Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth. Selah.
– Psalm 67:3-4
We all have our own way of reasoning through things, and the truth is that most of the outcomes that we devise arise from our own selfish hearts. We want our lives to be happy, fruitful, and productive. Is that wrong? Of course not, but God has never promised that everything will go the way we think it should. You’ve heard it said, “Bad things do happen to good people.” The Bible says, “For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Mat 5:45).
Please understand this: God isn’t judging us for asking from Him the things we want when we believe them to be good things. But many today who accuse God of being unfair think that because He is good, our lives should contain only good things—blessings, and not hardship or trials or evil. We must always keep in mind that God is perfectly fair. He will never allow people who reject Him to enter into heaven, nor will He ever keep anyone out who has accepted Him. In fact, the Bible tells us that “it is by His mercies that we are not consumed” (Lamentatons 3:22)!
Listen, it’s not difficult to grasp. The Lord God has said to the world, “Surrender your life to Me, accept My Son as Your Savior, and you’ll live forever and ever in heaven. Reject My Son and do your own thing, and you’ll live forever and ever in hell.” What’s not to understand? And yet, people revolt at the idea of having to obey God. They want to do what they want to do, and they don’t want anyone to challenge them. Would it be right that these should be allowed into heaven? That wouldn’t be fair, and furthermore, they would be miserable in the presence of the Savior of the world whom they rejected in order to follow their own desires.
The reverse is also true, and it’s good news! With Christ as your Savior, who has completely satisfied your sin debt with His own blood, you can trust that He will not reject you when you stand before Him. There’s no hidden clause or fine print in the gospel. Everyone in Christ is a new creation and old things have all passed away.
God is completely fair, but life is not. Our loving Father permits trials and testing to come into our lives not to punish us or to make us miserable but to try us. He wants to test us to prove (not to Himself but to us) that He is faithful to see us through hard times and sorrows and pain. He wants the world to see how we’re able to endure struggles and hardships gracefully, guided and held by His loving hands. He wants to draw people to Himself as they see strength and joy in us even in the midst of suffering. We can have full assurance that the Lord is with us at every moment of our lives, through the joys and through the sorrows. Whether we are the pictures of health or wasting away in pain, He is there. “It is well with my soul!”
No one comforts like our God. No one loves us like our Father. May the Lord allow us this day and every day, no matter what our circumstance are, to praise His name with all our hearts as we consider the many thousands of reasons that we have to sing to our God! Praise Him!
Excerpt from “Beside Still Waters” now available on Amazon.