His Greater Purpose

Thursday, August 24, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Give Me That Old Time Religion"1 (Lyrics)

When I was growing up, I had my share of scraped knees and stubbed toes. My mom lovingly soothed my childhood injuries, though the sting of mercurochrome was sometimes worse than the original scrape. Cuts and scrapes are a normal part of growing up. On a more philosophical level, I've had plenty of ups and downs in my adult life as well. Hurts, disappointments, hardships, reversals, and challenges are all part of the bundle of life.

Long before His crucifixion, Jesus knew that indescribable pain and suffering lay ahead of Him. He could have allowed dread of the future to diminish the purpose and value of His daily ministry. Yet He knew that, though He could have bypassed His coming suffering, it was essential to fulfilling His purpose for coming to earth — dying as the divine substitute for the sins of the world. He knew that His hour of suffering had been prophesied centuries before, and that the steps leading up to His crucifixion had to be taken in order to fulfill prophecy. Well-meaning Peter tried to prevent His death:

Matthew 26:52-54 – "Put away your sword," Jesus told him. "Those using swords will get killed. Don't you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly? But if I did, how would the Scriptures be fulfilled that describe what is happening now?" (TLB)

Even before Jesus' crucifixion, the devil (arrogant fool that he is!), when tempting Him in the wilderness, had offered to deliver Jesus from harm. Jesus rebuked the devil, refusing any supernatural — even hypothetical — way around personal harm or danger.

Luke 4:9-12 – Then Satan took him to Jerusalem to a high roof of the Temple and said, "If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say that God will send his angels to guard you and to keep you from crashing to the pavement below!" Jesus replied, "The Scriptures also say, 'Do not put the Lord your God to a foolish test.'" (TLB)

Jesus understood and accepted trials and temptations as necessary parts of His redemptive work. We also should be willing to bear up under hardship, knowing that it is given to us for a purpose. It may be in order to help to strengthen us in our walk of faith. It may be as a means of serving as an example to others, showing how God can give power to endure. It may be simply an act of submission to God, trusting His work in our lives.

To think about: How can (or will) we accept trouble and pain, knowing that God will carry us through difficult times?

Prayer: Dear loving, heavenly Father, we know that You have a reason or purpose — often hidden to us — for everything that You bring into our life, whether we think that it is good or bad. May we willingly accept Your trials along with Your blessings. Amen.

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About the author:

Gail Lundquist <gail10833@gmail.com>
Beaverton, Oregon, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:


    Amen, Gail. Thanks for sharing.

    Gail, what a good reminder of God’s greater purposes and His presence in our suffering. Thank you.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us today. To God be the glory! Blessings.

    Great devotion with good truth that can lead us in His will and give purpose to our living. Thanks for sharing.

    Good morning, Gail,
    We are at the present time experiencing difficulties in our lives, but we also know that God is with us and comforts us during these challenging times.
    Thank you for your good words.

    Thank you, Gail, for another one of your enlightening devotionals. So true, that no matter what situations we may face in life our Lord is there to guide and help us get through it. He certainly is ever faithful to be there when we call upon Him. Blessings for these very special writings you prepare.

    Just before reading your devotional today I was thinking about the word, “miracle”, and how we typically use it. We don’t naturally view undesirable experiences as God’s miracles, even though they may be His divine interventions for a greater good – including our own good.
    Your words encapsulate my thoughts. Thank you!

    SHALOM and Greetings,
    Again, a sincere and thoughtful Devotional!
    A little poem I memorized when I was 15, (I’m over 80 now).
    Life is filled with toil and trouble,
    Two things only stand like stone:
    Kindness in another’s trouble,
    Courage in your own.

    Good morning, Gail,
    It is always a pleasure to read your devotionals and think about the challenges and thoughts you offer.
    Our challenge right now is the drought. We have had .5 inch of rain since May. In a rural and agricultural county the results of the drought are pretty evident. In Texas we expect heat in the summer, and I usually look forward to the heat. However, temperatures for days on end in the 100’s and no rain are making life difficult.
    Hope you are in good health.

    Good morning, Gail,
    Sometimes it is hard to respond in a good way to “His Greater Purpose” and it takes time to get to the acceptance that God has our best interests at His heart. I guess you can compare it to the Mercurochrome. It will keep our scrapes from getting infected but there is a sting to it. The good thing is that with the help of the Holy Spirit, we do achieve the peace of knowing that God cares and is helping us to have a deeper faith.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and helping us all to remember to focus on God’s caring and comfort at those difficult times. Blessings.

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