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Suffering by Design

Anchor Devotional - 11.02.18

“My frame was not hidden from you when I was made…. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:15, 16

Psalm 139

If I trust that God is in control of the details of a bird’s life (Matthew 10:29), I can be assured He knew the details of my life before I was born. Even Satan’s influence in our lives is under God’s control (Job 1:12). My stroke and its devastating results did not come as a surprise to God. Though still much to my dismay, it was all part of His plan.

John Piper, writing after a cancer diagnosis, says this: “What God permits, he permits for a reason. And that reason is his design. If God foresees molecular developments becoming a cancer, he can stop it or not. If he does not, he has a purpose. Since he is infinitely wise, it is right to call his purpose a design” (2011).

As I go through the grinding routine of daily therapy to try to regain some of what I lost, and as I struggle to know where I now fit in this world, I take comfort knowing what has happened was no surprise to God. Not only is it part of His design for my life, somehow it also is for my good (Romans 8:28). May He get all the glory (Isaiah 42:8)!

Scripture Focus

Psalm 139


“Deep in unfathomable mines/ of never-failing skill,/ He treasures up His bright designs,/ and works His sovereign will.” (William Cowper, 1774)

Read the Bible

  • Jeremiah 41-42
  • Psalm 122
  • 1 Corinthians 16