Why do bad things happen? I think of the story of a man whose son died unexpectedly in an accident. As his pastor tried to comfort him, he blurted out angrily, “Well, if God is with me, then where was He when my son died?”

The pastor answered, “The same place He was when His Son died.”

Every one of us has been through hard times. Most of us can relate to the story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. When Lazarus got sick, Mary and Martha asked Jesus to come and heal him of his illness. Jesus didn’t come until a week later. By that time, Lazarus had died and lain in the grave for four days.

Of course, we all know how the story ended — Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. But before the great deliverance, the Bible tells us Jesus wept. That’s important because from this display of emotion we see that God sympathizes with us in our heartaches. When we’re hurting, He hurts. He literally feels our pain.

This wasn’t the only time Jesus wept. The first time, He cried for a family — His tears were like a small stream. The second time, He cried for the city of Jerusalem — His tears were like a river. The third time, He cried for humanity — His tears were like an ocean. He really cares.

Maybe you’ve gone through a personal tragedy like Mary and Martha. It may seem like God isn’t answering your prayers by changing your circumstances. Rest assured that even if He doesn’t change your situation, He cares for you in the middle of it. He is right there, suffering through it with you.

Only through the bad things God has allowed in your life will you get to see His highest glory. Only by trusting Him to work these things out will you enjoy His peace. Take them before His throne right now.

 Adversity is the diamond dust Heaven polishes its jewels with. — Robert Leighton

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder