Tag Archives: Suffering

3 Keys to Remember Amid Suffering

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Perhaps it seems odd, but we share some thoughts with ancient Israel. The Israelites found themselves in captivity, and they were wondering if God had totally left them. Feelings of loneliness and thoughts of abandonment were prevalent. Where was God? Why was he not answering?

We may find ourselves asking these same questions as we look at our circumstances. The political landscape is stressful. There are marriages on the brink of disaster. Finances are operating paycheck to paycheck, trying to stretch every penny farther than it was designed to go. The pressures of life are heavy, and as we start to buckle under the weight, we relate to the Israelites. Where is God? Why is he not answering?

Thankfully, the Lord sent Isaiah to offer encouragement to Israel, and we too can find encouragement in his words. In Isaiah 40, the prophet offers 3 keys to remember amid hard times.

First, the Lord is all-powerful.

Isaiah asks in verse 28, “Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.”

It’s as if Isaiah is saying, “Don’t forget…”

“Don’t forget the Lord is everlasting.”

Psalm 90 proclaims, “Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God.” There’s never been a time without the Lord, nor will there ever be a time without the Lord. Don’t forget the Lord is everlasting.

“Don’t forget the Lord is the creator.”

Genesis 1:1 reminds us God created the Heavens and the Earth. He was there before anything existed, and he is the one who spoke everything into existence. Remember, God is the creator.

“Don’t forget the Lord never loses strength.”

Jeremiah reminds us the Lord’s strength is always there. In chapter 32, he says, “O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!” Nothing is too hard for God. There are things that are too hard for us, but not for him; he carries the heaviest of loads with ease. The pressures of life which cause us to buckle, don’t even cause him to flinch. Jesus says what is impossible for man is possible for God; his word never fails. Keep in mind God does not lose his strength.

“Don’t forget his wisdom is immeasurable.”

“Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways,” states Romans 11. Don’t forget there is no end to the Lord’s wisdom.

Remember, God is all-powerful. It may seem are struggles hold all the power, but God holds more. Amid a difficult season, Isaiah reminds us of God’s power.

Second, the Lord desires to help us.

Isaiah says the Lord wants to help us. In verse 29, Isaiah exalts the Lord by saying he gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. The Lord is willing and able to help us.

Third, the Lord will get us through.

It is in our weakest moments it seems the Lord does his best work. He sure did for Israel. The Lord delivered the Israelites from captivity, and he rebuilt their nation. They were wondering where God was; why he wasn’t answering, but he pulled them through the hard time.

As we are wondering where God is; why he is not answering, we need to remember the encouragement of verses 30-31:

Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.

Amid the hard times in life, we need to remember to trust in the Lord. He will pull us through. The stresses and pressures of life are no match for the Lord. His strength will get us through.

The next time you find yourself buckling under the pressure of a hard time, remember, Isaiah’s 3 keys:

  • The Lord is all-powerful, and can handle anything that may come.
  • The Lord desires to help.
  • The Lord will get you through the difficulty.

Finding True Peace Get Encouraged

With so much hubbub around us, many folks long for peace, and they search for it in a number of places. As they search, peace seems to elude them, so they begin to ask if there really is true peace. We will answer that question in this episode. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://getencouraged.blog/2021/06/10/finding-true-peace/ — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/chris-miller046/message
  1. Finding True Peace
  2. Does God Care About Me?
  3. Trusting the Lord
  4. Remembering (Memorial Day)
  5. Out of the Storm

Out of the Storm

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It had been a painful and trying time for Job. At times, it may have seemed everyone was against him. Job may have wondered if the storm would ever let up. It was one thing right after another. Day after day, Job and his friends debated the cause of the trial and wondered about relief. That is, until God spoke to Job from the storm.

Job 42:1-6 records Job saying to God:

“I know that you can do all things;
    no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
    Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
    things too wonderful for me to know.

“You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.’
My ears had heard of you
    but now my eyes have seen you.
Therefore I despise myself
    and repent in dust and ashes.”

It would have been enough for the Lord to relieve Job’s storm. It would have been enough just to put Job in a different season of life, but the Lord doesn’t stop there. He allows Job not only to hear about him, but to see him. Out of Job’s storm, he sees the Lord and is forever changed.

Out of storms, God speaks. Out of storms, it seems the Lord reveals himself. Amid storms, the Lord can be seen vibrantly. Out of life’s storms, we can see God and be forever changed. How have you seen the Lord in the storms of your life?

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Where is God?

Where is God? This is a question Job asked often as he was going through his season of pain and suffering. He couldn’t comprehend events, and he had trouble remembering where God was. Can you relate?

This is a question which has been asked through the generations, and many people are asking it today. Events seem incomprehensible as history is made right before our eyes. Folks may have trouble remembering God’s location. Job’s friend Elihu gives some insight.

In Job 36:26, Elihu says, “How great is God—beyond our understanding!
    The number of his years is past finding out.”

Max Lucado writes, “we may search out the moment the first wave slapped on a shore or the first star burst in the sky, but we’ll never find the first moment when God was God. For there is no moment when God was not God. He has never not been or he is eternal. God is not bound by time.”

God always has been and always will be. He is right beside us.

  • “May he rule from sea to sea
        and from the River to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72:8).
  • 7 “Where can I go from your Spirit?
        Where can I flee from your presence?
    If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
        if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
    If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
        if I settle on the far side of the sea,
    10 even there your hand will guide me,
        your right hand will hold me fast” (Psalm 139:7-10).

Amid all that is going on, the Lord is right beside us.

Romans 8:38-39 reminds us, 38 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

He is not going to leave us or forsake us. We can have comfort in knowing the Lord is with us.”

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Our Redeemer Lives

Disappointing, painful, and hard to go through may easily describe Job’s situation. He went from having plenty to having nothing. His wealth, health, and family all stripped away. His friends begin to question him and conclude it is his fault, but Job remains steadfast in his faith. Job declares his redeemer lives.

He says in 19:25-26, 25 “I know that my redeemer lives,
    and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
    yet in my flesh I will see God…”

Disappointing, painful, or hard to go through may describe where you are in life right now. You moved across country for a big promotion that has made you miserable and left you disappointed. Your relationship ended in a painful way. It is hard to watch your loved one suffer as he or she battles a medical illness. In many ways, you can parallel your life to Job right now. What about your faith?

Disappointments, pain and suffering are unfortunately a part of life. Dreams and goals may not always work out exactly as planned. However, we can echo the words of Job, knowing that our redeemer lives. Though life may not turn out as we planned, in Christ, we can have confidence the Lord is with us and Heaven awaits.

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Don’t Jump to Conclusions

There’s an old story, as recalled by Max Lucado, about an elderly man in a small village who owned a valuable horse. It was a white horse, and it was worth much money. Many people tried to buy the horse, but the gentleman was not interested in parting with the horse. To him, the white stud was a close friend.

One morning the horse was missing. The stable was empty. The man’s neighbors mocked the man saying he should have sold the horse before it was stolen. How could someone so poor expect to secure a horse of such value. The man responded, “We don’t know the horse was stolen. All we know is the horse is not in the stable. I’m leaving it at that.”

A few days went by and the horse returned home. He was followed by twelve wild mares. The neighborhood rejoiced, telling the man he was given a fortune. The mares could be trained and sold for a great profit, but the man said, “We don’t know for sure. All we know is there are twelve mares here.”

The man’s son tried training the horses, but one of them threw him off. He broke both of his legs. The neighbors gathered around to grieve. The elderly man had no one else to help him, and now his son’s legs were injured. He would surely be desperate. “We don’t know for sure,” came the man’s response. “All we know is my son’s legs are injured.”

As the son’s legs healed, the country went to war, and all the young men had to leave the village to serve in the army. That is, except the son. He remained home because of his injuries. Again, the neighborhood returned to the old man. This time angry because their sons had to go to war and his did not. “We will never see our sons again,” they lamented. “You don’t know that,” replied the elderly man, “all you know is your sons went to war.”

He continued, “It is impossible to have a conversation with you. You always draw conclusions.”

In chapter 12, Job rebukes his friends for drawing a conclusion about his situation. They believe they know exactly why Job is going through this time of suffering, and they speak their minds without truly knowing the plan God has. Job’s friends draw conclusions like the old man’s neighbors. When someone else is going through a hard time, we may not fully know why they are having this experience in their life. Friends should always ask for wisdom before drawing conclusions about someone’s circumstances.

Proverbs 25:8 advises, “Don’t jump to conclusions—there may be
    a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.”

When you or one of your friends is going through a rough time, consider asking the Lord for wisdom to approach the situation in the best way.

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