Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
It seems there’s no guarantee of anything in this unpredictable world except hardship, suffering, and tribulation. How do we react to the trials that come our way? If most of us are honest with ourselves, the answer is probably ‘not very well’. How do we live with pain, with crushing defeat? How do we not only survive but thrive when our hearts are heavy with grief and apathetic towards anything outside of our immediate periphery? How do we worship and praise God when our throats are parched from pleading or stuck in bitter silence?
As we journey through our next series on ‘Trials and Tribulations’ we venture into dark waters. Some of us have stories of hardship and subsequent conquest; like Jobsian narratives there lies abundant blessing at the end of the tale. Others crawl through trials that seem too hard to bear, weathering stories and scars that have left no happy endings in their wake.
We may ask, ‘Where is Christ in the midst of pain and sorrow? Where is the balm of his peace during tortuous nights?’ And would you believe that he is there beside us, right where he’s been since the very beginning, partaking in the cries of our hearts? That’s hard to hear sometimes, harder to believe when our circumstances stand in direct opposition to his truth. But the truth remains unswayed and undeterred.
For Christ knew suffering, he experienced every pain and sorrow imaginable, pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5,7). And yet his grace abounds, his promises remain, and our hope endures.
‘I have chosen you and not cast you off,’; fear not for I am with you…I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’Isaiah 41:10
Though the trials and tribulations may seem never ending, he is our Emmanuel; with us now in our affliction and forever with us in our joy.
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