Sometimes evil appears to be winning. Our efforts at goodness, or love, or growth seem too little too late. Chronic illness, lack of resources, confusion, loneliness, people who don’t understand – is there any relief? It might feel like a lack of faith to acknowledge we often have no idea what God’s up to, or to wonder whether He’s really involved at all. Do we have what it takes to hold on?
A number of the Psalms are nothing more than the writer agonizingly asking, “Why?!” Here are a few examples:
- “Help, LORD, for the godly are no more; the faithful have vanished from among men. Everyone lies to his neighbor; their flattering lips speak with deception.” (Psalm 12:1-2)
- “Why, O LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises. He boasts of the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD.” (Psalm 10:1-3)
- “They [the wicked] say, “How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?” This is what the wicked are like– always carefree, they increase in wealth. Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence.” (Psalm 73:11-13)
But David and the other Bible writers regularly come back to looking at where they can see God at work. And we can do the same, though it may take diligently looking for it; our eyes can be blinded by the urgency of our troubles.
We can never understand all God is up to. But how about looking in some of these places to find God at work:
- A baby’s smile
- A summer thunderstorm
- The stars at night
- The power of the ocean waves
- The joy you feel in giving a gift to someone
- The feeling in your heart at hearing a worship song or gospel song
- Your brain’s capacity for memory, thought, and insight
- Snowflakes – no two alike
- How the Holy Spirit speaks to you through the Bible
- A church that, while troubled, will not die
- People who want to help others – just because
- Someone being baptized, today
- The dream in your heart that won’t go away
- Hearing a heartfelt “I forgive you”
- Birds returning to their nesting grounds every spring
- The way your body heals after an injury or illness
- A pet expressing unconditional love
- The changing seasons, each with its own beauty
- A story that warms your heart
- Family members who want to be together
- Believers, through the centuries, affirming “God is real. Jesus is Lord!”
- The mystery of our DNA
- An addict living a clean, sober, changed life
- The firing of neurons in your brain – right now
- Wheat fields ripe for harvest
- One Jesus-follower telling another person the way of salvation
- A mother nursing her sick child back to health
- A father risking his own life to save his family
- The power holding each atom together
- One single cell developing into a brand new human being
- God’s own still small voice in your soul
- The feeling of HOME believers sense when visiting Jerusalem
- The touch of your loved one’s embrace
- The hope believers have when a loved one dies
- The miracle of light
- Birds singing, again
- A beautiful flower, growing where no one may see it
- The wind blowing in your hair
- The joy of fellowship with friends or believers
- Knowing God can meet you, personally, today, in prayer
- Being free from your past, a chance to start new
- Knowing that God has given you something to do for Him, here and now
- The way good never goes away, even when evil seems to be winning
- The rainbow after the storm
- Feeling alive after a truly restful night’s sleep
- The way God turns what the enemy meant for harm into something good
- Celebrating the memory of good things God has done in the past
- Finding the courage to press on for another day
- Knowing what the Bible says about the end of the story. (Jesus wins!)
- Your own life changed because of Jesus. (Where would you be without Him?)
Sure, bad things happen. Sometimes they happen to good people. And sometimes even these “God at work” moments are set against the backdrop of pain, loss, or evil.
But why not choose to see the places in your life and in the world where God is at work. And your heart will be encouraged to carry on.
Your Turn: Name a place where you can see God at work in your life or in your world today. Leave a comment below.
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