God’s Faithfulness Through Suffering
God is faithful in sustaining us through suffering. One of the times we are most tempted to doubt God’s faithfulness is when suffering strikes our lives. It often makes no sense to us and we see no reason for it. We may search our lives, and although we find some sins which we have previously overlooked, we still cannot believe we deserve what God has allowed to happen to us. We begin to think that He has forgotten us or really does not care about us.
The people of Jerusalem in Isaiah’s day were beginning to think that way. Israel was a tiny nation surrounded by giant powers which were continually menacing her. Listen to her complaint:
But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me,
And the Lord has forgotten me” (Isaiah 49:14).
But the Lord was right there with words of encouragement.
Can a woman forget her nursing child,
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.
Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
Your walls are continually before Me (verses 15-16).
He had allowed them to suffer, but He could never forget them in their suffering because He is faithful. And He does not forget us. He really does care.
How can we appropriate this great doctrine of God’s faithfulness and enjoy calmness and contentment when hard times come? The only way is to do what Peter suggested: “Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right” (1 Peter 4:19).
As the Creator, God has the power to carry out His perfect plan for our lives and to accomplish His perfect purposes through our suffering. And as the faithful Creator, He can be counted on to do it. Therefore we can consciously entrust ourselves to His care with complete confidence, and hand the safekeeping of our lives over to Him, believing that He will do what is best. When we do that, we will have peace in the midst of adversity.
I recently met a successful salesman who was struck totally blind at the age of forty-four. Not only was his sales ability hindered but his enjoyment of sports and his capacity to appreciate the great outdoors seemed to be terminated. His anger with God was intense. On one occasion he laid on the floor and cried, begging God to take his life and threatening to commit suicide. It seemed as though God said to him, “Don, trust Me. I have a great plan for your life.” But still the resentment lingered.
A short time later he insisted on going for a walk. When no one in the house was free to take him, he angrily fumbled around and found his cane, located the front door, and against his wife’s protests made his way down the front steps and across the yard, determined to prove something to himself and his family. He crossed the road, and in a state of disorientation accidentally stumbled into a creek. As he sat there waist deep in the water, it seemed as though God was saying, “Are you cooled down now, Don? Trust me. I have a great plan for your life.” That was the moment he entrusted himself to his faithful Creator.
A few years later he was serving the Lord effectively as a representative for a mission to the blind, finding more joy and satisfaction in his Christian life than he had ever known before. God is faithful in sustaining us through suffering.
This is an inspirational story- an excerpt from an article by Richard L. Strauss
; worth reading.
Please Go to the link below if you want to read the whole article
Great is Thy Faithfulness
Thomas A. Chisolm (1866-1960)During the fall of Jerusalem the weeping prophet, Jeremiah, describes the evil acts of humankind in such loathsome detail that the reader is given to despair. In his book of Lamentations Jeremiah vividly portrays the emotions and feelings of those who actually experienced the catastrophe. Right in the midst of the ruin, as though he were transported into a completely different setting, renewed hope springs up within his heart as Jeremiah looks away from the affliction and ruin and contemplates the infinite mercies of God. His perspective turns from the evil peril that surrounded him to the eternal promises that renewed him.
"I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him'" (Lamentations 3:19-24).
In 1923 Thomas Chisolm birthed one of the greatest modern hymns regarding the faithfulness of God from this golden text. In stanza one he writes of God's unchanging character and unfailing compassions. In stanza two he writes of God's faithfulness in maintaining the order of His universe. In stanza three he writes of God's faithfulness in forgiving our sins, providing strength for today and hope for tomorrow. Each stanza leads to the great culminating chorus that declares the victorious words of Jeremiah, "Great is Thy faithfulness."
May we all be transported through prayer and faith from our difficulty to a tranquil state of mind where we too can confidently and gratefully proclaim this to be our personal testimony, "Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me."
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God, my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
Pardon for sin And a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today And bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, With ten thousand beside.
Hymn written in 1923
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