I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. — John 16:33
Adam and Eve lost both of their children in a single day — one was murdered, the other banished. Can you imagine the horror and pain they must have felt? How can a couple deal with that kind of deep sorrow and guilt?
Suffering has a way of putting our joy on trial. We can train our hearts to trust the character of God before we are faced with a tragedy. We can have confidence in the truth of God’s Word even when we don’t understand what He’s doing. “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out!” (Romans 11:33).
Adam and Eve may have thought their sin had thwarted any chance for future joy, but God redeemed the situation in His perfect time. He blessed the couple with another son in the wake of their bereavement and brought them comfort, graciously allowing Eve to conceive again. And this experience would be different.
When she had given birth to her firstborn, Cain, Eve had said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man” (Genesis 4:1). Notice that she takes credit for herself — “I have brought forth a man” (emphasis added). However, after suffering loss — the tragedy in the garden, the death of Abel, the banishment of Cain — Eve was humble and grateful. After Seth’s birth, she was thankful: “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him” (Genesis 4:25). This time, Eve gave all the credit to the Lord. After enduring failure and the inability to control or repair life on her own, Eve acknowledged God’s kindness and mercy.
As a couple, you will face difficulties you cannot understand. You can prepare now by spending time in His presence and learning to trust His goodness, grace, and wisdom for whatever lies ahead.
Father in heaven, You are the God of creation. You form children in their mothers’ wombs. You planned every day of their lives before the foundation of the world. Today, let us, along with our children, sense the miracle of Your design. Let them know the presence of Your Spirit guiding them in the direction You have chosen. Make clear the path of preparation we need to follow. Give us wisdom and strength to trust You. In the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.
Excerpted with permission from Couples of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study to Draw You Closer to God and Each Other by Bobbie and Richard Wolgemuth, copyright Zondervan.
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Suffering and difficulties do try our joy, humble us, and draw us close to God.