By Jordan An
June 22, 2020
“There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4b
Reading this verse should give us comfort. Yet, at the same time, it shines a clear light on the fact that this is not how life is right now. Our reality is full of death, mourning, crying, and pain. We don’t have to watch the news very long to hear of a new tragedy somewhere in the world. And we feel it deeply on a personal level, mourning the brokenness, death, and disease that impact our own family and friends.
Why we suffer is an important question we all grapple with. But no matter why it happens, we acknowledge that suffering plays a very real part in all of our lives. A deeper struggle in the life of every believer comes when we ask the next logical question: where is God in my pain and suffering?
The stories of the Bible are filled with the pain and suffering of God’s people. The book of Psalms includes 42 psalms of lament. But a consistent message of scripture is that—even during the most painful times—God was with his people.
Psalm 34:18 says “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” And Jesus himself endured the ultimate pain for us so we can be assured that God never leaves us alone. As believers, we have this source of comfort in our pain: God is with us.
Just as God walks with us in our pain, he often sends others to comfort and strengthen us. We might have a tendency to try to hide our struggles from those around us. Yet, when we are vulnerable with others about our suffering, we find deep joy in Christian community.
Our painful experiences can also open doors for us to come alongside others who are suffering. Scripture tells us that “we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4b).
In Romans 8:18, Paul writes, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed.” He articulates well the reality that Christians can rejoice despite our pain because we know that even greater joy awaits us; our suffering is not the end.
Believers can look forward to the time when death, mourning, crying, and pain pass away. And we persevere because we trust God’s promise that he will see us through until that day comes.
Looking for more resources on this topic? “Seeking God in Suffering,” an inspirational four-week devotional series from Today, dives deeper into the hope we have in Jesus. Subscribe to the series for free here.
God never promises that life will be easy on this side of eternity, but he does promise to be present with us through the Holy Spirit.
Subscribe now to receive Seeking God in Suffering, a free inspirational 4-week devotional series from Today