Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Standing By A Purpose True"1 (Lyrics)
1 Corinthians 13:12 – Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. (NIV)
Earl Grey came to me after two other families had failed to collect him. He is a grey tabby, and he loves to get into everything. I have discovered him everywhere from inside my mop pail to inside a cloth bag that had been left on the floor. He is just a kitten that insists on being everywhere all the time.
The Lord's servant, Job, eventually discovered that this is also a trait of God, though amidst his horrendous suffering, he cried out to God, "Why do you hide your face and consider me your enemy?" (Job 13:24 NIV)
Job is confused by his suffering, wondering what he has done to deserve it. He also feels that God has left him, for he complains, "If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to His dwelling! I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. I would find out what he would answer me, and consider what he would say." (Job 23:3-5 NIV)
Sometimes, I have had the same thoughts and questions as Job when I read the morning headlines and see the suffering of the world. What is going on, God? Why are You allowing these things? Why all this suffering? What kind of God would say that He loves us beyond measure, but then treats us this way?
Yet, God is in everything. We cannot go anywhere that He is not. He knows the beginning from the end, and He is always with us, whether or not we feel or discern His presence.
So, as we read the headlines, let us choose not to dwell upon what we cannot understand, but to remember and know, like Job came to know, that God can do all things. No plan of His can be thwarted. The world is not out of control at all, because God is always in control. Let us also remember that right now, we can see only in part, but one day, we shall see clearly and understand God's whole plan: "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11b NIV)
Such remembrances shall bring us encouragement, hope, and joy, for they speak of an everlasting and eternal love that shall never fail us, even amidst the sufferings of this world that we cannot yet understand.
Prayer: Father God, we come in faith, hope, and love, choosing to remember that You are in control of this world and that You know and understand all its sufferings. Strengthen and encourage us to continue to trust in You and Your Word, that better things are yet to come, eternal things that shall fill us up to overflowing and remove all suffering, tears, mourning, and lack of understanding. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.