Musings on Life's Pain and God's Love

Musings on Life's Pain and God's Love

I was awakened early this morning with thoughts revolving around our confusion between God's love for us and the painful events that life seems to be full of.

We seem to equate God's love for us with the positive happenings and the positive answers to our prayers. When bad things happen, when our prayers are not answered as we want them to be, we think maybe God does not love us so much after all. Or maybe He is mad at us, or maybe He isn't who we think He is after all.

I don't know about you, but life has been hard lately. Not just a little hard, but really hard. We have seen people, good people, godly people get sick and die horrible deaths brought on by a plague that many still think is phony. We have seen people, good people, godly people suffer with financial loss and poverty some related to the plague and our societies response to it, some related to the crazy weather patterns and fires, and some related to unjust treatment of minority groups and some to other people’s angry responses to the continued unjust treatment of minorities. And we have seen people, good people, godly people suffer with false accusations and an unjust legal system that seems to rip away everything they love and care about.

The list of unfair, unjust, painful events is long. And for too many of us it has become personal.

I don't know about you, but I feel like life has really kicked me hard in the last few years. The challenges have been immense – the pain has been deep and personal and real.

Some nights, like last night, as I pray I ask God WHAT??? Is there something I am doing wrong? Is there something I am supposed to be learning here? WHY are my prayers not being answered the way I think I need them to be answered? WHY are so many awful things happening?

And then this morning, I wake up with the thought, “what makes you think the hardships of life are measures of my love for you?”

God's love is not measured in the hardships we suffer. It is measured in the hardship HE suffered.

But He emptied Himself—taking on the form of a slave, becoming the likeness of men and being found in appearance as a man. He humbled Himself—becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:7-8 CJV)

He made the One who knew no sin to become a sin offering on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 CJV

So maybe my question needs to change. Maybe, instead of asking God what am I doing wrong, or WHY these things are happening, I should be asking “Lord, in this situation, how can I let my pain make me more righteous, more like you? “

I don't think Jesus enjoyed the suffering part of being human. It was not all fun and miracles. But it did bring us redemption, restoration and the promise of resurrection. Redemption from the guilt of our sin, restoration of our relationship with our creator, and the promise of a life after this one.

For centuries the church has taught that the blessed hope is found in the appearing of our Savior and in the eternal life we have been given and that the joy of our salvation is in our restored relationship with a God who will help us and be with us and who will give us strength and peace in the trials and pain of life.

So today, I am asking for more of his presence, more of his strength and more of his peace as I submit to Him for my own humbling and so that I might become the righteousness of God.

Elizabeth Darby Bass
March 23, 2021

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Sabbath Streams Ministries

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