The Upper Room devotional reflection for Monday, January 23, 2023, was written Oluwaseun Ajia of Lagos, Nigeria.
1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, 4 for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. 5 Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:1-5 NRSV
SOURCE OF STRENGTH
A friend and I were having a chat a couple of days ago, and she asked, “Is it wrong for a Christian to question God when things are hard and not making sense?” We all face tough times and ask, Why? I have certainly had moments when I have questioned God, not because I don’t believe but because the situation just seems unbearable. I do not believe it’s wrong to question God. The first disciples did, and so did many others throughout the scriptures.
The past few years have been challenging for us all. We have been tested, frustrated, and angry at our circumstances. But our reading from 1 John tells us who we are in Christ Jesus; we are “overcomers.” And this truth will never change, even when things are bad. Because we are born of God, our source of strength lies in God. Knowing this doesn’t always solve our immediate struggles, but it puts our minds at peace and enables us to continue to receive guidance from the Spirit of God. So “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thess. 5:18).
Take an opportunity to reread Oluwaseun’s reflection and be encouraged, knowing that God welcomes our questions as opportunities to give us comfort.
Help us, O God, when we are at the crossroads of doubt and faith. May your word always shine as a beacon of light to us in our times of uncertainty. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
-- Oluwaseun Ajia