When disaster strikes, when sorrow overwhelms, when hardship envelops our lives, the first question we often ask is, “Why?”
We wonder why we or the ones we love have to endure pain. We question if God loves us or if we deserve it. We might even demand an answer from God.
Wanting to know why is understandable. Knowing why promises us satisfaction. But does God always tell us why?
We can offer biblically based reasons for why suffering is part of our world. We can defend God’s righteousness, His love, and His sovereignty in the midst of pain. Sin, natural law, and the presence of true moral choice account for much of suffering. But when we are presented with specific issues, like why this virus has overturned everyone’s lives, God’s revelation is silent.
Job was not given answers to why he suffered. God simply expected Job to trust him.
I want to encourage you to move past the impulse to know why something is happening. Let us instead focus on what we are going to do now.
Difficult days can either bring out the worst or the best in us. Hardship can either cause us to retreat within ourselves or reach out to help others. Strain can either harden us or soften our hearts. Fire both destroys and purifies.
Peter wrote to Christians not to be surprised at the “fiery trial when it comes upon you” (1 Peter 4:12). Rather they were to rejoice. They were to look with joy at the opportunity that was now set before them to bring honor and glory to God.
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6, 7 ESV).
This faith that Peter commends is a faith that produces rejoicing and joy. The outcome of such a faith is the salvation of their souls (1 Peter 1:9).
Friends, consider the great scope of eternity. When placed against the context of eternity, our lives upon this earth will be just a dot, not even a line. We are sojourners and exiles. We live in a land that is not ours, in deteriorating tents, which will one day be glorified. God wants us to long for our true home.
God loves you with a love that is beyond our ability to comprehend. He wants his people to trust in him and to lean upon him. He wants his people to persevere and to be purified.
What will you do now?