Through the Pain, God is With You

Read This: “When you pass through the waters, I am with you; when you pass through the streams, they will not overwhelm you.” Isaiah 43:2

Think: Last week our nation witnessed yet another tragedy of such magnitude it’s difficult to know how to respond. We may never be able to answer why or make sense of the horrors that day and that have happened all around the world. What we do know and what we cling to is the knowledge that God is good and he doesn’t leave us to fight our battles alone.

While God is absolutely loving, good, and all powerful, our world is center stage for a very real and powerful battle between good and evil. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rules, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” And while ultimately the war is won because Jesus conquered sin and death on the cross, Satan is not without some of his victories.

Since the beginning of the world Satan has been on a mission to destroy God’s creation. Jesus’ own birth was shadowed by a child massacre when Herod killed all the boys in the region of Bethlehem two years old and under in an effort to destroy God’s son. “Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud wailing, Rachel weeping for her children, and she did not want to be comforted, because they were gone” (Mat 2:18).

God doesn’t promise us a life without pain. We are not always buffered from the effects of evil on this battleground. There are storms raging all around us and there’s a good chance we’re going to get wet at some stage. The thunder rolls, lightening strikes, and sometimes it’s going to hurt. But God says, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you! Don’t be frightened, for I am your God! I strengthen you –yes, I help you –yes, I uphold you with my saving right hand!” (Isa 41:10). As a parent holds a frightened child through a storm, so God holds us in the midst of circumstances that would otherwise take us under.

The writer of Lamentations wrote, “But this I call to mind; therefore I have hope: The Lord’s loyal kindness never ceases; his compassions never end. They are fresh every morning; your faithfulness is abundant!” With God’s help, we do come out on the other side of the storm.

Ask: What are some of the storms you’ve been through, big or small? How do you explain that God is good even when bad things happen? How can you encourage others who are in the midst of a storm?

Pray: Thank God that because of his amazing sacrifice, we have an eternal hope that doesn’t depend on anything that happens in this world. Pray for protection against evil and also the strength to endure trials as they come.

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