In the thick of it, seasons of pain and brokenness can feel never-ending. Regardless of whether you’ve been a believer for 20 days or 20 years, these seasons never get any easier to endure, and they always bring us to question why God would allow this. I want to reassure you that though you may be facing hardships, God is not the author of your pain. What you are feeling is not what God wants or intends for you. He is good, He does good, and He can and will bring good from the pain you’re feeling.
Last summer, I was a counselor at a high school camp. During the first night of devotionals, a camper asked, “If the Bible says that God is so good, then why do bad things happen to good people?” I’ll admit, I was a little caught off guard. I certainly didn’t expect a 14-year-old to ask such a deeply profound question on the very first night of camp, but I could also tell that this question held a lot of grief for her.
Her question got me thinking, though, about how the enemy can get us to play the blame game and be angry at God for our circumstances. Satan has a knack for getting us to believe that if it’s out of our control, then it must be a product of God. In my experience, it’s much easier to be angry and place blame elsewhere than to try to process what we’re feeling. Anyone who has experienced any kind of heartbreak can find common ground here.
There really isn’t a satisfying answer to my camper’s question apart from the fact that we’re given free will, which means people will make choices that bring pain. Sometimes it’s a product of our own choices, and other times it’s a result of others’ poor choices. Regardless, your suffering is never a product of God. It’s a product of this fallen, bruised, and broken world full of sin and everything that comes with it, but even so, God’s goodness remains. He never contradicts himself.
If we are faithless, He remains faithful—for He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:13 (ESV)
Part of learning to overcome your pain comes from understanding it in light of the gospel. You see, we live in a world tainted by sin dating back to Adam and Eve, but God made a way for hope by sending His Son to bear the pain that we cannot bear ourselves. He sent Jesus to say, “I’ve been there. I know the hurt you are feeling, and I’m walking through it with you.” He wants to carry the burden for you if you’ll trust Him with it.
As I was writing this, I came across a new song by Hillsong United called Another in the Fire. The chorus sings,
There is another in the fire standing next to me. There is another in the waters holding back the seas.
“Another in the Fire”, by Hillsong United
I don’t know what you’re going through, and I can’t imagine what you’re feeling. However, I know someone who understands exactly what your pain is like because He walked through the fire ahead of you. His name is Jesus.
If you’re facing hardships, if you feel like you’re walking through a never-ending fire and losing hope of overcoming it, keep holding on! What you’re feeling is not permanent. The Savior is near, walking alongside you, and guiding you through the flames. He will lead you to the other side, where there is more than you could ever imagine.