I don’t know what to write today. My heart hurts, in more ways than one. Families are mourning their loved ones as we speak. People are dying in hospital beds. Someone just got a bad diagnosis. Life is not what we were told it would be when we were kids, is it? We were promised, even in some Sunday School Classes, that life would be great, the world would be our oyster, and with God at our side, who would fail us? But car accidents, and shootings, and sicknesses, and sudden death take “good people” every minute of every day (or more). It leads many to ask “where is God when bad things happen?”
Loved ones, God never promises us that He will protect us from everything. As a matter of fact, if we look at the faithful in Scripture, from the beginning, bad things happened all the time. Job was never given an answer for his sufferings. Prophets were stoned, sawn in half, thrown in wells, and that was just a few! The Apostles were killed by the sword, stoned, stabbed through the heart with a spear, beheaded, crucified upside down…and that was a few! But God did not even spare His own son from suffering. Jesus was scourged, humiliated, and nailed to a tree where he suffered for 6 hours before he died. There was never any promise of an easy life. But God is faithful, even should we suffer or lose our lives.
To this day, believers are being tortured and dying, as we speak, for the name of Christ. They look forward to hope beyond this broken world, that some day, there will be no tears, pain, sorrow, separation or suffering. Death will be defeated, and the world will be made new as Christ comes to make it all right. Loved ones, let us hold to hope. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. The suffering of this life is temporary, Christ is still on the throne. Nothing surprises Him. God is not distant from our troubles, He knows, he cares, and, through Christ he has suffered alongside us. But He promises some day, that all these troubles will be no more. Fix your eyes on Jesus.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because[g] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.