There is nothing-no circumstance, no trouble, no-testing that can ever touch me until, first of all it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a GREAT PURPOSE, which I may not understand at the moment. As I refuse to become panicky, as I lift my eyes up to Him and accept it as coming from the throne of God for some great purpose of blessing to my own heart, no sorrow will ever disturb me, no trial will ever disarm me, no circumstance will ever cause me to fret-for I shall rest in the joy of what my Lord is- that is the rest of VICTORY!!!!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Oh God, my God why have you forsaken me........

There are so many unanswered questions in life. There are people who experience such deep tragedies and devastation in our world daily. When in the midst of suffering of any magnitude it's hard to see the rainbow at the end of the storm. Satan loves our suffering, he feeds off those moments where our hearts are crushed and our minds are full of confusion. He loves to take our pain and chaos and use them against us to cause doubt in our minds about the goodness of Christ. When we hurt Satan rejoices and wants nothing more than to see us broken, in pain and lost. However when God sees our hurts He reaches down in the midst of the battlefield and takes our wounds upon Himself, He feels our pain, He weeps and mourns for us.

There have been so many moments for me in the past few years where I have cried out to God in the midst of the turmoil. At one end of the spectrum I have felt like we should welcome suffering and then during a very bitter time in my heart I fell into the category where I didn't understand suffering if God is all good and loving then why would He let those things happen to us. Recently we discussed suffering in a Bible Study I'm in and I feel like its a slippery slope because as Christians we are expected to look at suffering as our part of contributing to the cause of Christ. Our suffering allows us to draw closer to Christ and to be a witness to others who are also experiencing or will experience similar circumstances as us. I feel like at times we place this unrealistic expectation on ourselves to approach suffering with complete openness and almost joy and cheer. We develop this guilt that if we question suffering at all then somehow our faith is weak.

Like a chameleon ever changing I have transitioned from one emotion to the next and have came to this conclusion recently. Based on the God that I know who is gracious, forgiving, compassionate, loving and omnipotent I don't believe that God sets out to cause us to suffer. I don't believe that God gives kids cancer, causes people to die young, initiates devastating car accidents, overdoses, rape, murder, infertility, Alzheimer's, or any other earth shaking trauma that completely shakes a person to the core. What I do know is that as a part of life things happen and instead of blaming God for them we forget that in the thick of the forest He is always there, He always comes to our rescue and He always takes us to safety. As Jesus himself was hanging on the cross blood stained and beaten He cried out "Oh God, my God why have you forsaken me" Mark 15:34. See Jesus could have walked away from the torture and pain, He could have thrown up His hands and said "I'm out of here, I'm not doing this, this is hard." Ultimately though He knew that even in His humanness when He questioned His suffering that the cause and purpose of Christ would carry Him through.

There have been moments in my life where I didn't understand the suffering, even just recently we faced a difficult situation and standing in the middle of the storm I couldn't find one single reason that God would have a reason for the pain. What I realized though is that God didn't want me to focus on that one moment but to see that it was all apart of a much bigger plan.  It was just a small piece of the puzzle and by looking at that one piece I can't see anything significant but someday when I step back and look at all those pieces fit tightly together the most beautiful image will be displayed.

"While we need not assume there is a divine purpose leading to our suffering, we can and must trust that there is a divine purpose that follows from it. Hence our suffering is not meaningless." Gregory Boyd

As Jesus was hanging on the cross and cried out to God "why have you forsaken me" he had a moment of weakness and was looking at his present moment of suffering, he was allowing us to relate to his humanness, he was responding to his physical and emotional pain but when he then let go and said it is finished He allowed Himself to be free from that single moment and embrace the freedom of the entire purpose.

I don't know what you are facing today and I'm sure a lot of you have stories that would make me tremble in disbelief because of the deep hurt and pain of your suffering. Right now your circumstances may make absolutely no sense and you wonder what is God doing. I just encourage you that it's ok to be hurt, its ok to be broken and it's ok to cry out to God and ask Him to rescue you from the pain. "I cry aloud to the Lord; to the Lord I plead aloud for mercy. I pour out my complaint before him and tell over my troubles in his presence. When my spirit is faint within me thou art there to watch over my steps" Psalm 142-3. The pain may be overwhelming but I promise God has not left you and if you hold on He will make a purpose for the pain. Romans 8:28 "God works all things together for those who love Him." Even when our pain seems pointless He can trade beauty for ashes, He can take the most broken pieces and transform them into a beautiful Mosaic in the palm of His hands.

"It is often out of the brokenness of our lives that God reveals his choicest beauty and blessing. He makes of our tears a rainbow, of our thorns a crown, and of our dark nights a path upon which his love shines with an uncommon radiance." Henry Gariepy 

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