I recently read this devotional by Ray Pritchard that really touched my heart:
"A friend once told me that we are like ants crawling across a painting by Rembrandt. We crawl across the dark brown and think all of life is dark brown. Then we hit green and think, ‘”Oh, this is better. Now all is green.” But soon comes the dark blue and then a splash of yellow, a streak of red, and then another patch of brown. On we journey, from one color to another, never realizing that God is actually painting a masterpiece in our lives using all the colors of the palette. One day we will learn that every color had its place, had a reason, nothing was wasted or out of place. Just as there is a time and a season for everything, there is also a color for every stage of life’s journey. When the painting is finished, we will discover that we were part of his masterpiece from the very beginning. Time is the canvas on which God does his painting, and eternity is the perspective from which we will see the beauty of his handiwork.
History is His Story, the slow outworking of God’s plan across the years, the generations and the centuries. It is so much bigger than you and me that we can’t begin to comprehend all that his plan contains. If we focus on our current troubles, we are likely to be discouraged, disheartened, confused, angry, frustrated and depressed. We will doubt the Lord and be tempted to turn away from him. Many people have done exactly that. They have pondered their own suffering and the pain of the world around them, and that has caused them to give up their faith.
It all goes back to whether you are willing to believe what God said in Jeremiah 29:10. If you are a Jew in exile, it’s not easy to hear that you will be in Babylon for seventy years because that means you probably will die there. On the other hand, God is promising to bring his children home at last. So it is for all of us. There is no respite from the pain and suffering of this world. Think of it this way. If you were a Jew in exile, in one sense it didn’t matter whether you believed God or not. You’re still in Babylon either way. But on a daily basis, either you live with hope or you don’t. And you pass that hope along to your children and grandchildren. And that matters"