Take a lesson: Understanding pain
“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.” (John 16:33)
We have this idea that if God is with us, He’ll protect us from trouble. He’ll work things out for us. When bad things do happen, we conclude that God has left us. He’s abandoned us. But this is not true.
On this broken, sinful planet bad things do happen to all people. Jesus promised us this: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Jesus didn’t promise us a carefree life. He didn’t come to explain suffering or to remove it. He came to fill it with His presence. And that makes all the difference. When you know Jesus is with you– walking with you every step of the way– it makes the difference between despair and hope.
There have been times in my life when I felt I was losing everything I value: my marriage, my family, my reputation, my health and my job. Then I would hear Jesus’ voice, not out loud but distinctly in my heart,
“Don’t be afraid. I am here and I can handle it. Trust me.”
Now looking back, I can honestly say it was good for me to experience suffering and loss. It provided an opportunity to experience God in a very real and practical way. I’m a much richer person. Life has a quality it didn’t have before. I can testify that when you have Christ, no matter what you’re going through, you won’t have to do it alone.
Jesus did not come to make us escapists, but overcomers.
Thank you, Jesus, that we can always depend on You to be there for us and to give us what we need to be overcomers. Amen.
Question: Are you struggling through a time of suffering and loss? God wants to be near you during this time. How can you let God meet you in your pain?