ODJ: Why Is This Happening?

August 21, 2018 

READ: 1 Peter 5:6-11 

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you (v.7).

It was late at night when Paul, a pastor, received the news that his wife was diagnosed with cancer. He went outside, sat on the front steps and began to pour his heart out to God. “Why is this happening to my wife?” he asked. “She’s faithful and devoted.” After struggling for a while, Paul looked up to the clear sky and, with open hands, said, “Jesus, You know. You know, and that is enough for me.”

The apostle Peter probably wrote his first letter around AD 60 to Gentile and Jewish believers scattered because of opposition to their faith in Jesus. It’s possible that some of the believers were discouraged, not understanding why terrible things were happening to them. After all, they hadn’t done anything wrong.

Although it might have been a natural response for them to ask why, Peter didn’t attempt to explain why they were enduring persecution. Instead, he brought their attention to God’s character: He’s a good Father who cares (1 Peter 5:7). Because of who God is, the believers could give Him “all [their] worries and cares”.

But this action of trusting God wasn’t to be passive. Peter also told them, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil” (v.8). Because the evil one sought to destroy their faith, they would need to rely on God’s power to “stand firm against him, and be strong in [their] faith” (v.9).

Finally, Peter reminded them that they weren’t alone in their struggles. Other believers around the world were suffering just like them. But this wasn’t the end, he assured them, because after they had “suffered a little while”, God would “restore, support and strengthen” them (v.10). May we also rest in that promise when life has us asking why.

—Estera Pirosca Escobar

365-day plan: Luke 17:20-37

Read Psalm 37:1-7 and note David’s advice for times when things seem unfair. 
What trial are you facing or have you recently faced? How can you direct your thoughts towards God and seek His peace?