September 23, 2021 • Life for Leaders
Scripture Reading: Psalm 74:10-12 (NRSV)
How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
Is the enemy to revile your name forever?
Why do you hold back your hand;
why do you keep your hand in your bosom?
Yet God my King is from of old,
working salvation in the earth.
Just a few minutes ago, I received a distressing message from a good friend. One of his closest colleagues at work, someone who had been mistreated by management, just resigned. My friend is both sad and mad, sad to be losing such a fine partner and mad about the injustice of the situation. Oh, if only God would act, defending the victim and judging the perpetrator!
At times, God does these very things. But often God does not act in ways we want or expect. We wonder how long God will put up with actions that defy God’s sovereignty and insult God’s justice.
And yet . . . . And yet . . . . We know God is King. We know God is working salvation on the earth. We know God will ultimately make all things right. So we are caught in the tension of faith, fretting over God’s apparent inaction while confessing confidence in God’s sovereignty and salvation.
When things are hard at work, when injustice prevails, we wonder where God is. Yet we believe God is sovereign. God is working salvation in the earth, even now.
Gracious God, when things are hard at work, and especially when justice seems so far away, when people are mistreated, I wonder why you let it happen. How long will you allow those in power to deny you with their pretense? How long will you tolerate injustice? Why are you silent? Why aren’t you acting to uphold your name and your righteousness?
I wonder, Lord, and I worry.
Yet I know you are King, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You reign over all creation before the beginning. And you are working your salvation into our lives, moment by moment, day by day. You are making right what is wrong, judging what is evil, upholding what is good.
I still wonder, Lord, but instead of worry, I worship, even when I don’t understand.
All praise be to you, God of justice and salvation, God of creation and new creation. Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day
Even when God’s ways are mysterious, he is still at work.
For Further Reflection
You may wish to read all of Psalm 74.
Also, reflect upon Isaiah 51:4-5:
Listen to me, my people,
and give heed to me, my nation;
for a teaching will go out from me,
and my justice for a light to the peoples.
I will bring near my deliverance swiftly,
my salvation has gone out
and my arms will rule the peoples;
the coastlands wait for me,
and for my arm they hope.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Best of Daily Reflections: When God Holds Back
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Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.