Whether big or small, we have all faced tragedy.
In fact, many of us have confronted tragedies one after another in our lives. Sometimes it seems as soon as our circumstances begin to take a turn for the better, we are hit with another setback. You may have even faced a tragedy today. When this happens, it leaves us wondering: Why hasn’t God stepped in? If he is really in control, why would he allow everything to go wrong?
Meet Molly Monroe. Her past is full of heartbreak. She lost her mother, her beloved son, and her husband within the span of a few years. How could she continue to trust God through all of it?
“The treasures that I have discovered most about God were in the midst of the darkness of moments.” -Molly Monroe
A Suffering People
It would be accurate to say that Molly has experienced suffering in her life. She has been through pain in ways that many of us may not be able to comprehend. However, we find in scripture that suffering is not a foreign concept to the people of God. Across the world and over thousands of years, God’s people have walked through times of pain and hardship. Joseph was betrayed by his family and sold into slavery, Sarah struggled with infertility, Jeremiah wrestled with depression all his life, and Job literally lost everything he had. Throughout the Psalms, we continually read prayers asking why God seems to stand so far away times of trouble.
Even the Son of God was not a stranger to the sorrows of this world. Jesus led a life full of affliction during his time on earth. He experienced the unjust death of friends, he was persecuted and abandoned by his closest companions, and he was ultimately murdered on a cross. However, he forgave these companions for their shortcomings. Do you struggle with how to forgive someone? Look to Jesus as an example of grace and forgiveness.
A Trustworthy God
Why does God allow widespread suffering in the lives of his people – even his own son? He had a greater plan.
God used Joseph’s position in Egypt to save the lives of thousands of people. God kept his promise to Sarah, in his timing, as he blessed her with a son whose descendants would become the nation of Israel. We see God’s plan in pain most clearly in the life of Jesus, by whose suffering our salvation is graciously given.
We can have assurance in God because he is trustworthy. Pain had a great purpose in the life of Jesus and the people of God throughout Scripture; it has a purpose in your life as well. You may be asking yourself how to follow Jesus. The answer lies in trusting in him and his plan.
What Lies Ahead
Although it is often difficult for us to see at the moment, suffering is temporary. As Christians, tragedies and pain are not the ends or even the central part of our existence. Because of the gospel, our future is guaranteed. There is an eternity filled with God’s glory ahead for those of us who have put our faith and hope in Christ.
God sees you amid your suffering, and he is with you. “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you,” has been his promise through the ages. We may not sense his presence, but his care is constant and personal. He calls us to lean on him and trust in his plan during the most trying times we experience.
Every part of life, especially tragedy, has a purpose in growing our faith in God and allowing us to display that faith to the world.
Why Trust God
How can you trust God when everything goes wrong? By remembering that God is using your trials to accomplish far more than you could ever imagine. There is more to come beyond this life; he is with you and he is always for you.
“Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” -2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Grace is Greater is a series of resources based around the book by Kyle Idleman on experiencing God’s grace. Grace is greater will remind you that no sin is so great, no bitterness so deep that God’s grace cannot transform your heart and rewrite your story.
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