July 17 (John 21:23)
Jesus said to him, (ESV)
One of the biggest challenges people face in accepting God’s goodness, His love, and His grace is the pain and suffering of others. If I really believe that God guided my decision on something at work, how can I square that with His apparent absence in an atrocity where innocent people died? Can I truly accept that He was involved in a small detail of my life but not in a far more significant matter of life and death?
I can only answer for the events of my own life. You can only answer for yours. We can use reasoning and logic with regard to free will and the fallen nature of mankind to try to understand horrific acts and God’s presence in them, but at the end of the day, I do not know why He does not reach in and stop tragedies. The only thing I can do is look at what He has done in my own life.
And what do I find when I look at that record? He has spoken to me countless times through Scripture, through the words of others, and in the depths of my heart. He has guided me and provided for me. He has heard my prayers and answered them. He has saved me. I cannot speak to anyone else’s experience of God, only to mine, and in the words of Joshua 24:15, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, because as Paul once said to Timothy, I know whom I have believed (2 Timothy 1:12).
You know how difficult it is at times for me to accept that You love me. Satan wants me to look at so many things to convince
me that You don’t. Yet when I stop and
look at things clearly and calmly, I see at once Your immense love and grace
for me. Thank You, Father. May I walk always in close and confident
relationship with Jesus, Who more than anything or anyone, is the living proof
of that love. In His name I pray, amen.
Copyright © 2016 by Steven R. Perkins