“Why did You allow this to happen?”
“I don’t understand.”
“The pain is too much for me.”
“It’s not fair!”
Have you ever had an experience that was so difficult that it made you feel like giving up? I can only suspect that most – if not all of us have at some time in our lives.
Tragedy, hardship, and what feels like unbearable emotional and/or physical pain are factors that can lead an individual to consider “giving up” as an option. To love Christ and to live for Christ doesn’t exempt us from pain or difficult times. To be honest, opposition should be expected. I love Christ because I know the suffering and pain that He endured for me – so that I can live free. Mankind can’t begin to comprehend the magnitude of suffering that Jesus experienced. If Christ is our new identity, then yes, we must identify with not only the joy but the suffering of this new life. What’s important is that we remain committed to loving and serving the Savior regardless of our circumstances.
I reflect on the biblical story of Job – a blameless, righteous man whose faith and devotion to God was tested by Satan. God allowed Satan to take away his possessions, children and health. Literally, everything was stripped from him. Even Job’s wife told him to curse God and die. His friends offered their explanations for his misery. Job complained, questioned and cried out to God in anguish. He desperately wanted to hear from God but there was silence. Can we relate? Finally, God responded to Job… “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Uh oh!! (Job 38:2) Then God went on to really put things into perspective for Job with His own questioning. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” Of course, Job couldn’t answer God’s questions. (Job 38:4) When the Lord ended speaking, Job understood that he no longer needed answers for his suffering but he needed a personal encounter with God. Job then repented of his words and God restored in greater measure all that had been taken away from him.
Life is seasonal. There will be days of joy, laughter, celebration and then loss, pain and trials can suddenly make an entrance onto your stage. It’s like a revolving door… Some people are coming out of a difficult season, some are entering into theirs and others are doing just fine. It’s called LIFE and we’re all on the journey. We won’t understand everything that happens in this life and we won’t always have answers. What God wants is for us to clearly know His sovereignty and TRUST HIM regardless of what we experience.
Perhaps, you’re in the midst of your own trial right now. Whatever it may be, don’t allow anger, bitterness or even your questions to drive you away from God. Instead, seek to find Him when you can’t see your way through. Rely on what you do know and that is the hope of a soon coming King, Jesus Christ. Life can really knock you down but God wants you to endure just as Job did. He loves you with a passion and will always be with you. Stand firm, hold tight and don’t give up!