DayBreaks for 4/26/19: God and Circumstances
From the DayBreaks archives, April 2009:
Suffering is a very hard taskmaster. It’s not easy to predict what the outcome of suffering will be. Some suffer and conclude that God is not, and cannot, be good – nor does He care or suffering would not take place. Strangely and remarkably, it seems that often those who really do suffer the most are the first ones to sing songs of praise to God and His love.
Just today, I read an email from an organization in our fair town that is involved in conducting and coordinating community events. Here’s what it had to say: “It has been awhile since we have communicated with everyone and it seems that each day that goes by, the world continues to evolve in ways that many of us never imagined. As this is not an excuse for our lack of recent communication, it has however caused all of us to look deeper into ourselves, push ourselves harder than many of us are used to and simply try and survive.”
I understand that there are people in pain in our community (and in yours) and that pain is real and people are afraid and in some cases, suffering. So, please don’t get mad at me when I say that I think this statement was a gross exaggeration. Most (not all) Americans have no idea what it means to “simply try to survive.” American grocery stores are full of food, there are safety net programs that help feed the hungry and shelter the homeless. Yes, they are being stressed to higher levels than ever before, but they still exist. Such things don’t exist in most of the world. As a general rule, we are far from “simply try(ing) to survive.”
Yet circumstances often dictate our attitudes and our devotion to God. How quickly we are swayed and surrender our trust in Him! Consider again the list of spiritual heroes in Hebrews chapter 11: now there is a list of people who truly were simply trying to survive…and many of them didn’t, dying as martyrs. What characterized those who had their names place in the roll of honor of the faithful? Simply this: they refused to let God be defined by their own circumstances and experiences. They understood that God was above and beyond all circumstance, and that His character is never, ever defined by human experience nor circumstances.
No matter whether your circumstances and present experience is good or bad, God doesn’t change with circumstances. If He ever has been good, it is a fact that He will always be good. Sometimes, I think, God controls circumstances, but more often than not, He’s interested in controlling and directing outcomes. It’s what we do with the circumstances that He’s most interested in. What will you do with your circumstances today?
Prayer: God, forgive us when we treat you as if you are fickle and a changeling rather than the Rock who never changes and who is always good. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>