Isaiah 46:10b – Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish. (NLT)
The stories flooded in, and I couldn't help but wonder what God's purpose was.
A young man who struggled with epilepsy and other physical issues for his entire life dies in his sleep while having an epileptic episode. His mother finds him the next morning after he didn't show up for breakfast. Her life is changed forever.
Another young man dies in his sleep after having an asthmatic attack. This happens to be drug induced — a struggle he battled. His family now struggles to make sense of what happened and how such a wonderful young man could be gone forever.
A young mother and wife attends a youth rally as a counsellor. Something happened. Now she calls herself by another name, wants a divorce, and exhibits all types of strange behaviour. Her family is devastated.
As I listen to these and other stories, I normally hear another statement — "God has a purpose for everything" — a statement that gives the person comfort and helps them to work through their time of grief and confusion. But it is also a statement that turns some away from God. They ask, "Why would a good God allow such terrible things to happen?"
If everything God plans will come to pass as He decrees — if He does whatever He wishes — then how can I ever hope to understand … and what part, if any, do I play in His grand scheme of things?
Without a doubt, the Bible reveals God's decrees — His purposes. The Bible also reveals that God has a perfect and a permissive will. He decreed the world into existence and populated it with humans, animals, and plant and marine life. Within His decree for a perfect world where people would worship Him was the allowance for evil. He didn't create evil but rather allowed the possibility of it. Lucifer — along with many angels who chose to follow him — obliged with the evil, and influenced humanity to follow their course.
God permits because He has given human beings free will. With it, we can choose to serve Him or cast Him aside. Even when things happen within His permissive will — the bad things that we hear about daily — He can and will work good from them. He's a good God, and all His purposes match His character.
Regardless of what circumstances we confront, let us believe that God will bring good from them.
Prayer: Father, we thank You for Your matchless power that can take evil and bring good from it. We trust You to work out Your purposes for our lives. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "The Day Thou Gavest Lord Is Ended" (Lyrics)