In other words, we cannot experience the power of new life without experiencing the pain of dying to the old life. There is no resurrection without the crucifixion.
Our response to suffering will determine the quality of our lives. We all face disappointment. Who we become depends on how we respond.
Our current crisis may seem gigantic, but in a year will we even remember how we were feeling on this day? Since we do not know the future and our memory of the past fades so quickly, we often live as if the present is all there is. We have been told to live like there is no tomorrow, but more often than not there is a tomorrow. The spirit of the old cliché is to live with urgency. Most of the times we do not seem to be at all urgent about doing good, but when things are going bad everything seems urgent. When it comes to doing good, live like there is no tomorrow. When it comes to crisis, know that there is a tomorrow.
Consider some of the most trying moments of your life. What were they? What happened? How did you feel? How did you get through that time? Has the pain subsided? If you could make it through those experiences, you can make it through this painful time as well!
Many times, as life proceeds, we begin to regain our hope. We can see that life can go on. Life can get better. I would imagine, you and I have forgotten more trials than we are even remembering.
God is always with us. Even when we cannot feel His presence. Even if we have rejected Him. God is more tenacious than we are. His love is enduring. His love perseveres, for His love for us is perfect. As we cling to Him daily, we see His hand in our lives. Our trust grows as we see Him guiding us through the great moments and the smaller trials. We have the faith to trust Him in the most challenging moments.
How do we know God cares? He came to us. He lived for us. He suffered for us. He died on the cross for us. He rose from the dead for us. He hears our prayers. He sends others to our aid. He mourns when we mourn. He laughs when we laugh. He is there for us.
In the midst of suffering, we can feel God’s presence even more. He cares for us, and sometimes we will not know how much until we are in the midst of painful times.
A scar shows that you survived! Scars remind us that God rescued us when things could have been so much worse!
Somehow God can take tragedies and bring about good. What we feel as a trial now may later be one of the most meaningful moments of our lives.
I know victims of abuse who have become counselors for abuse victims. I know military personnel who have suffered from PTSD help others who are suffering from it as well. I have seen families who lost a baby comfort a couple born with a sick baby. I have heard stories of men and women who died for their faith in countries that are now experiencing spiritual awakening.
Other times, we face struggles that don’t seem to make any sense. We don’t truly understand why He allows some things to happen. One thing is for sure – we also have no idea what tragedies He has prevented.
For now, He allows us to experience pain in this fallen world. One day, He will bring all suffering to an end. One day, this broken world will be made right, but He is patient wanting to give all of us a chance to discover His love for us – never forcing us always pursuing us.
God’s ways are mysterious, and God loves us. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ, not even the most tragic moments of our lives.
The author on TV is right, we do not understand all that God is doing or why He allows some things to happen, but the question Martin Bashir asked was a trick question.
“Which of these is true? Either God is all-powerful but doesn’t care about the people of Japan and they’re suffering or He does care about the people of Japan, but He’s not all-powerful? Which is it?”
God is all-powerful AND He does care for the people of Japan. He cares for all of us! In the midst of our suffering, we can experience His love and care in a deeper way. He offers His help and His power! The only way to experience it for yourself is to be willing to go to a place you haven’t been willing to go. Do you trust God with your life? Do you trust God with your circumstances? Do you really, truly trust Him?
What is your next step?
For some of you, you are suffering and you’ve turned away from God – turn back to Him. Let Him show you how He cares. He is all-powerful and He does care for you.
Some of you know you need to be the answer to someone else’s prayer to God for help. God shows He cares by sending others on His behalf. The question for you isn’t “How do we know God cares?” but “How do people around you know that you care?”