This morning as I sit here thinking about my day, I am being reminded of what David said:
Psalms 139:7-12 (ESV)
7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.
The omnipresence of God is an awesome thing to realize. No matter how good or bad things are in your life, God is there. He has been there before any of the circumstances happens.
Now does that mean that He protects us from problems or heartaches? Does He keep us from making bad choices or even other people from making choices that can hurt us or cause us difficulties? NO! He does not dictate the world’s happenings.
Could God stop every bad thing from happening? If He could, why doesn’t He? These questions have caused people to doubt the goodness of God as well as His presence in all things. Let me give you some thoughts about why I believe that God allows us to go through difficult times.
- Jesus says in John 16:33 (ESV)
33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Jesus assured his disciples that life was hard. He knew that they would suffer and be persecuted in all kinds of ways. Many of the persecutions came from within family relationships as well as church relationships. I think that we get surprised when it seems that our biggest struggles come from relationships closest to us. We can deal with strangers many times so much better because there is not as much emotion tied to the event or circumstance. Jesus told us that we can have peace even in the worst of times. What an assurance!!! What a testimony of God’s hand on us! He allows tribulation in our lives so that we can show His peace in our lives.
- Many of you have heard the story about the man who saw a butterfly trying to get out of the cocoon. He decided to help the butterfly by cutting the cocoon open for an easier exit from its trappings. Once the butterfly emerged from the cocoon, it was deformed and could not fly. The struggles of getting out of the cocoon were designed to develop the butterfly so it could fly and function. The reason for our struggles is so that we can grow in our relationship with God and function in spite of everything that goes on around us. What makes a believer in Christ different from the world? The difference should be seen in the worst of times more than any other time.
- Finally, God allows us to go through difficulties so that we can help others through their difficulties.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (ESV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
Our conflicts are not unique. Our tribulations have been experienced by other people and others will experience them yet. As we make it through with the comfort of God, He expects us to help someone else go through their experiences in a Godly manner.
I know that all of us have difficulties that we face. We wonder where God is in the midst of them. We might ask why God is allowing me to have these problems. He promises that He is at work in them for our good and His glory. We probably will not see either at first, but when He is ready to show us He will. Our task is not to lose sight of God while we are going through them.