Life isn’t always as it seems. Unless we know all the facts, we will be easily deceived. For an example, try taking the World’s Easiest Quiz:

  1. How long did the Hundred Years War last? ________________
  2. Which country makes Panama hats? ________________
  3. From which animal do we get cat gut? ________________
  4. In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? ________________
  5. What is a camel’s hair brush made of? ________________
  6. The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what? ________________
  7. What was King George VI’s first name? ________________
  8. What color is a purple finch? ________________
  9. Where are Chinese gooseberries from? ________________
  10. What color is the black box in a commercial airplane? ________________

The answers may surprise you (see at bottom). This is because they contradict our human reasoning. In the same way, God’s purpose in our suffering often runs contrary to our rationale. We cannot understand why He allows us to experience life’s painful trials and tribulations. In the middle of our dark, fiery furnace, we cry out for light, for answers, for the faintest glimpse of God’s hand. With the passage of time, we find it — and so much more. God reveals Himself to us through His comfort in our confusion. He reminds us of His promises in our pain. He supplies us with renewed strength for our trials. Furthermore, He uses the heat of the furnace to refine us and bring our impurities to the surface. Each time we emerge better equipped for service and better prepared for eternity.

Perhaps you are suffering from health complications. You may have a loved one in the hospital. You have gone for months without employment. You are waiting for what seems like an eternity on the closing of your house. Depressed, disappointed, and confused because of your circumstances, you feel like giving up. The answers might not make sense right now, but you can be certain God is working to fulfill His purpose in your life. Fight the pain and look upon Him. You will see the light in due time.

Answers: 1 – 116 years; 2 – Ecuador; 3 – Sheep and horses; 4 – November; 5 – Squirrel fur; 6 – Dogs; 7 – Albert; 8 – Crimson; 9 – New Zealand; 10 – Orange

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.