1 Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me,
for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
2 I cry out to God Most High,
to God, who vindicates me.
3 He sends from heaven and saves me,
rebuking those who hotly pursue me
God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.
4 I am in the midst of lions;
I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts—
men whose teeth are spears and arrows,
whose tongues are sharp swords.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
6 They spread a net for my feet—
I was bowed down in distress.
They dug a pit in my path—
but they have fallen into it themselves.
7 My heart, O God, is steadfast,
my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and make music.
8 Awake, my soul!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
9 I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
Where is God in the midst of suffering: A timely topic in our world today, isn’t it? A tragedy unfolded less than a week ago in our home state. It certainly wasn’t the first and unfortunately it’s not going to be the last. In all reality, this is a topic that is timely no matter what is going on in the world around us right now because it doesn’t take that many years living on this planet to understand that bad things happen. We witness them, we read about them, we hear about them and sometimes we experience them personally. From your first skinned knee to the loss of a loved one to violence claiming innocent lives…pain and suffering are a part of life.
To be honest, I’m the happy ending, pretty bow on the present, rainbows and butterflies type. I try to avoid books or watch movies with sad endings and maybe that’s because there’s enough real sadness to go around in the world. I limit my time on Facebook because for every positive picture or story there are 25 gut wrenching news articles or posts sure to try and remind you that the world is a terrible place filled with terrible people. I like to feel good. I like to see the good in people and on our beautiful planet. I’m an optimist. I can almost always find the good in a bad situation. It’s not as if my life has been void of pain. I’ve lost people I was very close with and I’ve had bad things happen to me. I understand that pain and suffering are a reality that I sometimes can’t escape. However, I try very hard to remember that God loves me and I am not of this world.
It’s very important for us here and now to remember that God doesn’t cause bad things to happen, but he does allow them to. God gave us free will. We chose to know it all. Pain and suffering was part of that “all.” God is good and he is just and when sin entered this world, unfortunately so did bad things. Not a happy thought, but a true one and that doesn’t make it any easier on this side of heaven.
Psalm 34 verses 17-19 tell us, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.”
John 16:33 says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
God hasn’t promised us a perfect easy life. In fact, he’s quite honest with us throughout the Bible. But he has promised to be near us and see us through our troubles and our times of pain. Our part of that deal is keeping faith that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. His promises to us are many. When you are feeling weary or defeated open your Bible and soak them in.
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” ~Romans 5:1-5
Lord, pain and suffering isn’t something any of us want to face. I pray that in the midst of it, we’d think of you and remember your promises. Give us strength and courage to be your hands and feet in a world filled with it. May we never lose hope and always remember that you have overcome the same world.
Today’s post was written by Amanda Sanders.
Amanda has been married to her high school sweet heart Matt for 12 years. Together they have three kids ages 9, 7 and 4. In this season of life, Amanda spends most of her time drinking coffee, teaching children, doing laundry and repeating herself. Occasionally, she has some time for working out, reading for leisure and writing. You can find her on Sunday mornings worshiping at our Real Life UCF campus.