“Suffering can refine us rather than destroy us because God himself walks with us in the fire.” – Timothy Keller, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering.
Brothers and Sisters, we see a pattern of God responding when his people experience suffering. We see it when he led the Israelites in a miraculous exodus from Egypt, and again when he bought Joseph into a place of leadership to save his people from famine.
He sent comfort to Shadrach, Meshak, and Abendnego in the fiery furnace, and they came away unscathed. And we frequently see it here in our church at TGS.
In the words of Isaiah, God has given us a promise that we can hold onto in the midst of suffering; “I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (41:10)
In times of suffering, we often have no other option than to draw close to God, and in those times, we learn what it means to have a deeper intimacy with him, to depend on him, and to trust Him in all things. Without enduring difficulties and trials, we would never have the need to cry out to Him.
And our relationship with Him would never know the depths of His love; nor the care and comfort He provides in times of great pain and suffering.
We serve an all-knowing God, who knows us through and through, the very depths of your heart. He is aware of every trouble we face; He knows the hidden worries that keep you up at nights; He hears our cries of desperation.
Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess 5:18) – Give thanks that in your suffering you have the opportunity to get closer to God. This might sound a bit weird but hang in there while I explain this further. Isaiah’s tells us that God’s got us, Thessalonians tells us to give thanks in all circumstances, so suffering that causes us to get closer to God is actually a good thing for us in the long term.
If you’re suffering right now – reach out to God RIGHT NOW – He’s got you. 😊