Daily Devotional

Joni Eareckson Tada’s inspirational daily devotionals are biblical insights that will enrich,
enlighten, and encourage you in your walk with Christ Jesus.

The Question of Good

"All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away." -Isaiah 64:6

This world is full of pain. People look at the anguish of those who hurt and insist, “Good people deserve better.” But do we? It’s a tough question, and the Bible has a hard answer. It paints a sobering picture: people are not innately good. It also says that people - all of us - cannot begin to comprehend how our sin has offended God. In fact, the Bible states that God is just to send rebellious creatures to hell - thus, as incomprehensible as it may sound, he is fair to start that hell in this life. 

But wait; there is a hidden mercy here! By tasting suffering in this life - hell's splash over - people are driven to ponder what may face them in the next life. In this way, suffering may be our greatest mercy; for many, suffering becomes God's roadblock on their headlong rush to hell. If we experienced nothing but ease and comfort, we would soon forget that we are eternal creatures - but suffering won't allow that. It persistently reminds us that something immense and cosmic is at stake - a heaven to be reached for Christ's sake, and a hell to be avoided.   

Every day of our short life has eternal consequences for good or ill. Thus, it is only fitting that a merciful and wise God should give us some sense of the stakes involved, some sense of the magnitude of the spiritual battle - he does this by giving us foretastes of heaven in the joys we experience, and foretastes of hell in our suffering. 

Open my eyes, Father, so that I might grasp how holy you are – help me to see how cosmic and grand the eternal stakes really are in this life. And then, help me to live circumspectly and wisely!