Scripture of the Day:
“As for you, you meant to harm me, but God intended it for a good purpose, so he could preserve the lives of many people, as you can see this day.”
“For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned his back on them, but has listened to their cries for help.”
Hope Discovery of the Day:
People may have broken our trust, but God never does.
The social media hashtag #metoo is silently making a loud statement. Sexual abuse is pervasive. The number of victims who are stepping out of the shadows of shame are powerfully lessening the hold that the abuse had on them.
But still, there is a nagging sense of wondering why we had to go through it all in the first place. Overcoming abuse is no easy process. The layers of shame, fear and worthlessness hinder our healing and our response to the abuse only deepens our wounds. Hatred, bitterness, anger, and doubt over treatment we received and the role of God in the middle of it all can fill our heart and make us feel like there is no way out.
Our hope takes a nosedive, too. When our world has been crushed, how can we possibly hope things will ever be the same again? What hope is there for the future when our past and present have left us feeling insecure and unstable?
Our God sees.
When God’s Son, Jesus, died for our sins, the Father did not forsake Him. When His Son was abused, bearing every one of our sins, God saw His son. When we were being harmed, our God was not silent. He saw us, too.
God told Jeremiah to tell His people how sorrowful he was when He saw their suffering for their sins. It says in Jeremiah 14:17, “Now, Jeremiah, say this to them: “Night and day my eyes overflow with tears. I cannot stop weeping, for my virgin daughter–my precious people–has been struck down and lies mortally wounded.”
As a parent, when my children suffer or when they have to endure discipline for their sins, my heart breaks. So does God’s.
We might wonder why God does not stop the pain when He can see us. We can be comforted that when our God sees us in our pain, it is not in vain. He promised that we would encounter suffering in this world, but He also promised to be our refuge.
Still, there is this matter of trust that feels broken when God does not give us a perfect life. We wish we never had to suffer. People may have broken our trust, but God never does. Jeremiah cried out to God in Jeremiah 14:19, “We hope for peace, but nothing good has come of it. We hope for a time of relief from our troubles, but experience terror.”
Ever felt like that? But at this place of God’s people doubting God, they chose to confess their sins and pled with God to fulfill His covenant. Jeremiah realized that God always kept His promises. When man breaks His promises, it does not mean that God does not keep His.
Broken trust makes us doubt the character of others. But when we doubt the character of God because of the actions of man, we forget that God gave man free will. God is not to blame for the sinful actions of His people, and He longs to comfort His people. All too often, we run away from help that God can give us and recoil into our pain.
God is our refuge – our Healer. When we hurt in this life, if our hope is just for relief, we miss the relationship that God provides. While living in this fallen world will mean pain and burdens in this life, we have a Father we can run to.
Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
God is sovereign. That means that He is in complete control of everything. How can we believe that when it seems like our world is out of control? We remember that He gives us the freedom to choose in this life and sometimes people make painful, sinful choices. And these choices often affect others. This is where the sovereignty of God amazes me. Even those places of pain can be redeemed by the hand of God. He will use our suffering for good when we love Him.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”
We never wanted to suffer. We hoped for a life free from pain. That was a shallow hope. But now that we have suffered, we have seen that our suffering cannot compare with the good things God has in store for us. We have seen that we may have many problems on this earth, but God can give us grace in the midst and change our perspective. And our great God also chose the suffering we seek to avoid to give us a hope that never fades . . . because He loves us so much.
By the way, me, too. But in the midst of the greatest struggle of my life, I found the greatest hope of my life. You can, too. Praying for you.
Romans 8:18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
Psalm 34:19 “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.”
1 Peter 5:10 “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
Lord, thank You for Your healing. Help us to draw near to You when people hurt us and to let go of all bitterness and anger. You are our Defender and we trust You, LORD! Thank You for a hope that is firm in a world that is not.