Weekly Devotional

If God is in charge, why is the world out of control?

Why does God allow suffering if He is in control?

Written by Sherry Shepherd on 14/02/2023

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

Jeremiah 29:11

If God is in charge, why is the world out of control? Why is there such suffering, loneliness, pain, loss and death? Why are there natural disasters and wars and great injustices? Where is God in all of this? 

We know that God created man and woman in His image. He gave them the Garden of Eden, a perfect place to live. The only directive God gave them was not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. However, Adam and Eve did, and sin entered the world. Because of sin, your sin and mine, we live in a fallen world full of evil, pain and suffering. But, there is forgiveness for those who believe that God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for their sins (which is wrong each of us does). All we must do is accept the free gift of forgiveness, believing that Jesus suffered, died, and rose again, overcoming sin and death on the cross. 

Believing and trusting Christ as our Savior ensures that we will live for eternity with Jesus without suffering, pain or death.

However, while we live here on earth, we will experience difficulties, disappointments, and even death. Sometimes in our lives we question God's goodness, His plan for our lives, and why He allows so much injustice. But the pain in our lives does not mean God doesn't love us and isn't in control.

So, what can we learn from Jeremiah? 

This life is hard. Each of us has a list of hurts and difficulties. Yours may not be like mine because we each face situations specific to ourselves. But God is in the suffering. He felt every discomfort, injustice, and bit of pain we do when He suffered and died on the cross. Jesus experienced separation from His Father in heaven. He felt the sting of betrayal and the immense weight of all sin. Therefore, He knows the ache we feel when things spiral out of control and life ceases to make sense. He understands when we think we can't take one more breath or get out of bed. And yet, He desires that we lean on Him to get through it. 

Each bit of suffering helps us to grow stronger in Him. He softens those places in our lives that need refining. He has a plan that includes giving us a future and a hope. While God was talking to the Israelites in Jeremiah 29:11, it also applies to us. Shattered hopes and dreams often give way to new roads and opportunities. God uses them to grow us and use us to help others with the same struggles. He can take the pain and turn it into something beautiful.  

What can we do to prepare for the battles in our lives?

James 1:12 "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him."

Stay in God's Word, the Bible. The Bible gives us the wisdom to navigate life's difficulties. 

Trust Him and stay close to Him every day because He does have a plan. Remember that He is God, and even though we may not understand why things are out of control, God isn't wringing His hands. He isn't worried. He knows the outcome; you can trust Him and have faith in Him. Faith isn't something we have because we are believers. 

Faith is an action, a choice to believe in God and trust Him to work things out for us. 

How do we find hope in Jesus?

You may feel that I don't understand your pain, your situation, or how wrong something is. And you're right: I may not know your specific pain, but God does. He is ready and waiting to give you comfort, peace, direction and hope. 

  • Trust God and live life according to His Word, even when life is confusing, complicated, and unfair.
  • Give the Lord control of your life, asking Him to help you navigate the difficulties in your life and the world. 
  • Remember that Christ experienced every hurt and injustice we could face. He understands your pain and wants you to know He grieves with you and is there for you.
  • Give the Lord your troubles, shattered dreams, and losses, asking Him to bring beauty from the ashes. 
  • Rest in Jesus, seeking Him for help to work through each hurt and pain. 
  • Pray God's Word when under attack from the enemy. Quote Scripture out loud.
  • Acknowledge the Holy Spirit, being willing to follow His guidance.
  • Acknowledge that the battles we face here on earth are only temporary. One day we will be with Jesus in eternity.   

Isaiah 61:3 "He makes beauty out of the ashes." 

Finally, remember that every aspect of your life is in God's hands. He is working on your behalf and will bring good out of every difficulty you face. Right now, the earth is groaning, awaiting the Lord's return. There will be a time when pain, suffering, hurt, betrayal, and everything painful will be over and done. No more. Until that day, we trust God, praying and staying close to Him and His ways.

Pray this week:

Heavenly Father, thank you for making beauty out of the ashes. Thank you for taking the shattered pieces in my life and using them for good. Please help me to trust you through each difficulty. Amen.

Can you think of a time that God turned a difficulty in your life into a victory?

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