The Christian life is to be characterized by growth, which becomes evident as a believer progresses from spiritual milk to solid food. Once we absorb the elementary truths of our faith, we should then begin to chew on more "meaty" ones. The question of whether God is in every circumstance falls into this latter category, because the answer conflicts with human thinking. You see, God is in the tragedies as well as the triumphs of life: He either sends or permits them to happen.
When we ponder the deeper teachings of Scripture, it's important to start with the Lord's character and promises. For example, in meditating on the fact that He does allow some extremely hard times, it is critical that we remember:
• God is good (Ps. 145:9), as are His purposes and everything He does.
• God is sovereign (Ps. 103:19), so there's nothing that is outside of His control.
• God promises believers that He will work all things together for their good (Rom. 8:28).
• God keeps His promises (2 Cor. 1:20). These facts form a filter through which we can seek to understand the Lord's presence in every situation.
Consider Joseph, who was betrayed by his brothers, falsely accused by the wife of his employer, and imprisoned unjustly. This young man was powerless and in many ways forgotten. But he refused to be swayed by circumstances-he grasped the deeper truth that God had orchestrated it all for good.
Whether the Lord sends a trial or permits one to occur, He has said He will use it as part of His plan for our good. Do you believe Him?