Life on earth is far from perfect. A jam-packed schedule may leave you no room to rest. Difficult circumstances could cause you to doubt God. The world’s brokenness presented on the news and social media could just upset you. Or a crisis, like we’ve experienced, could leave you scared for the future.
However, it is comforting to realise the bigger picture in the Bible to gain perspective.
The good news is that God knows everything we go through and he is here for us. It isn’t wrong for us to feel like this. Paul describes it as ‘groaning’.
“And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering…” Romans 8:23
As God’s children, we long to be with him. It’s natural to feel upset about our broken world. This is why the Spirit intercedes for us when we don’t know how to articulate our feelings to God (Romans 8:26).
Jesus also knows what is is like to be human. He experienced the worst of suffering, and knows first hand the burden that life on earth can be (Ecclesiastes 1:13).
God is sovereign
An analogy in the book Predestination by Scott Petty explains God is sustaining the world like spinning a basketball on his finger, “…he does the basketball thing with every single thing that he has created.”
He won’t get tired or let go, because he is God. Nothing in this world slips by him and he is in control. Knowing that Jesus holds all things together gives me great joy despite the issues in life (Colossians 1:17).
Let God be God
The comfort in all this means that we can have a relationship with the God who knows all that has happened, and all that will happen. More importantly, he knows why. We sometimes want to know why bad things are happening, like Job wanted to know why God had let him suffer. Here was the beginning of God’s three chapter long reply:
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?” Job 38:4-7
I think it’s better to know the One who knows why. Imagine the responsibility of knowing everything in the universe – something only God can do. For those who don’t know Jesus, I think it’s reasonable for them to panic or worry. But for those who do know him his peace can rule in our hearts (Colossians 3:15).
Made for another world
Another reason we can hold hope for better things is explained by this famous C.S. Lewis quote
“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” Mere Christianity
We were created for an eternal relationship with God. And that has been tainted by sin and this world. Our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20) and so while we are on earth we can hope that Jesus will restore his creation.
These song lyrics below express a longing for heaven. Know that the best is yet to come, and in the meantime, have a hopeful spirit on earth.
When will you come for your daughters and sons
We are homesick we try, but we don’t belong
Even if that day’s a million light-years away
Each day will begin with the same question
When, when, when, when?
- When, Kirk Franklin