What do you do when you feel like God is the One who is allowing your pain and suffering?
You’ve prayed to get well, to be free of pain, for a healed relationship . . . for the desire of your heart.
The Bible says, “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.” Psalm 37:4
You’ve done your best to do “good.” You’ve tried to obey His commands. Maybe you’ve even dedicated your life to serving Him in ministry. You’ve made every effort to “delight” in Him.
Yet for reasons beyond your ability to understand, no matter how much you pray in faith . . . God seems to be saying ‘no!’
And you can’t seem to shake the one thought that keeps repeating . . . it’s not fair!
To make things worse, like salt in a wound, everywhere you look, people who don’t even seem appreciative, have the very thing your heart longs for and you find yourself giving in to jealousy, tantrums, and self-pity.
So, you add whining and complaining to your prayers, like a child trying to get a parent to soften and give you what you want.
But nothing changes…
You wait and pray and wait and pray some more but you’re still sick. Still in pain. Still single. Still longing for a child, a job, a home, a _________.
This may be your story. It has been mine.
I had a heart’s desire years ago and I wanted what I wanted when I wanted it . . . God’s ‘no’ was simply unacceptable. I pouted, complained, whined, and refused to trust that God had a better plan for me.
Without giving you all the ugly details, I’ll tell you I learned a very big lesson the hard way.
Praise God for His forgiving grace, mercy, and love. He patiently showed me His better way. He taught me that I can trust His “no” even when it’s hard and I don’t want to. He taught 5 important truths . . . reasons I can trust His will even when it’s not my desire.
How to Trust God’s Love When You are Suffering
5 Reasons Why You and I can Trust God’s “No”
1. Trust God’s NO because EVERYthing God allows is filtered through His love.
Love is God’s character and He cannot do anything that is outside of who He is. He sees the big picture of our lives and always knows and does what is best for our eternal future even though we don’t understand and it doesn’t feel like it.
Joni Eareckson Tada once wrote…
“Real satisfaction comes not in understanding God’s motives, but in understanding His character, in trusting in His promises, and in leaning on Him and resting in Him as the Sovereign who knows what He is doing and does all things well.”
Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.Psalm 143:8
2. Trust God’s NO because His goodness covers EVERYthing He allows.
God is good! Everything He does is good! You and I live in a sinful broken world and often have to live out the consequences of that truth. But although this life can be hard, God is always at work for our good in ways that will give Him glory.
All He does is just and good, and all His commandments are trustworthy.Psalm 111:17
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.Romans 8:28
3. Trust God’s NO because He sees the beginning from the end and may be saying “no” to protect you.
You and I make God too small. He is everlasting. He knows your past and your future. He knows the lives you will touch and knows how best to bless you always keeping your eternal future in mind.
But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.2 Peter 3:8
4. Trust God’s NO while you do what you can and leave the rest to Him.
It’s important for you and me to get up each day and focus on what we can do. It helps me to focus on counting my blessings and remembering what I have rather than dwelling on what’s lacking. My goal is to do my best with the Spirit’s help to trust God’s plans and purposes one day at a time remembering they always include love . . . very big love. And because of His love, He will give me what I need to endure whatever He allows.
“Harness the power of today. Seize the blessings of today! Make something happen, enhance your life, make someone laugh, help a friend, love, love, love!” ~Steve Maraboli
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!Lamentations 3:22–23
His mercies never cease.
Great is His faithfulness;
His mercies begin afresh each morning.
5. Trust God’s NO as you lean deep into His love through prayer and study of His Word.
When life is hardest . . . I need God the most. So, I turn to Him through His Word and prayer, and by His grace, I begin to rest in His love. With the Spirit’s help, my experience has been that when I lean into the Lord in faith, He is faithful to give me what I need to live that day.
The Lord also keeps safe those who suffer. He is a safe place in times of trouble. Those who know Your name will put their trust in You. For You, O Lord, have never left alone those who look for You.Psal, 9:9–10 (NLV)
“I won’t tell you it will be easy. It won’t.”
Walking through a valley of grief and heartache is an arduous journey but it is not one we have to take alone.
Satan will consistently use your pain, your broken heart to tempt you to doubt God’s love, give up, and to try to take care of things on your own.
Martin Luther said that his tactics have never changed … the lie is still the same as it was in the Garden…
“The sin underneath all our sins is to trust the lie of the serpent that we cannot trust the love and grace of Christ and must take matters into our own hands” ~Martin Luther
I have learned the hard way – that God’s ways are best. I’ve lived out the consequences of falling for the enemy’s lies, and I’ve come to believe with all my heart that God’s grace saturates everything He allows and His protecting hand of mercy surrounds anything He denies.
This isn’t fatalism. It’s faith!
Whatever you are facing today, remember…
God will walk with you through this valley. You can trust His goodness and love … He has proven just how much through His Son, Jesus. You are not alone!
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me.2 Corinthians 12:8–9
I love this quote from Babbie Mason in Trust His Heart…
God is too wise to be mistaken.
God is too good to be unkind.
So when you don’t understand.
When you don’t see His plan.
When you can’t trace His hand.
Trust His Heart!
My friend, Horace Williams, has written an awesome new book,
The Furnace of Affliction
In The Furnace of Affliction: How God Uses Our Pain and Suffering for His Purpose, Horace Williams Jr. tackles this challenging topic. Based on the Word of God, insights from other leaders, and his studies, he addresses several key points, including:
- How pain develops our faith
- How pain determines our path
- How pain delivers comfort, joy, and peace
- And how pain deepens our commitment to God.
Packed with personal stories and scripture to support his points, Horace shares his insights on the problem of pain. His candid and straightforward communication style engages the reader as he addresses this critical topic for the body of Christ today.
I really loved this book. I’ve known Horace for a number of years but there was so much of his story I didn’t know. God has allowed pain and problems in his life and Horace is turning it into an opportunity to give God glory. This book is both powerful and inspiring. It even offers study questions at the end of each chapter to help you personalize your own journey.
Finally, leave a comment and tell us how you are learning to trust God’s love even when you’re suffering.
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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