I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Mariah Strong (WITHIN Devotional Writer)
Something that we often hear asked is: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” I don’t pretend to fully know the answer, but I will certainly share where I believe the Holy Spirit led me in my searching.
The story of Adam and Eve is where we can begin. God created the world-- the light, the lands and seas, living creatures and living beings. All were created to show forth the goodness of God and to demonstrate His glory. As many know, God gave clear instruction to partake in the fruit of the land, excluding the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The adversary showed up and ultimately caused Adam and Eve to sin, going against God's original design and plan. From that, sin or evil entered into the world and will remain until the return of Jesus Christ. (Genesis 3)
Display of God’s Glory.
In John chapter 11, a friend of Jesus, Lazarus had fallen sick to the point of death. Jesus was notified a couple days earlier that Lazarus was extremely sick as his sisters had sent a message to Jesus, yet He delayed His arrival. By the time He had arrived, Lazarus had been in the tomb for 4 days - 4 DAYS! Despite the doubt and sorrow surrounding Lazarus’ death, Jesus called Lazarus from his grave and he regained life and walked out of the grave. Jesus told them before the miracle occurred that it would be done for the glory of God and that the Son of God would be glorified.
So, where does that leave us? I’m glad you asked?
As believers, we will have to still endure the ills of this world in one way or another (John 16:33), yet as believers we have access to God who is able to help us escape or endure the challenges that we will face (1 Corinthians 10:13). Knowing that, I choose to find glimpses of God in the midst of the darkness, for light will always blot out the darkness. I will not allow this world to distract me from seeing the goodness of God!
What if challenges came to show us that God is still fighting for us?
What if struggles came to show us that in our weakness His strength is made perfect?
What if all of these things have come, one at a time or all together, to make room for God to reveal a different dimension of who He not only is, but who He desires to be in our lives? Present help, Provider, Way-Maker, Healer, Mind-Regulator, Peace, and most of all Father.
I find that in the seasons of my greatest challenges, opportunities present themselves for me to not only read about an attribute of Our Father, but for me to tangibly experience His goodness. So, when the opportunity comes for me to share His story I can share, not only from what I’ve read, but from what I have experienced and come to know to be true.
The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional, along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/memorize/meditate:
1 Corinthians 10:13
Questions to Reflect on: