Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by Pastor Andrew Kim, was originally posted on June 22, 2016. Andrew is presently pastoring Alive Church in Montreal. He and his wife Jessie are the proud parents of two young boys.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“God’s Sovereign Hand in Difficult Situations”
“For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, who march through the breadth of the earth, to seize dwellings not their own. They are dreaded and fearsome; their justice and dignity go forth from themselves. Their horses are swifter than leopards, more fierce than the evening wolves; their horsemen press proudly on. Their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swift to devour. They all come for violence, all their faces forward. They gather captives like sand. At kings they scoff, and at rulers they laugh. They laugh at every fortress, for they pile up earth and take it. Then they sweep by like the wind and go on, guilty men, whose own might is their god!”
Through the years I’ve heard countless testimonies about God’s redemptive work in a person’s life. And here’s something I’ve noticed: a common thread that runs through each story is the subtle and surprising nature of God’s hand. For many, circumstances and events that seemed destructive in nature proved to be the very instrument of transformation. A career setback teaches us how to lean on God, or news of cancer in a family member cultivates within us a faith we never had. Numerous stories attest to the fact that God oftentimes does not use conventional and obvious means to bring about goodness in our lives.
Habakkuk understood this truth well. In response to the prophet’s plea, God answers and informs him of His divine plan: He is raising up the Chaldeans to be His instrument of judgment upon the people of Israel. For Habakkuk, this must have been a shocking turn of events. For one, the Chaldeans, also known as the Babylonians, were more sinful, unjust, and evil than the Israelites. They were known for their propensity for violence and imperialistic greed. In other words, God was going to use a nation more unrighteous than Israel to deliver justice. To the human mind, this made no sense. However, as we will see, this was all part of God’s plan to bring about His goodness into the world.
At times, it is hard to comprehend difficult seasons of our lives. Questions and doubts often occupy our minds when life seems to make no sense. Why do certain things happen? How could anything good come out of this? However, in Habakkuk we learn that God’s help and favor doesn’t always come in the form of promotions or a clean bill of health. At times, His good and sovereign hand comes cloaked in difficult situations and circumstances that defy our logic. If life has been difficult and confusing, consider for a moment this amazing truth and find comfort in that no matter what life brings, God is always working for our good!
Prayer: God, I ask that You help me to have eyes of faith that see beyond my life’s circumstances. Help me to trust in Your goodness no matter how hard life gets, knowing that You are for me and not against me! Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Nehemiah 10
Lunch Break Study
Read Romans 8:28-30: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Questions to consider
- What is the promise of God here in this text?
- Who is this promise given to?
- How does this passage help you to trust God in difficult and confusing seasons of your life?
- Everything that happens in our lives work together for our good. The good that is promised in this text is not that life will be easy, but rather that all things will contribute to the process of conforming into the image of the Son. In other words, no matter what happens, nothing can deter us from becoming more like Jesus.
- This promise is given to those who love God; it is given to believers.
“Suffering is unbearable if you aren’t certain that God is for you and with you.” –Tim Keller