"We are ... perplexed, but not in despair." 2 Corinthians 4:8
Why are we perplexed? Because, in spite of our highest dreams and best intentions, evil seems to dog our steps. We are perplexed because, in a paraphrase of Saint Paul's words, "when we would do good, evil is present with us." We are perplexed because as our world grows smaller, its people are growing father apart. We are perplexed because we are lost people -- people with the power of the sun in our hands but with the darkness of night in our hearts. We are perplexed because our civilization is a structure of contradictions. It is capable of building missiles to climb to the stratosphere, but these bring us no nearer to heaven. We can build airplanes that fly with the speed of sound, but we have no wholesome place to go.
Perplexed? Yes. But why are we not in despair? We do not despair because, in the last analysis, the world's affairs are not in the hands of humankind but in the hands of God. We are not in despair because the Gospel has the last and truest word: The God who created us and who judges us is also the God who in Jesus Christ has received us as His own beloved children. "He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3).
PRAYER: In the midst of life's perplexities, O Lord, keep us in hope and faith in You. Amen.
(Taken from "Words of Promise," copyright 1996 (out of print), Concordia Publishing House. For information on other devotional materials, call 1-800-325-3040.)
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