At times I am overwhelmed by the sorrow and devastation in our world—things like wars, terrorism, and famine. How can a loving God, who is completely sovereign allow all this chaos and tribulation? How can we make sense out of the seemingly insensible? How can we make sense out of the baffling times of trials in our own lives?
I do believe God has His perfect purpose in all suffering. Among other things it can turn people to search for the love, forgiveness, and eternal life found only in Jesus Christ.
When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, sin came into a perfect world untainted in any way with the evil that surrounds us today. Evil came bursting forth and filled the earth with the consequences of that original sin. However, God the Father’s remedy for this disobedience was the death and resurrection of His son Jesus Christ. When we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we are perfected through His resurrection. We are accepted by a perfect God, and we receive the inheritance of eternal life.
There are so many consequences of evil in the world today. Why, though, do tribulations come into the lives of believers? Why would God allow difficulties to come into our own lives? After all, aren’t we His precious children?
Many of us love the verse Romans 8:28. It gives us comfort reading that “all things” work together for our good as believers. But do we honestly believe that “all things” is truly all things?
Jesus told us in this world we will have tribulations (John 16:33). If “all things” include tribulations, then our stresses, sorrows, and defeats are a part of “all things.” But why?
Because God wants to sanctify us through His loving discipline, to mold us and refine us into the people He purposed us to be from the beginning of time. None of us will get there with smooth sailing always in our lives.
So how can we have God’s peace in the midst of tribulations? How can we have hope in the midst of misery? What is God truly doing in our trials? Why is it worth choosing His ways when we are suffering?
One way I can illustrate the why of these questions is through a conversation I had with my granddaughter Mackensie. She was working on a needlework tapestry, and said, “Look, Grandma Gair, the back side of this canvas is messy and full of knots and the mistakes I’ve made. But look at the other side—how perfect it is.”
I said, “Mackensie, that’s a picture of life. We see the many knots and messes—the sorrows and failures from the past. But God sees the perfection stitched on the other side. Because you know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, you can be confident, as all believers can, that in “all things” in your life, God is working together for your good. He is in control and bringing you—bringing all of us—to His glory.”
Sisters, today you may be focused on the back the side of your canvas, not believing that God is building something wonderful with your life.
To encourage you, let me remind you that when we meet God face to face and He shows us the perfect side of the finished tapestry of our lives, each one of us will fall down on our knees in thanksgiving for everything that came our way. We will finally see the perfection and beauty He was stitching through all things.
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Gari Mitchell and her husband, Bo, have co-authored the bestselling book, Grace Behind Bars, the story of Gari’s devastating illness and Bo’s time in prison. They live in Denver, Colorado and have been married 47 years. They have a wonderful family of two married adults and four grandchildren. Connect with Gari online at myfaithradio.com.