Responding to SufferingHow do you feel when your life is interrupted by suffering and adversity?
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Then Peter began to speak up. “We’ve given up everything to follow You,” he said (Mark 10:28).
Today was a bit surreal as I sat with a friend in the doctor’s office, awaiting the results of her biopsy. You can talk about family plans, discuss the weather, and ask how the day went. But when it’s all said and done, all you really want to know is the truth.
Life is incredibly fragile.
Any one of us could create a list of the times we didn’t get the answer we wanted. In a world filled with pain, we don’t have to go far to find someone who feels that life—and even God—has somehow been unfair. We like the kind of world where we can earn our way. After all, it’s predictable and seemingly fair. Give us something we can earn or measure, but don’t leave us with the unpredictable.
James and John felt the same way. Ironically, Jesus announced His approaching death, and they responded by vying for position (Mark 10:35). How like each one of us. Calamity strikes, and we clamor for control. While most of us haven’t asked the Lord for permission to be seated with Him, each one of us has faced the temptation to claim that life is “not fair,” and we have our significant list of why we (or others we love) deserve better.
Deuteronomy 32:4 reminds us, ”He is the Rock; His deeds are perfect. Everything He does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright He is!” Jesus’ response to James and John reminds us that the cup He drank for us has conquered any struggle we will ever face (Mark 10:38). We’re but dust, and history has proven that His faithfulness exceeds our own (Ezekiel 18:25).
Let’s remember that He’s far more than fair—He’s God.
Read Philippians 4:4 to see how we can actively pursue the heart of God when facing less than favorable circumstances.
What does it mean to respect the sovereignty of God in the midst of our questions? How does bitterness sever our access to God’s throne room?
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