When we see suffering, our hearts break, and often wonder, where is God when the world is hurting. God sees and hears us and understands us. He hurts when we hurt.
Where is God When the World is Hurting
He is before all things & in Him, all things hold together. – Colossians 1:17
For the last few months, I have been holding this verse close to my heart. I have written it over and over again – in my planner, on post-it notes and even brought it to my attention by writing it on the first page of my bible.
My prayers this month often include speaking this scripture over our government, town, and leaders. Knowing He has placed them in their current positions for a greater purpose than I can conceive. I must constantly remember King Solomon’s influential words – “Many are the plans of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (Proverbs 19:21 ESV).
As both these verses play out in my head, it certainly makes it a little easier to tune into the daily news. But with so many stories of destruction and torment, it makes me ponder over questions about why?
- Why is there so much hurt?
- Why can’t God stop traumatic events?
- Why is He allowing Satan to rule in a world created by him?
I believe I am not the only Christian sister who is doing the same.
Even though I know the answer, my heart breaks for those who are suffering. In all the disappointment, it is no surprise when I say we are a broken people! And as much as we would like to think, we can’t conveniently repair ourselves or the deep hurt others are suffering. But I know someone who can and you do too!
Ordinary Routine of Sin
Death, decay, and disease were never to be a part of God’s original plan. For us, we have never known a world without it. It is a normal part of our lives and some days it becomes increasingly too much for us to bear. Like any disease process, sin requires a host or agent to thrive.
Even though our parents have taught us to understand the difference between right and wrong, sin still remains. And God, through the Bible, has further opened our eyes to the correct way of living. Yet, sin still continues. It may slip our minds, but we still often do bad things on purpose. For example, that little white lie you told your friend the other day as an excuse not to hang out with her.
A quick-witted decision, containing no second thoughts, is effortlessly displaced from our minds thanks to sin. It is like an incurable sickness or injury we can not repair.
When sin is standing in the middle of all the wrongs and sometimes our rights, it can seem impossible to remedy. Since its inception, sin has continuously tried to shame us. It is self-serving, powered by hopelessness, and filled with the lies of Satan.
But… anyone belonging to Christ has been made new. We are no longer slaves to sin. Its power has been lost.
- A new life – “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4).
- A new nature – “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).
When Christ died on the cross for our sins, breaking the veil, He sent us an advocate, the Holy Spirit. When God sees us, He does not see our filth; He sees the Holy Spirit within us. PRAISING GOD for this truth! It is through Him we are made righteous.
“If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.”
– 1 John 2:29.
A True Believer is Secure
Wanting our own way dwells in the roots of our fallen nature. It is our default mode and for those who don’t know Jesus; it is the only way they know. The good news is Jesus died for all of us – past sinners and current ones. The love He demonstrated replaces all selfish ambition with sacrificial devotion.
When we trust Him as our sin-bearer, we die to sin and can live righteously. By His wounds, we have been healed (substitutionary atonement). As believers, we are no longer separated from Christ by our past behavior. Therefore, we can live a life pleasing to God.
Though we may still sin, God has made us holy. By pursuing the goodness of God, we can regularly shift our minds away from our old nature to our new one.
God Hurts When We Hurt
As ambassadors for Christ, it hurts to see others hurting, especially when we recognize the tragedy could have been prevented.
Romans 12:15 tells us;
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
Having empathy for others is the key to having compassion for them and their situation. God feels our pain and sees our tears. No suffering is meaningless. We may actually be tempted to believe that suffering is a punishment for sin. But this is not the case at all.
We may not have all the answers, nor the understanding for all the painful sufferings, but we know God does! We also know that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted. He understands that His justice may look different to us. This is why we are called to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). And through Him, He will give us strength.
Today, let’s commit to focusing on Christ in all things and through all circumstances. Though we may not have all the answers, God hears our cries and understands our sadness. A call to Jesus will bring peace to our souls.
Let’s Pray Together
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank you for your goodness. Today, we stand in faith knowing you work all things out for those who love the Lord. Help us to remember your promises, even when our eyes see discomfort. Renew our strength today and awaken a fresh life in all of us.
In your precious name, we pray, Jesus–Amen!
Read More on Jen Schreiner
- How to Get Closer to God When You’re Feeling Distant
- God Rejoices When We Pray – The Power of Prayer
- When God’s Timing is Taking Too Long
- Finding Unshakable Hope in the Waiting
- Releasing Your Expectations into God’s Hands