Reconciling Our Suffering With God’s Love


When the Lord Waits Cover

If you have ever wondered how God could love and care for you when there have been so many difficult and painful events that have happened in your life, this article may be of some use to you.

As we examine the arrival of Jesus into the world, we must ask the question: Why would God allow His Son to be born under such difficult and dangerous circumstances? From the moment that Jesus was born, His life was in jeopardy. King Herod of Judea knew about the prophecy of Micah—describing the Messiah as born in Bethlehem. In fear of losing His rulership, he dispatched soldiers to kill every baby boy, under the age of two years. We know that God loves His Son. The question is: how is it loving to allow someone who you care for—to suffer?

Matthew 2:16-18 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.

The Bible records a great number of trials and difficulties during the first two and the last three and one half years of Jesus’ life. The Father ordained that His Son would suffer so that He might learn obedience.

Hebrews 5:8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.

If your life has had moments of suffering and loss, then you should have great confidence that you are on a sure course that the Lord has chosen for you. Trials are the loving act of a Father who deeply cares for His children. Through the process of being humbled through our trials, we understand that God is disciplining and teaching us. If we endure our suffering with confidence in the Love of God, then we have achieved the intended results of our trials.

Hebrews 12:5-7 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” 7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?

In these difficult and painful moments of our life, we should use the time of our suffering to draw near to the Lord and express our love and continued trust in Him. For as we suffer, we know that we are being refined and purified as fine gold. In the heat and fire of our testing, only the worthless dross of all the empty and fleeting things of this world are being removed. When we come through the trial, what is left is a purified heart that understands the love of God and His great care, in greater clarity than we could have experienced—without our trials.

Though we may understand these realities in principle, none of us cares much for times of difficulty. When we are suffering, it hurts; and we feel miserable until circumstances improve in our life. If we would remember that not only will good things come into our life but also the bad, we will be better prepared. The Lord permits both light and darkness for the same purpose: To show us who we are in times of suffering and to show us who He is, as He brings us through suffering.

Isaiah 45:6-7 ...I am the LORD, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.

When we pray and ask the Lord for help or direction, often, the answers seem slow in their arrival.

This is because the Lord is trying to build character in us. His delay in sending help creates an environment where patience can grow. As we wait upon the Lord, we learn to trust Him more—while we observe that His timing is always perfect. Waiting on the Lord is one of the most difficult things to accomplish in life. A lengthy delay in solutions to our problems does, however, give us endurance and humility. If the Lord did for us the things that we want Him to do, as quickly as we asked Him to do them, we would not grow and trust Him nearly as much as we can when He delays the answer to our needs.

I find that waiting on the Lord is perhaps my greatest struggle. I have no problem believing in the goodness of the Lord and His desire to show His love to me. What I suffer through time and time again is waiting on Him after I ask for His help. In my small world, the Lord always takes far too long. My impatience persists until I receive the answer I had been waiting for. It is then that I can clearly see that had the Lord given me the solution I sought any earlier, it would not have accomplished as much in my heart as when I was forced to wait and trust Him.

At the end of every trial, there is always a great deal that I have learned. The purpose of the trial was not to destroy, but to cause me to grow. In those moments when I am in pain and distress—I call upon the Lord and He hears me. Sometimes there is relief, other times there is a ability to endure the trial. In every case, when I have come through the suffering; I always find that I have been greatly loved and taken care of. It is in those moments of helplessness that I find my greatest strength in simply being still and waiting on the Lord. Resting in His love and trusting in His desire to make things turn out for God; I am able to endure and learn to trust Him more than I had before. Jesus learned obedience by the things that He suffered. You and I are no different. God does not permit our suffering because He does not love us—but because He does.

Categories: Following Jesus, Suffering and Trials, Understanding Suffering

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