|Today’s Scripture: We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; II Corinthians 4:8-9|
You woke up one morning with a bad headache. After rolling out of bed a little late, you turned the water on and jumped into the shower only to find that the hot water was out. Hurrying out of the shower, you stubbed your toe. You hopped to your room to get dressed only to search in vain for an actual pair of socks. Having found a mismatched set that at least looked close, you headed to work a little grumpy. The work day wasn’t much better because an email you forgot about was due. To make matters worse, a phone call with an important client got dropped, and you were unable to get a hold of him again. Traffic was horrible going home, and you arrived at home and collapsed on the couch only to hear it crack. Friend, we’ve all had days that felt like this. We felt it couldn’t get any worse only to find that it did. But no matter how awful a day we face, we need to remember it’s really not that bad.
As frustrating as some days are, we are probably not wondering where our next meal is coming from or where we can stay to keep warm at night. Around the world, millions of people are suffering every day. As Americans, we live in a country where we can freely worship God without persecution. Millions of Christians have to meet secretly because Christianity is outlawed. They are constantly facing the potential of imprisonment, torture, and death. Compared to them, we have it easy.
Even when the Apostle Paul was persecuted, imprisoned, and later killed for the gospel, he could say he wasn’t forsaken. Like Paul, we can know that no matter what we are going through, our Savior is by our side. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. Though we are facing troubles on every side, we don’t have to be distressed because God is in control. Though we don’t understand, we still have hope, and when we are cast down, we are able to get back up.
Everything that happens in our lives has been allowed by God. We are told that God only does “wondrous things” (Psalms 72:18). Let’s make sure to keep things in perspective. No matter how it looks, it’s not really as bad as it might seem because God will work it out for good.
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder