When Suffering Comes

November 1, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Now more than ever before Americans are aware of suffering. Covid 19 has many people frightened and even believers are confused as to why Covid19 is even happening. Prayers for the healing of those afflicted are sometimes answered and sometimes not. Why? Recently we celebrated the life of Erik Boone. Our church prayed with firm conviction that God would heal Erik, yet He did not. Why? Some who knew and loved Erik are confused, some angry, some doubt prayer, some doubt faith. Questions abound.

In this short blog, I will selectively summarize the main points from a mini-booklet by Joni Eareckson Tada and Dave Deuel, of Joni & Friends. Joni, born in 1949, became a quadriplegic after misjudging a shallow dive into the Chesapeake Bay and fracturing her spine between the fourth and fifth cervical levels. Her first book, Joni: The Unforgettable Story of a Young Woman’s Struggle against Quadriplegia and Depression, details Joni’s journey towards a deeper faith in God. She has a long life of experience in unanswered prayer to share in her book. The mini-booklet represents the distillation of what she learned. I hope and pray that it comforts you as it has me.

When Suffering Comes

We all suffer at some point in our lives. Suffering hurts. Life isn’t what we expected. We become confused. We are in pain and we just want the pain to stop. We look for ways to avoid the pain. But it doesn’t stop. The pain just keeps getting worse as circumstance go from bad to worse. In desperation we turn to God for help, begging Him to explain why we are suffering. ’Are You listening?’ Our hearts scream. ‘Why aren’t You fixing things?’ We want to know. But we are met with silence.

What do we do now? Is God absent? Is He indifferent? The pain is intense but we can’t deny it and we can’t redefine it. Suffering is sometimes a long process and no one suffers in the same way. Where are You, God?

He is with you. He promises in Deuteronomy 31:6 that He will “never leave you nor forsake you”. Hard as this may seem to believe when you are hurting, He is right alongside you. How do we know that? Go to His Word, Scripture and look for His presence through prayer. He wants us to ask and to keep on asking until we hear from Him (Luke 11:5-13). He is all-knowing and all-powerful. He promises to walk with us through the darkest times of our lives but His rescue will come in His timing because He has the perfect plan, not only for us and those around us in this life, but in eternity as well. He will give us the comfort, strength and wisdom we need to suffer His way. He knows just how much to press us so that we don’t shatter into a million shards. Be willing to endure the suffering.





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