Just look around. It’s the state of our world and, at times, the state of our lives. Broken hearts, broken homes, broken relationships. Death and divorce have destroyed our dreams and wreaked havoc on our families. Sometimes we hold it in and forge on. Other times we cry out, “Why, God?”
Pain and suffering. Why is it necessary? And why would a loving God allow it? Some people can’t reconcile these questions and leave their faith behind. In fact, the struggle of pain and suffering is the most common reason people leave the church and abandon their faith – but it’s also why they return. When life bottoms out and there’s nowhere else to turn, God is there waiting. Often in our darkest hours we realize that we cannot do life alone, and we begin to lean into His power instead of our own.
God not only waits, but He has words of encouragement to share, especially in our times of suffering. He wants you to know you are not alone. God is with you on this journey and He will send people into your life to comfort and support you but also to empower and grow you. God not only walks alongside of you on this journey but ahead of you. He’s been there. When God took on human flesh and walked this earth through the person of Jesus Christ, He endured suffering on every level – even unto his brutal death on a cross. He has walked in your shoes and can empathize with your suffering.
God also wants you to know that there is a purpose to your pain – no tear will ever be wasted. “Sometimes God calms the storm,” TPCC Pastor Aaron Brockett said. “Other times He sees the raging storm as an opportunity to calm you.” God never causes the pain, but He can use it as an opportunity to teach you to grow closer to Him.
And finally, God wants you to never give up – to hang on through this difficult season. “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever.” (2 Corinth. 4:17 NLT)
Pain and suffering. There is no way to avoid it. Sometimes it’s ushered in through our own actions and at times by the actions of others. It can also be an outright spiritual attack by an enemy whose goal is to destroy everything that God created to be good.
But most often, pain and suffering is the result of the brokenness in our world – and there’s only one way to fix it. Jesus is the only one who can put the pieces of our broken world and your broken life back together. Why not lean into His love and power today?
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NLT)
To view this week's sermon click here: “The Pain Questions”
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