Trusting God

“At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. 
Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; 
may the name of the Lord be praised.’
In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”
Job 1:20-22 (NIV)

One of the most heart wrenching aspects of Job’s great sorrow was that the record does not indicate that he ever learned why he went through such suffering. When trials come our way, it can help us endure if we can see reasons for or purpose of the suffering.

For example, I can look back on some trials I endured but they came as a result of my own mistakes. I deliberately did something that came back to haunt me. I had to go to people and apologize for some of my choices that caused them pain. One foolish act of mine many years ago was only confessed in the past couple of years when I finally caught up to those who were hurt by my actions. This is one way we can find relief for sorrow in life.

I recall meeting a young man in a wheelchair who lost the use of his legs when he recklessly drove a stolen car at high speed and caused a terrible accident. His back was broken, and he was told he would never walk again. He knew all too well the “why” of his suffering.

Another way suffering can be explained is when we see benefits coming from the problem. Since I began my journey with cancer in 1989, I have been able to minister to many cancer patients and am able to tell them how the Lord has helped me manage this health issue. Also, my acceptance of the matter can be a living example for them to imitate. So, this is another way we can endure because others benefit from our example.

But it is confusing and very troubling when we cannot see a purpose for suffering. One wise person who suffered greatly had a remarkable word from the Lord which was, “Can you trust me with this problem even if I never tell you why?”. This idea of trusting the Lord when we cannot trace Him is very important. We see faith coming into the situation to enable us to cope with the sorrow. But how do we strengthen our faith?

One way is to recognize that the Lord’s people in every generation have suffered. Many examples are found in the Bible. Seeing how they were sustained gives us hope. Read the book of Job and find out for yourself. Talk to others who have suffered and learn from them. Most of all read about Jesus’ suffering and you will be blessed powerfully.

He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:3-5 (NIV)

“Man of Sorrows,” what a name
For the Son of God who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim!
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood;
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless, we,
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
Full redemption—can it be?
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die,
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in heaven exalted high;
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
To His kingdom us to bring,
Then anew this song we’ll sing
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

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