Have you ever asked yourself where was God when a certain tragedy struck without warning in your life? This question arises after the mass shooting in Los Vegas, preceded by the late summer devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Where was God during the earthquakes, terrorist bombings, storms, and personal tragedies? Many conclude that because of the presence of evil in the world that there is no God. Others have concluded that God doesn’t involve himself in the affairs of men. He just wound up the watch and let it go. Still others have surmised that God is powerless. None of these ideas are what the Bible reveals about our God.
Hebrews 11:6 says: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”. The Bible teaches us that He is there and is not silent. We also learn that God is sovereign. He is the absolute ruler of the universe and is in control of everything. Nothing surprises Him and nothing causes Him to be frustrated. We need to realize that evil has been unleashed in our world because of the sin of the first man Adam. Even creation groans under the curse that rebellious and fallen man brought upon himself through the fall. We must also understand that we will never fully understand His purposes. Yet we as His children can take comfort in the fact that He is right with us and never leaves us no matter what may happen in our lives. We can also rest in the verse that says: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”.
Where was God when I got cancer? Where was God when I lost everything in the storm? Where was God when my dearest on earth died? God was right there standing next to you helping His dear child through the tragedy. All of these heartbreaking tragedies also remind us that we simply are not home yet. God is there in the middle of the storm and one day He will wipe away all of our tears.
Saving for retirement is a smart and essential practice but many find it difficult to accomplish. Some people have invested well by purchasing real estate. Others have put their money into a successful business. Still others have invested in the stock market, gold, a 401K, or even an IRA. People plan to use that money for an easier retirement or perhaps travel or any number of bucket list adventures. However life doesn’t always work out the way we plan and our investments fail and we can lose everything we saved. Other times we lose our health and all of the plans we make come to nothing.
While we still maintain the wisdom of having an IRA- an individual retirement account, there is something more valuable. Those who know Christ need to invest into an IGA- an individual godliness account. The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:8 and said: “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come”. Paul challenges Timothy and the rest of us to focus our energy of living a life that is characterized by godliness. Keeping our heart in love with God and modeling our life after the Lord Jesus and avoiding sinful activity. As we exercise ourselves in these disciplines we really are making valuable investments into our IGA. These investments will pay off in the life to come when we get to heaven and spend eternity with our Lord. However we do not have to wait till we retire to heaven to start enjoying the benefits of our individual godliness account. Paul tells us that godliness is profitable for all things and will pay off in our life “which now is”. A godly life pays off in our jobs, our marriage, our family relationships, our friendships and in every other endeavor we make.
Don’t stop investing in your IRA or other plans you are making for retirement. But now is the time to start making regular deposits in your IGA. It will pay off both now and in eternity.
Pastor Stultz has been writing this weekly devotional for many years. In 2009, he published a compilation of devotionals in book form, also called Moments of Meditation