DayBreaks for 7/17/15: Wait for All the Evidence
From the DayBreaks archive, July 2005:
High profile trials catch our attention. O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, Scott Peterson, Robert Blake…the list could go on for a long, long time. What I find fascinating is that we all form our opinions of the guilt or innocence of these people based on what we’ve heard or what someone told us, without having access to the evidence that’s shown in a court room. As a general rule, I think we often make up our minds on their probable guilt or innocence before the trial even begins! While we could debate whether the legal system is very effective and accurate, those folks had their problems, and I’m sure that they wanted all the evidence to be weighed before the jury finally decided their fate.
We all have hardships, too. It’s part of life that we just can’t ignore or wish away. It just doesn’t work like that. And sometimes, quite often, in fact, people blame God for the hard times. Even Christians sometimes put the blame at His feet. It’s hard to keep things in perspective when we’re hurting. Consider Phillip Yancey’s comments from Rumors of Another World: “No one gets an exemption from hardship on planet Earth. How we receive it hinges on whether we believe in an alternate reality that transcends the one we know so well. The Bible never minimizes hardship or unfairness—witness books like Job, Psalms, and Lamentations. It simply asks us to withhold final judgment until all the evidence is in.
“Why would anyone choose to follow a God who promises more hardship, not less? I will let the apostle Paul answer that question. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 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. 4:16-18).
“Paul had two pictures of himself. One image he could view in a mirror, and the insomnia, beatings, imprisonments, and deprivations must have left their mark in the gaunt and weary face that stared back at him from the crude Roman glass. The other image he could not see. Nevertheless he could sense his inward self being renewed and made more fit, tempered by hardship. Belief in another world cast hardship in such a different light that he could compile a list of his many personal calamities and call them ‘light and momentary troubles.’”
It isn’t easy to focus on things you can’t see, to bet your life – no, your eternity – on the fact that what we wait for is worth it, regardless of what we must deal with here on earth. You may be struggling to hang on to the idea that God is good and that He wants only good for you. You may be ready to sentence God to being fickle, unfair and perhaps even cruel. Wait. The evidence isn’t all in yet. Someday, God will present the evidence that will show that He is totally good and loving. Wait for that day. Then you can see for yourself that He is good, always!
PRAYER: Lord, help us wait until we see your goodness with our own “eyes”, and we can also then see ourselves as you view us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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