“May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant (Psalm 119:76).”
An untimely death, sickness, a bad diagnosis, the loss of employment, separation, divorce, anxiety; all things that tear at the lives of people everyday. We listen, try to console but are we really able to comfort and bring relief to those who are hurting? We say things like, “I’ll pray for you”, “I hope you feel better”, “God knows what you’re going through”, “May you find peace”, etc. What we don’t want to say is “I know how you feel” especially if you’ve never experienced what they are going through. However there is another perspective to bear in mind when we see the suffering of others. Maybe, just maybe, it may be God’s plan and His will, a method He is using to grow their faith.
Christians are not immune to suffering and in fact, scripture supports it, it’s called sanctification, the process of being made holy. This is not something we can accomplish on our own. It was Jesus, the precious Lamb of God who was the catalyst in reconciling our relationship back to God.
We may not understand another’s suffering but unlike Job’s wife who encouraged him to curse his God and die (Job 2:9) and his friends who accused him of doing evil (Job 4-23), we are to remain steadfast in faith trusting “that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (James 1:3b)”.
In this life we will experience suffering but just like a loving mother comforts her child, the Lord God is our comfort; “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem (Isaiah 66:13)”. God is our Comforter, our Father, our Constancy and our Consoler and it is His unfailing love that will sustain us in all of the difficulties of life. He really does know what you’re going through.