To be without God in the world is a nightmare of loneliness to any honest person. But to be without Him in the next will be worse — worse than any earthly nightmare can know. “No one is so much alone in the universe as a denier of God” (Richter).
God doesn’t answer all our questions, and it’s often frightening to be without information that we think we need. Yet if we trust God, we’ll do this. When we don’t have all the information we want, we must be content to have Him, our only true need.
Compared to our eternal hope, pain can be seen as a temporary problem. At present, we’re still in the temporary part of God’s scheme of redemption. But the eternal part is coming, and that’s where our hearts and minds need to be fixed.
Jesus did not experience the negative, corrosive emotions that normally make pain so horrible for us. Much of our suffering comes from anger, resentment, and self-pity. But Jesus refused to respond to pain in these ways; so His pain was much purer.
It’s not a burden but a privilege to be such creatures as we are: human beings. We should accept the honor that God has bestowed upon us. Our God-given endowments are wonderful; we should be grateful for them and use them to the praise of His glory.
Our only hope is the gospel of Christ, which is a plan of forgiveness based on grace. Yet the grace is extended only to those who have enough love for the truth to acknowledge the damage they’ve done, without any attempt to soften the situation.
We need to accept whatever roles are ours to play, regardless of where these rank on any worldly scale of values. We should be glad for our part and grateful for the work God gives us. After all, God has set us in the body “just as He pleased.”
“Be still, and know that I am God.” We won’t revere God properly until we’ve gotten still, and stillness in God’s school may not be something we’re willing to accept. We may have to be forced to be still by the “preschool” of pain and suffering.
The spirit of worship is selfless wonder at God’s majesty — the smallness of ourselves in His presence. And for sinful beings, it involves repentance. Our hearts may be proud or they may be worshipful, but they can’t be both. Pride kills worship.
Our adversary specializes in confusion. He loves to prey upon minds that are torn and upset by multiple worries, and he often tempts us when we’re so beset by cares that we act on impulse, failing to consider the consequences of our actions.