by Pastor Tim Burt
I’ve talked with numerous friends and people who have experienced various kinds of setbacks this past few year. I have had people I know and people I dearly love lose loved ones or suffer significant trials in their life because of sickness or disease. When people are suffering from setbacks, it is not only difficult on them, but it is difficult for those that love them. It’s always difficult to see people you dearly love experience setbacks, hardships, and loss of any kind.
What can possibly keep anyone sane, stable, and even confident that things will eventually work out and get better through these kinds of trying times? I have been through these kinds of times. What kept me in a good place? The simple answer is The Lord. That isn’t answer enough for people who don’t know the Lord well enough for it to make sense.
The world is full of evil, but not of God’s doing. That’s a full discussion in itself that I don’t have time for here today. A question that often plagues people is, Why doesn’t God do something about it? The answer is: He always is doing something about it. You just can’t always see that He is. Because you’re not God and can’t take in all the intricate details of the big picture of every human being’s life, you don’t have the capacity to grasp all that God is doing behind the scenes. in response to prayer. He is doing something and one day, you’ll have hindsight that makes it completely evident.
When people I know and love are hurting from painful circumstances in their life, I pray a prayer rooted in scripture—God’s Word. I pray, Heavenly Father, I pray that You will comfort my friends and help them to trust You through this time, now and until those days of good appear in their lives! I pray that you will reveal yourself and help them to sense your presence and see your loving touch upon their life. I pray that you will strengthen them with your grace, to acknowledge and praise you in the midst of their difficult circumstances. I ask that what the devil has meant for evil, You would turn for great good, and for your glory! In Jesus name I pray.
In the book of Genesis, we read the story about Joseph. He was the second youngest of a large family of boys. His brothers were jealous of him and hated him. They made his life miserable and created more pain for him than anyone should ever have to go through. Injustice seemed to be an ongoing part of Joseph’s life. He could have easily cried out to God on numerous occasions God, why are you doing this to me? Why don’t you do something about this? But Joseph didn’t because he knew deep down that God wasn’t the problem. He knew God loved him and he knew one day things would turn. I’m sure he could have never imagined how long that would take. Most would have given up on God and even blamed God over the length of time Joseph had to endure unjust hardships. But the days of his life being blessed, and justification did finally come. He went from being unjustly locked up in jail to becoming the second most powerful person on earth. The strength and courage he gained by not letting pain and fear rule his mind, emotions, and decisions, is what instead developed his character and let him walk in unparalleled wisdom from God that saved millions of lives including those of his own family.
One day his brothers repented to him for the horrible acts they committed against him. Joseph held no bitterness, but instead professed great and sincere love for them. He washed their sins away because of the love and washing away of pain that God lavished on Joseph. Joseph said to them, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20 (NIV) God had always been working in Joseph’s life. He had never abandoned Joseph for a minute and Joseph had never abandoned God.
I know how hard it can be when you are going through something difficult, to not feel the desire to cry God where are you in all this? But I encourage you instead to pray, God I know you are with me in all this. I know you love me. I know that you will turn what the devil meant for evil, for good. I love you and trust you and thank you for your grace during these difficult times. I thank you in advance for the blessing and insight that will come out of all this! And I praise you that you are working mightily in my life and in me! In Jesus name, Amen! Like He did with Joseph and others, the Lord desires to turn what the devil meant for evil in your life for good! Know that and put your faith in it.
Psalm 34:19 (NKJV) “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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