trials

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Anyone else look at all of the pain going on around and ask why? 

I have been struggling with this lately.

A friend who recently found her husband has been giving his heart and body to another. A mother who had to give birth to a lifeless baby boy and bury him in the tiniest of coffins. A country starving in poverty. A child abused, neglected, and now without a home to go to. Another addict who can’t break the cycle. A man.. jobless, tired, and depressed can’t see hope or truth anymore.

These are all real life things I have seen over the last month. 

I feel like when my loved ones go through these trials… I don’t know what to say. So my heart just crushes. I tell them I’ll pray. 

I ask God why. Is that ok to question Him? I think it’s ok to be honest with Him.

But, I have to be careful. Because it doesn’t take long before the enemy sneaks and tries to answer the questions for me.  He tells me that God must not be involved. Or how could a loving God really allow these things? 

The Bible tells us in Revelation 21:4 that there is a time coming a time when all sorrow, tears, pain and death will pass away. It will be a a wonderful day!  God will wipe away all tears from the eyes of His children. So, I don’t believe it is in God’s divine nature to have pain and suffering.

God created this Earth to be perfect actually. He made it without sin. But then we messed that up in the garden. Praise God He gave us a way to be with Him again through His son Jesus Christ. Until that day comes when we can be face to face with God, we have to live in an imperfect world.

So, for this present time, we must face the undeniable fact that people do suffer. 

As I have struggled through this recently, I tried to open the Bible (because if I don’t… I start to get really confused, angry, and doubtful). 

Here is what I can see about suffering from the Bible: 

We may suffer because of ourselves and self-inflicted misery. Humans have long been their own worst enemies. Adam, Eve, Jonah, David, Saul, Judas.

We may suffer from the mistakes of others, which God would never cause, endorse, or initiate. Bathsheba, Daniel, Hosea, The Good Samaritan

We may suffer through no human fault at all. The best of God’s followers in the Bible had their trials. It doesn’t mean that God didn’t love them or wasn’t there for that trial to get them through. Joseph, Daniel, Jeremiah, Job

We may suffer because we live on a physical earth. Natural disasters are a part of any living, fluctuating planet.

We may suffer because people get sick and die. This happens to every person, family, and community on earth. No one is immune from death.  

We may suffer because we have an enemy who hates us and is seeking to steal and destroy everything redemptive and beautiful.

I am learning that I have to fight that need to know WHY God allows or does things. I must simply realize that so much of life is a mystery, as is the way God moves. How can we possibly get it? We don’t always know the answer to WHY. And you know what? We may need to be ok with it. That’s where faith and truth step in.

I do know that the Bible talks a lot about suffering and having peace and joy in times of trouble. 

I remember hearing a story about the house father for the orphanage we visit in Haiti frequently. He was talking about his experience in the earth quake. He spoke about how terrifying it was and how he feared he would lose his family. And then he said something I will NEVER forget. He said that as hard as that trial was (and even though it still haunts his memory), He knows that God has used that experience to draw him closer to Him. His relationship with the Lord had never been so strong. And he praises God for that. 

Wow. So humbling. 

I don’t know if you may be suffering personally or maybe you are like me and know many who are.

Well tonight… in the midst of all the why questions.. cling to these truths.

God is there. Psalm 73:25-26

God will comfort you. Psalm 23:1-4

God will lead you through this. Psalm 119:50

God will be there for you to lean on. Psalm 18:2

Joy does come. Psalm 30:5

The trial will produce a benefit that will outweigh it. 2 Corinthians 4:8, 16-17

He will strengthen you through this. Isaiah 41:10

He will make the burden light Matthew 11:28-30

He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

He will give you what you need Philippians 4:19

God gives you a hope Psalm 119:49

God gives rest for your soul Psalm 62:5

The list of truths could go on and on! Take your shattered heart, and give thanks for the heart of God who bleeds with yours! 

God is there in a time of trouble… believe it!

He can use the rest of us as well (we need to step up and be willing).  We are family. We can pray. We can make casseroles. We should weep with those who weep. We don’t have to know the answer to why. We just have to be there.

Lord, may we be slow to come up with answers and quick to empathize! Life is so hard.. and it will be until the day God makes all things new.

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Comments

  1. Indeed : )

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