In a letter from John Newton, he points out that the feelings of disappointment due to life’s difficulties are normal but yet ultimately the greater plan of our Creator makes even our disappointments turn out for good.

Newton writes:

I can hardly recollect a single plan of mine, of which I have not since seen reason to be satisfied, that had it taken place in season and circumstance just as I proposed, it would, humanly speaking, have proved my ruin; or at least it would have deprived me of the greater good the Lord had designed for me. We judge of things by their present appearances, but the Lord sees them in their consequences. If we could do so likewise, we should be perfectly of His mind; but as we cannot, it is an unspeakable mercy that He will manage for us, whether we are pleased with His management or not; and it is spoken of as one of His heaviest judgments, when He gives any person or people up to the way of their own hearts, and to walk after their own counsels.

The phrase, “We judge of things by their present appearances, but the Lord sees them in their consequences,” should make us all stop and think for a moment. Disappointment feels bad, but fortunately the Lord knows more than we feel. He knows the end from the beginning. Just as the vessel must trust the potter, so we must trust our Lord. He can take even our greatest sorrow and turn it around to joy. Trust in that great promise today.

If you have all the answers, then you don’t have faith. — Unknown Author

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder