Friend, do you wonder how we can keep the faith when we suffer? Suffering and pain often make us doubt the goodness and justice of God.
When we experience a tragedy, lose a loved one or things and relationships, we deem precious; when we lose the life we want, we start to doubt and question God and struggle to keep our faith.
As no stranger to suffering, I want to encourage you and share with you 3 ways to keep the faith when we suffer.
What Is Faith and Why We Need to Keep It When We Suffer
In Hebrews, we find a beautiful definition of faith: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Faith is confidence and assurance in invisible things. It is the force that keeps us going and enduring in the place of “not yet”. Most of all, faith is a constant commitment and trust in God, despite hardships and trials.
We need to keep the faith, especially when we suffer because faith will enable us to overcome and hold the tension between God’s promises and the painful reality we face.
Here are 3 ways to keep the faith when we suffer based on the book of Job.We need to keep the faith, especially when we suffer because faith will enable us to overcome and hold the tension between God's promises and the painful reality we face. #faith #suffering #bgbg2 Click To Tweet
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#1 Going to God for Answers and Accepting His Answer
Job is a great example of a person who has endured great and inexplicable suffering and, nevertheless, kept his faith in God. How was he able to do this?
Job’s strongest wish in his suffering is his desire to hear God personally and to receive an explanation from the Source. In the end, God shows up and gives a personal answer to Job. This answer is not so much an explanation, but a lesson showing Job that God is God and He is good at being God, while Job is just a human with limited power, understanding, and resources. (Job 38-42).
God’s answer interestingly brings Job to a place of deep humility and worship. “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:3) (Job 42:5-6)
Friend, when we suffer, let’s go straight to God with our questions, doubts, and needs. God will never leave us without encouragement, revelation, or specific truth to help us in our struggle.
#Remember that God Is God
The centerpiece of God’s lesson to Job is showing him that God is God, and He has the capacity and all resources to rule the universe. He is the blessed Controller of all things, including our lives. There is nothing out of God’s scope of knowledge and activity. Not only that, but God makes it clear that nobody has the right to judge the way God rules the creation.
God asks Job a series of questions aiming to display God’s capacity to create and rule the world in comparison to a human’s partial knowledge and abilities.
God asks Job questions like “Where were you when I …?”, “Have you given orders to the morning?”, “Have the gates of death been shown to you?”, “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades?”, “Do you know the laws of the heavens?”, “Do you give the horse its strength?”, “Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom?”, etc. (Job 38-39)
Basically, God’s questions can be summarized with these two rhetorical phrases: “Can you? Do you know?” with the obvious answer: “No.”
When we meditate on God being God and His limitless power, wisdom, and love, we can nurture our faith in the face of suffering, especially when we don’t understand and don’t have the answers.When we meditate on God being God and His limitless power, wisdom, and love, we can nurture our faith in the face of suffering, especially when we don’t understand. #faith #suffering #encouragement Click To Tweet
#3 God Will Vindicate Our Suffering
God’s treatment of Job is a great encouragement for all who suffer and endure great losses. At the beginning of the book, we understand that the reason God allows this great affliction is to prove to Satan that Job is a man of faith: a person who loves God not because of the blessings he has received, but because of God Himself.
Our faith is extremely precious to God because it is tied to His reputation, character, and promises. Trusting the invisible God and placing our confidence in His goodness and wisdom has an immense value to God.
Suffering and trials are testing our faith, making it real, active, and strong. That’s why, as believers, our suffering is not in vain. Moreover, our good God vindicates our suffering and finds a way to bring abundant blessings out of our suffering.
Job’s test of faith has a grand finale with God restoring his fortunes and giving him twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10). Not only that, but “the Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.” (Job 42:12)
Isn’t that a wonderful encouragement? God always desires to bless us and He will bless us, no matter what happens to us. His blessings mean increase and abundance, a perfected faith and a proven character, and much more that we can imagine or dream of.
Let’s continue to persevere in our faith and endure suffering when needed.
More Resources to Help You Keep the Faith When You Suffer
If you need additional resources to help you keep the faith when you suffer, I can highly recommend these books.
A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss by Jerry L. Sittser
A Grace Revealed: How God Redeems the Story of Your Life by Jerry L. Sittser
Restoration Year – a 365 Days Devotional by John Eldredge
All Things New by John Eldredge
It’s not supposed to Be This Way by Lisa Terkeurst
Grieving the Write Way Journal and Workbook by Gary Roe
Suffering and the Heart of God by Diane Langberg
Hope When Life Unravels: Finding God When It Hurts by Adam Dooley
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Which of these ways to keep the faith do you find the most encouraging? What are your ways to keep the faith in suffering? Share in the comments and on social media. Thanks!Trusting the invisible God and placing our confidence in His goodness and wisdom has immense value to God. #trustGod #encouragement #Compeltraining Click To Tweet
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