Hebrews 4:15-16 KJV For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
I have at this point on my spiritual journey listened to hundreds at minimum preaching/teaching messages. Between teen church groups, the revival meetings I’ve attended throughout the years, Bible college, tapes, CDs, TV and just all the churches I’ve been to there’s been many sermons that have hit my ears. I’ve been saved 20+ years now, and one particular message sticks out to me above the rest.
When I was in Bible college, I had a friend named Ben. He would sometimes clean our dorm building floors as he worked for the school for extra money. He had a southern accent (this is MN), and a relationship with God that really stuck out. He was, still is, an example of how God often calls those from painful pasts for greatness. One day I was talking to him about something that bothered me, and we got to talking about our pasts and upbringing. A few days later he handed me a teaching tape with a message and a title I will never forget: Everything is Father Filtered. He said to me, “When you ‘get’ this, it will change everything.” The title is pretty self explanatory; God’s sovereignty.
In recent years my husband and I have been through a lot. Not to mention those I know who are really going through tough things. I could copy/paste messages that would just put many teary eyed and grieved. Deaths, sickness (very painful, debilitating, can’t get out of bed, work, feed, or take care of themselves) sickness. People losing their spouses, losing their jobs, losing their homes, cars, ministry positions etc etc. Those needing food, clothes, and money for utilities. Addictions, abuse, maltreatment-you name it. After a while, it can get you down. There’s so much darkness in this world. In the midst of it all, I am recalling the title of that message from 15 years ago: Everything is Father Filtered.
The book of Job has been on my heart the past few days, along with Jeremiah. I’ve been wrestling with the concept of God’s goodness, His love, faithfulness and sovereignty and human suffering especially among believers. Many have asked why God allows suffering. Perhaps that is the wrong question. We live in a fallen world. I wonder if instead we should be asking, “For what purpose does God allow suffering?”
When you’re hurting, the last thing you feel like doing is looking for the purpose to your pain. You just want it to end. God’s sovereignty is something no human can fully grasp. He is outside of time, always existed, and is all powerful and all knowing. And yet, bad things still happen.
Today, I want to encourage you to relook at the book of Job, and Jeremiah, Joseph and others who went through difficult times. Look at Messiah. I think for the suffering of believers, there’s verses in Hebrews 11 that sums it up well. This is, after all, a faith walk. We are walking towards our eternity. May we never forget that.
Prayer: Father, help me to walk by faith, and trust Your sovereignty, Your plan, and Your eternal perspective. Forgive me for my unbelief. I choose today to trust You, knowing You are good, work all things together for my good, and that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.
2 Corinthians 5:7 ESV for we walk by faith, not by sight.
Hebrews 11:35-40 KJV Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.