This Man [was] delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God.
—Acts 2:23

Perhaps you are going through some difficult things and asking, “If God really loves me, why is He allowing me to go through this experience?” Although God may not answer the why question, He does give us some truths we can hang on to when we are suffering. Let me share with you three insights you can cling to when you are suffering.

First, God is in control of every circumstance. Now, some people try to challenge that idea by saying things like, “What about the murder of a child? What about genocide? What about famines and earthquakes? How can you say a good and loving God is in control of every circumstance?” Let me show you the answer to that in Scripture. In Acts 2:23, Peter was preaching to the same people who had crucified the Lord a few weeks earlier. And he said, “This Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” Who was responsible for nailing Christ to the cross? Well, it was godless people, but notice that it happened according to the predetermined plan of God. If God is willing to take responsibility for the torture and murder of His own Son, then He is willing to take responsibility for the suffering in your life right now. He says, “I am in control. I know what I’m doing even though right now you may not understand it.”

Second, God understands our suffering. The fact that God took on flesh and came to earth means He understands what we are going through. Jesus understands what it is like to be misunderstood by your family. He understands what it is like to be betrayed by your friends. He knows what it is like to stand at the grave of a person you love. He understands because he experienced it Himself. And Jesus says to us, “Although I planned these events in your life and know the outcome is good, I still hurt with you. I understand.”

Finally and most importantly, God has not yet revealed the final chapter of our story. Had Jesus’ story ended on Good Friday, His life would have been a tragedy. But His story didn’t end there. On Easter Sunday morning, God reached down and released His Son from death. And suddenly the whole world understood what God was up to. A great tragedy had been turned into a great triumph.

The same is true for you. Some of you are going through a difficult time in life. You are asking, “God, why are You allowing this to happen? Where are You when I need You the most?” Know this: the final chapter of your life has not yet been revealed.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Healing Words for Hurting Hearts” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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