Does It Seem Like
Everything is Going Wrong?
Observation: “You speak always like someone who has suffered.”
Response: “Who has not that lives at all.”
From Donal Grant by George MacDonald
Job had a season in his life when everything went wrong. When Job questioned God, His “answer” was, “Hush, child. You wouldn’t understand if I told you.”
Scripture gives us a glimpse of purpose and perspective: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything… Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:2-4, 12.
I have heard it said and asked, “Indeed, life is suffering: contradiction, misfortune, disappointment, and heartbreak surrounded us. Why must we enter the Kingdom of God through many tribulations?”
I used to know the answers to that question, but life—now that I’m much closer to its end than to its beginning—has knocked most of them right out of my head. God chided Job and his friends, as Jesus chided his disciples, when they drew unwarranted conclusions from uffering. In the face of affliction, I’m learning now to be more or less silent. When my friends tell me their lives are difficult, I answer “Of course.” When they ask me why they’re suffering, I shrug and tell them, “I don’t know.”
I Shall Know Why
By Emily Dickinson
I shall know why-when Time is over–
And I have ceased to wonder why–
Christ will explain each separate anguish
In the fair schoolroom of the sky–
He will tell me what “Peter” promised–
And I–for wonder at his woe–
I shall forget the drop of Anguish
That scalds me now–that scalds me now!
Why life should be this way, I cannot say, but I do know this: It will not always be this way; there will be an end. Eternal glory lies ahead, as Peter promised, ‘after we have suffered for a little while.’ There, in that “eternal school room,” our Lord will explain our every anguish. But I doubt, then, that we will care. In the awesome flood of His wisdom and love, and in the beauty that will be ours for all eternity, we shall forget our present, light, momentary afflictions and discouraging trials.
The Power of Truth:
- “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor. 4:17-18
- “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10
Suggestion for Prayer:
If you are discouraged and wondering, “Why me?” ask God to give you His eternal perspective, so that your hope and your joy can be fixed on the promise of what is yet to come.