So many tragedies have gone on around me, and I'm sure in your own life, over the last few weeks, and so often I've heard people comment about where is God when these things happen? Or why does God allow this in the life of His children - the very ones who have given their hearts to Jesus and trust in Him for salvation?
It's so hard sometimes. Especially when we are taken off guard. I read so many accounts of children dying over the last few days. A little girl was killed in a car accident - no doubt only one of many. Another family of children were murdered. Soldier sons died overseas. A friend lost her youngest son to an unexpected heart attack. Where was God in all of this?
Then you have the horror of what happened in Norway. More earthquakes for so many places around the world. Every time I turned on the news there was something horrific and full of sorrow. It was enough to leave me longing for the day when Jesus would return and set things right. And that got me to thinking about where God was in all of this and why bad things have to happen.
Jesus told us there would be problems. He said in John, "In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I've overcome the world." He also said that He would be with us always, and in the night before being led to face His own death - Jesus prayed for us. After praying for His disciples, Jesus said,
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
How precious to think that Jesus prayed for us before we were even born. He knew there would be hard times and that the world would be against us. He knew we'd face sorrow and trials of every sort. He knew we'd feel unloved, lonely and overwhelmed at times, so He prayed for us. Just imagine it. This was the first prayer ever prayed for you, and it came from Jesus Himself.
Sometimes God seems distance in times of trial, and sometimes He seems quite near. The truth is, He is always there, even when we cannot "feel" or "see". That's where faith comes in. We can be assured in faith that God will never leave us. Sometimes it's hard to rest in that, but I want to encourage you to do just that. I also want to remind you again of what Jesus said when He prayed for us.
22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
You are loved and you are never alone. We are one in the Lord.