How Do I Trust God When I’ve Been Through Devastating Circumstances?
During a Q&A time with the youth last night, a young lady with a troubled past asked a question which cut straights to the heart of the matter. “How can I trust God when he’s let me go through devastating situations?” Here are some brief thoughts that I hope you too can find helpful in your journey with God.
- Much suffering comes as a result of abandoning God’s ways. Many times, our pain results from lying, gossip, anger, envy, jealousy, adultery, the love of money, or other types of sin. Sometimes deep societal problems exist because of the love of power and comfort at the expense of others. When I experience suffering due to people (or myself) having abandoned God’s ways, it causes me to trust God more. I see the beauty in following Jesus, and I recognize that it offers a path to wholeness and abundant life. It causes me to long for others to know him, too.
- “Natural Evil” helps me long for heaven. Some suffering is not the direct result of human sin. We have diseases, earthquakes, unexpected house fires, accidents, and other types of suffering. The Bible says that when humanity sinned, the entire creation was broken. It may seem unfair, but God allows this world to go unredeemed in the present time.
Again, this gives us the opportunity to follow Jesus and see the beauty of God’s ways. Jesus says, “Anyone who has two coats should share with him who has none.” Jesus calls us away from comfort and into the suffering of others. And hopefully, if you’ve been through some sort of “Natural Evil,” God’s people have offered you physical, spiritual, and emotional comfort in your time of loss. As a pastor, I get to see this happen quite often and it is a highlight to see God's people engage the hurting.
- Jesus went through devastating circumstances for us. If there is one thing we know for sure, it is that God cares. He sent his son to die, so that for us a perfect paradise would be secured. Because God in Christ was willing to suffer and die for us, we know that he cares and is with us no matter what we face. Reflecting on God’s love at the cross can help us face any trial.
A prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to trust you when this world is grim. You have overcome the world. You are the source of light, life, and love. Raise us from this present darkness and make us beacons of hope through the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.