The sweet assurance of God’s superintendence and sovereignty over all affairs of the world is peace to those who trust in Him. The world with all its brokenness can be a source of despair for those whose heart is not rested in the knowledge that God is good, even in my suffering.
We are reminded that ‘the Counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations’. Ps 33:11
The Psalmist here is reflecting on what it means for our souls to have confidence in God’s divine eternal plans and decrees. He is convinced that despite what troubles the heart of man, no matter what we hear in the news, and regardless of what we face every day, God still rules.
Now, this often appears like a contradiction for the both the skeptics and the believer. If God is in control, why is there suffering? Why am I lacking food? Why did my cousin have to die young? Sometimes we wonder quietly, not aloud. But these questions remain. It gets worse when the worldview we have is one where God should exist for my happiness.
We must be careful lest in our despair we alienate ourselves from the only fountain of hope and help, God. In our agony, we must not lose trust in Him who is in control of all affairs, and who has a glorious end in view, even for our suffering.
Often when we suffer, we question God’s goodness in allowing us to go through trouble. We assume that since we see no reason for our suffering, it must be meaningless. But, as Tim Keller of ‘Reasons for God’ rightly says, just because you don’t see a good reason why God allows things to be the way they are doesn’t mean there are no good reasons for Him to. If God is infinitely wiser than we are, (and He is), it must be a given, that He will do many things for reasons we do not understand.
Our place as believers is trust. We may, or may never understand why things are the way they are now. But the Psalmist reminds us that the counsel of the Lord stands forever. As a result, this moment, of my agony, does not take Him by surprise, and does not change His plans for me or for you. And we trust Him because we know He cares. We know He cares because He loved us so much that He died for our sins, when we deserved judgment. Just think about this alone. Even if He never gives us anything else this side of heaven, His sacrificial death, the forgiveness He extends to us rebels and the promise of eternity with Him is sufficient for us, even if nothing else goes well for us.
So, even when you are going through that dark season, when it so feels like God is neither near, nor noticing what you are going through, even then, His love for you must never be doubted. As His goodness cannot be improved by anything external to Himself, it cannot be diminished by evil.
Remember always, that His counsel still stands, and His plan is being carried out. Not despite your situation, but because of it. Our confidence therefore must not be in the now. No one is exempted from the sufferings of the world. But believers walk with One who understands, He who is able and is in control, who is taking all the broken pieces in your life and making a magnificent crown for you, a crown incomparable to the suffering you go through.
As the Apostle Paul declared in Romans 8:18 ‘I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.’
My brother, my sister, are you almost giving up the fight? Is suffering making your life unbearable and perhaps meaningless? Lift your head. Draw your strength from Him, who for the joy set before His endured the cross for us. His plans endure, even now. His goodness is great and unscathed for eternity. Not only is He in control of everything every time, He also loves you immensely, that He gave His life for you. You may not know many things pertaining your suffering, but you must be confident that He knows, He cares and He is in charge.
I would love to hear from you. Would you leave a comment, or contact me using the ‘Contact’ section? Do you have a question you want addressed, a prayer request perhaps? I will be there for you. God is near you.