When Life Hurts, Part 3
26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. —Romans 8:26-28
In dealing with the hurt we encounter in life, we’ve focused on not being surprised that we have pain, and also not losing hope that God will help when we need Him and seek Him. Here’s the next thing we need to keep in mind.
Take the Long View. Although I would not want to dress up everything we experience in a sentimental, greeting card conclusion, I am often humbled and surprised by the response I see from so many in my life and church. I have seen people that have grown and rejoiced in God’s goodness, even in the midst of some unplanned problem they’ve faced.
A few years back, my dad fell with a set of keys in hand. Unfortunately, one of the keys pierced his palm as he tried to break the fall. (Still makes cringe to think about it!) The wound sent us to the ER where the doctor decided to run a few additional tests, tests that indicated Dad had something other than a hole in his hand to worry about. The point? What got us there wasn’t really as important as what we found after we got there. Ever had that happen to you? Maybe you are going through something like that now?
I vividly recall sitting with a man who was recovering from throat cancer surgery, a surgery that meant he may never speak normally again. He wasn’t angry or shaking his fist at God, he was thankful for the gift of life. He was thankful for the second-chance perspective he’d been given. And he was thankful for the way in which his trial had caused him to reevaluate life’s priorities—or more accurately, God’s priorities for his days.
The verses above in Romans specifically tell us how to view things we don’t understand or that cause pain. It may not feel like those verses are true at the time, but that’s where our faith kicks in and reminds us of that very truth. Whether it’s the news of cancer or an unexpected pink slip, God can and does work things together for a greater good as we place our trust in Him. The question is, will we let Him?
And remember when life hurts, don’t be surprised, don’t lose hope, and trust God with the long view. ALL things work together for good. —Joel Anderson
· What does it mean that “all things work together for good?”
· Have I ever used these verses for comfort during a trial? Did it prove to be true?
Prayer – Father, there have been times where I cannot imagine that anything good could come from very painful situations, yet looking back, I see many fruits in myself and others that were products of the pain. Forgive me for not viewing the pain of trials as one of the tools You use. Help me to trust You more. In Jesus’ name, Amen.