Devotional

“So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” – Hebrews 4:14-16.

Being stranded on Mars would be a scary thought.This turns into reality for astronaut Mark Watney when he becomes stranded on Mars after an intense storm hits the planet. Presuming that he is dead, the remainder of Watney’s crew safely escapes Mars leaving him to fend for himself. Watney doesn’t waste time pondering life and death or his place in the universe. Rather, as he says, “You can either accept that (death) or you can get to work.”

We may never know the reason why some things happen in life. A friend dies in a senseless auto accident, a loved one suffers with a terminal illness, a child dies from a rare, incurable disease. We wonder how any good could possibly come from such heartache. There are times when God reveals the purpose for our suffering. Other times He doesn’t. It is in those hidden times that our faith is tested and stretched.

Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions.” This passage provides the key to dealing faithfully with painful and unjust situations. God may not tell us everything we want to know about the painful event of life, but he has already told us all we need to know.  

There is a mystery to tragedy, but it is not mysterious to Jesus. He knows the plan. He may not always provide all the answers you want to hear, but there is no moment when His eye is off me, or His attention distracted from me, and no moment therefore, when His care falters. Revelation 21:4 reminds us, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”  We may not know the individual and specific reasons for pain and loss and death, but we know the big picture: the cross and resurrection has defeated these enemies and that is God’s answer to sin and death. 

We don’t know if tomorrow is going to be a good day or a bad day but we do know that the Spirit abides with you and will be in you.”Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:19)

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you ever feel alone facing your circumstances? How so?
  2. How do you balance taking action with trusting God? Do you have any guidelines for how much effort is too much (or too little) in any given situation? 
  3. In what areas of your life do you need to trust God more?