Daily Devotional: Psalms 39:7-13
7 "But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. 8 Save me from all my transgressions; do not make me the scorn of fools. 9 I was silent; I would not open my mouth, for you are the one who has done this. 10 Remove your scourge from me; I am overcome by the blow of your hand. 11 You rebuke and discipline men for their sin; you consume their wealth like a moth--each man is but a breath. Selah 12 "Hear my prayer, O LORD, listen to my cry for help; be not deaf to my weeping. For I dwell with you as an alien, a stranger, as all my fathers were. 13 Look away from me, that I may rejoice again before I depart and am no more."
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Does God cause my suffering or does he bring it upon me or does he allow it to be done by Satan? Is it possible that my pain and problems are the result of my own bad choices or maybe they just happen to me by chance? These questions, and many others like these, have been asked countless numbers of times. The “why” is meaningless unless it teaches me a lesson. What matters is what we do with the things we face and what we allow them to do to us.
With each trial in life we can become better, stronger and more faithful or we can become bitter, weaker and allow our faith to be eroded. Each problem we face can bring us closer to God and help us recognize the hand of Jesus holding us or it can become a wedge between us and our Lord. Peter says we are to rejoice in each of the trials we face and use them to make us more like Jesus. We can be like Judas who hung himself or we can be like Peter who wept and then went on to preach the first gospel sermon and helped others build their faith in Jesus.
Heavenly Lord God I am forever in your debt and I am grateful for your grace. Use me to be what you want me to be in the place where I can best serve you. When I face trials, give me greater faith to trust you and then to rejoice in them. Forgive me when I fail. Be with your people who are facing real persecution and who face the danger of death or abuse daily for their faith in you. Protect them with your love and give them your peace. Be with your church where life is easy and the economy is affluent so that we not become complacent. In Jesus name.