“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.” Psalm 46:1-3 (KJV)
These verses from Psalm 46 are some of my favorite verses. They remind me that God is still in control despite our circumstances. When we call out to Him in the midst of our troubles, we can know He hears. During this time of trouble, let us resolve to trust what God is doing in our world today, even though we may not understand the “whys and wherefores” of His reasoning.
While acknowledging God’s sovereignty over all things, both good and bad, we can always know His ways have purpose. I am comforted by this verse from Romans 11:33-36:
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”
There are times, like now, when we don’t know the mind of God. We understand that nature takes its course. We understand that God’s sovereignty allows Him to do as He sees fit. We accept His sovereignty, but that doesn’t mean we don’t pray for Him to change His mind. When we pray, we can ask for relief. We ask Him to spare us hardship and suffering. We ask Him for wisdom and good judgment. We can also humbly pray for His will to be done. We seek His face and beg Him for mercy and grace.
Since He is the one, true God, we can trust that His will is always righteous, even when it seems harsh and hurtful. We pray for deliverance, but we must also pray for His will to be done. May we submit ourselves to His perfect will. May we repent of our sin, and seek “to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29b).
We may ask “why?” wondering what is God trying to do? Sin brings suffering and sorrow. When mankind sins, we know there is a consequence. There is also forgiveness when as the Bible says,
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
Sometimes suffering comes, but not always because of sin. Suffering usually brings us to a new dependence upon our Lord. Suffering gets our attention, causing us to rethink all of our ways. Suffering tenderizes our hearts toward others. When our hearts are tender we will reach out to those who are suffering. We will seek to alleviate their sufferings and sorrows. We must tell them of God’s love even in the midst of suffering, when it’s hardest to believe that He loves and cares for us.
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” 1 Peter 4:12-13
Suffering with patience and grace while trusting Him proves our faith. I love these encouraging verses in 1 Peter 5. Peter understood what it means to suffer from the consequences of sin. Yet each failure led to greater understanding. Peter knew the depths of God’s love, grace, and mercy, and so can we through our trials, if we obey Him and trust Him for the outcome.
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:6-11