Editor’s note: This devotion is slightly adapted from a new title in CTA’s Care & Comfort product line, Facing Difficult Days with Hope. Written by Pastor Tim Wesemann, it is intended to encourage those who struggle with many kinds of difficulty—job loss, financial concerns, physical challenges, and family problems among them. This new resource will be available later in February. Watch for it!
Yes, it’s okay to wonder, pray, and even shout that: Why?! Why me? Why now? Why has this happened? It’s okay to ask. But as we ask, we also must listen for answers.
Why? While not savory, the answer reflects a sad reality. Why? Because Adam and Eve tasted a forbidden fruit while living in a perfect Eden. Their disobedience shattered the perfection God intended for his creation. Now, until Christ returns, we live with all the consequences their sin passed on from generation to generation—all the pain, heartache, grief, suffering, sadness, illness, and even death. Why are you struggling? Why do you hurt? Bottom line: Because we live in a sin-drenched world.
But that’s precisely why Jesus came into this world—to sacrifice himself to atone for sin! His life, death, resurrection, ascension to heaven, and promise to return bring us hope! All who place their Spirit-created faith in Jesus as Savior have a sure and certain hope that one day the perfection of Eden will be restored in heaven. We will live there with our Savior and with one another in joy forever!
Storms come because we live in a sinful world. Then, too, some of life’s storms result from things we ourselves do or fail to do. It’s difficult (but incredibly important) to admit that. Even when we’ve caused part of our own troubles, though, our Savior is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness toward us (Psalm 86:15). We can confess our sins, certain that Jesus, who is faithful and just, and will forgive them (1 John 1:9). His pardon then gives us the courage to ask forgiveness from those around us whom we have hurt.
Sometimes, when someone else’s sin causes our suffering and pain, it’s easy to respond with anger and bitterness—but that will only make things worse. It actually adds to our suffering! We can, instead, offer the offender the grace of forgiveness. Forgiving those who hurt us gives us back our lives and restores our joy. It does not make what the other person has done right. But forgiving frees us from living under the lock and key of anger and hatred! Led by the Holy Spirit, we can forgive the undeserving—just as Jesus has forgiven us, though we did not deserve it (Colossians 3:13).
Whenever we ask why, we can also ask the Holy Spirit to use our questions to draw us closer to our Savior, the source of real hope. Although we may want to blame God, he is the one who brings the hope, not the hurt. You can know for sure that Jesus Christ, who died for you, wants to be your strength.
WHY? Because he loves you (Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16). He’s on and by your side! In confident hope, you can say, “If God is for [me], who can be against [me]?” (Romans 8:31)