Turning to God in Your Suffering
Psalm 145:18-21 (ESV)
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. 20 The Lord preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. 21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
Everyone experiences suffering, whether they like it or not. I became a Christian not too long ago and have been attending Grace Church since a year ago. Before committing my life to Christ, I kept asking myself as an atheist: “If God is real, why do people suffer? Why is there evil in the world? Why doesn’t he just end all suffering?”
My personal suffering comes from my relationships with family and friends. Keeping relationships is so difficult that sometimes I just wished I didn’t exist. I hate the feeling of loneliness and have tried many things to try and cope with it. I seem happy on the outside but on the inside, I feel so empty. I kept my sufferings to myself because I didn’t trust others to help me.
To be honest, this has been one of the most stressful years of my life. My family isn’t Christian, so trying to go to church at first was very hard because I would always have to lie to them about where I was going. I was afraid of what they were going to say. What was worse was that it was hard for me to go to God about what troubled me especially because I am not used to asking others for help - I don’t even go to my parents for any sort of help.
Outside of home, I have been struggling to balance everything life is throwing at me. As a junior in high school, I have to prepare for upcoming internships, SATs, AP exams, finals, and college apps. On top of that, I lost many close friends and it just kills me to not have a close connection with many people. I tried drugs to escape from reality, and I keep telling myself that I will quit but I get so easily tempted to do it again.
Recently, I lost all motivation to do any school work and to attend any sports practices. I honestly thought about how good it would be to just die. I still struggle even though I know that God is with me.
Before knowing God, I used to not turn to God for help at all, even in times of suffering. I felt as if I could handle everything all by myself and I would just get through it. But recently, I started turning to God because I had too much on my shoulders and I just felt completely broken. I prayed with all my heart, coming honestly to Him. When I turned to God in His Words, I was reminded of all that He has done for us - that Jesus suffered on that cross for our sins. We have a duty as Christians to go through suffering and still be able to follow God because His love is worth fighting for. We must be able to endure both the joy and suffering as we follow Christ because of His great love.
In order to strengthen my relationship with Christ, I will start turning to him more and pray for more faith. I will forget about the past and focus on the present. As Christians, we sometimes feel like we hear the same things over and over and it starts to get repetitive. But instead of thinking that we know everything, we have to forget the past and have a new start. Every service we go to, we have to come ready to listen as if it was our first service. This is how I will become more vulnerable to God and His Words.
For Your Reflection
How are you dealing with your pain and suffering? Are you trying to deal with it on your own? Or do you turn to other things to cope with your pain? But remember. Ultimately, there is only one who you can turn to, God. Let us turn to Him, call on Him, and cry out to Him in our suffering. You will find peace and rest in Him.