Suffering for …

The Lord said:

I have seen how my people are suffering as slaves in Egypt, and I have heard them beg for my help because of the way they are being mistreated. I feel sorry for them,…   Exodus 3:7 (CEV)

For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
He has not turned his back on them, but has listened to their cries for help.     Psalm 22:24 (NLT)

Day-in-and-day-out pain or suffering is a difficult aspect of life. Whether that pain is physical or mental, there are people that live with daily pain. How do you do that? Why does God allow it?

I am not a theologian. I am not a psychiatrist or counselor. I am just one of God’s children who is seeking His Way and His Truth in all facets of my life. My faith grows stronger as I talk daily with my LORD. He teaches me that every day is an opportunity to learn something more from Him.

I used to think that if I asked God for healing, with enough faith or the “right” prayer, He would answer. I looked at the stories of healing in the gospels and I thought that they were telling me that healing was always God’s desire and His answer to my request. I have learned as I continue to read the Bible that what I thought was true is still there along with a “yes, but …”

The more I read the Bible the more I see that God is always looking at His children and His Kingdom. This world and the life that I lead as His child here is but a wisp of smoke in His time line (James 4:14). It is the eternal life that God tries to teach me is the priority.

Throughout His Word, I can hear God’s assurance that He does see my pain and it does touch His heart. Paul, in speaking about his own suffering, tells me that hardship and pain bring perseverance and hope (Romans 5:2-5). James even says that the testing of my faith produces perseverance (James 1: 3-5). Most of us would not raise our hands to have the testing of our faith through pain and suffering. However, what these apostles have said is true. We can see it in a revival happening in China and it, like the first century church, is fueled by the hardship, even suffering that is a constant companion to the Christians living in China.

When Paul asked for relief from his suffering, he tells me that God said, “My grace, my love, is sufficient for you.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) This was not a proclamation of healing but a proclamation of His love. It is a wondrous thing to hear God say that He loves me.

It may be that when pain is a daily companion, it is even more important that God is an even closer companion. The understanding of how to continue to pray, like the persistent widow (Luke 18), for God to heal and yet continue to live with pain, is certainly an opportunity to spend a lot of time with God and grow in my relationship with Him. Answers may be slow to come and in their ability to provide peace to my spirit. But God is faithful and He will speak to my spirit with His Spirit and that can be a great relief.

Everything We Need written and sung by Acapella


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