching, goodness shattering week. Honestly, I wanted to bury my head in the sand and not tackle the horrible in the world like the killing of fifty souls in Orlando, but I knew I couldn’t just close my eyes. We’ve got to face these giants head on. We can’t ignore life around us. We have a purpose to fulfill.
We’ve been reading about “getting our brave on” in the Bite of Bread and “strengthening our faith muscles,” so let’s do it. Nothing can either strengthen us or deplete our faith like tragedy. I want to help strengthen us. Here’s a re-purposed post the Lord led me to for today. I pray it encourages you. I know many of you are facing loss and fear of your own.
Keep on believing in His goodness and plan for shalowm.
I was fighting with God.
“I don’t want to write about that!” I told Him.
Nobody wants to talk about pain and suffering being the will of God in our lives. But we live in a world where there is death and pain, hatred, and violence. How do we navigate these waters? Jesus told us He came to give us abundant life. But He also told His disciples to take up their cross and follow Him. And we know that the cross was painful.
The more I study, the more I am convinced that we must embrace both hardships and abundance, loss and gain, and trust they are for a greater purpose in our lives as the Lord prepares us for what’s next.
Honestly, I envision God’s control and sovereignty as a big picture sovereignty. I’m not convinced He orchestrates every good and bad ordeal, but I know that we will face trials and evil until we’re on the other side. I love these words from Hannah Whitall Smith who trusted that God had a good plan no matter what. Read her faith from the devotional, Streams in the Desert.
If I see God in everything, He will calm and color everything I see! Perhaps the circumstances causing my sorrows will not be removed and my situation will remain the same, but if Christ is brought into my grief and gloom as my Lord and Master, He will ‘surround me with songs of deliverance’ (Ps. 32:7). To see Him and to be sure that His wisdom and power never fail and His love never changes, to know that even His most distressing dealings with me are for my deepest spiritual gain, is to be able to say in the midst of bereavement, sorrow, pain, and loss, ‘The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised’ (Job 1:21). ~Hannah Whitall Smith
God chose Job to endure the enemy’s testing because Job was one of God’s favorites.I’m encouraged by this. We’re often tempted to believe God is punishing us when bad things happen–that’s what Job’s friends thought, but the story of Job proves differently. God trusted Job’s faith. He trusted Job would worship Him even when all earthly blessing was lost and his own health deteriorated.
Ultimately, in the process of the pain and suffering, Job saw God.
“My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. . .” (42:5)
How do we navigate these waters of hatred and fear? What do we do when bad things happen? We rise up to pray.
- Pray for our country
- Pray for the families who have lost loved ones.
- Trust God’s goodness and love, and be conduits of His love.
We got to pray. Grab my hands.
“Dear Father, thank you for being a God who loves us and has good plans for us. Lord, for my friends suffering today, please let them feel your presence. Strengthen them and open their eyes to see You in their circumstances. I cancel confusion, control, and self-pity in Jesus’ name. May our pain and sorrow bring glory and honor to you. Give us abundance even when there is nothing. You can do that. Amen.”Give us abundance even when there is nothing. You can do that. Click To Tweet
I’m giving away Streams in the Desert. (It’s one of my favorite devotional classics.)
Just leave a comment to enter the drawing. If you are new to my blog, sign up to receive posts by e-mail to get two entries! (Three if you are a new sign up and comment too.) I’ll announce the winner Friday, June 16!
“Come near to God and He will come near to you.” James 4:8
“I have told you these things to give you peace. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Jesus loves you,