I thought about hell this week. It’s not usually a subject I dwell on too much, but this week, it was up in my face – almost literally. I had been sick with the Coronavirus for about eleven days at that point. The pain raging behind my eyes and nose was piercing. The dull ache in my stomach was the only counterpoint. As I cried out to God with tears, I realized some important points about suffering that God is just now helping me put into words.
1. We Must Believe God’s Truth Over Our Feelings
When you’re hurting and have been hurting, it can start to feel like the hurting will never end. And, when you’ve been crying out to God for Him to relieve that pain, and He hasn’t chosen to do so, the devil will start to whisper that God isn’t listening. That He has abandoned you for this or that offense. But the truth of God’s Word is that He doesn’t, and He won’t. While we may not understand why we have to go through the things we do (and will), we know that as His children, we can trust Him. He has bought us with a price. We belong to Him, and our lives are in His hands.
God will not forget you. Isaiah 49:14 “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you.”
He loves you and wants the best for you. Jeremiah 29:11 “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
God hears you and will deliver you in His time. Psalm 34:17 “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.”
He will use your pain for a purpose. Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Your pain will end: Psalm 30:5b “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
2. Jesus Is Our Only Hope
As I lay curled in the dark with a heating pad over my face and the Book of Psalms playing quietly from my phone, I realized that I did, in fact, have hope. I could believe the Words in God’s Book. I was secure no matter what my feelings might be for the moment. Jesus would heal me or take me home. Not only that, but there is soon coming a day when Jesus will reign both in heaven and on the earth. Our bodies will feel no more pain. There will be no more worries about money or the welfare of our loved ones. No more corruption, evil, or injustice. God will make everything right.
There will be no more suffering. Revelation 21:4 “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
All our suffering will pale in comparison to the joy. Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
3. We Must Have Compassion for Those Without Him
But God’s promises are only to God’s people. They don’t apply to those who choose not to believe Him and surrender their lives to His will and Way. For those who refuse to heed His call, there is an expected end. It involves ears that are closed to their cries and suffering with no hope of an end. The very promises of God that make our pain bearable don’t apply to those who are in rebellion to Him. When they cry for death to end their pain, it is only the beginning of hopelessness forever.
How should we live in light of this?
We should let our lights shine before men. 2 Corinthians 5:20 “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”
And be ready to tell others of our hope. 1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
We should pray for souls to be saved. Matthew 9:37-38 “Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’”
And work while we can. John 9:4 “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.”
We should not be ashamed. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
These Things We Can Remember in Our Suffering
Suffering is a part of every human’s experience. But only those who have applied the blood of Jesus to their lives will find hope on the other side. Let us remember God’s promises in our suffering and His hope for our future. Let us do what we can to bring others out of the kingdom of darkness and into His marvelous light. We must redeem the time and praise His name now and forevermore.
Enjoy looking at God’s promises in scripture? Try Instead of Fear, Choose Faith in God’s Promises Please sign up to receive my blog in your email in-box. You can find that at the upper right of your screen (or at the bottom on a phone). Also, check out my YouTube Channel where I read the blogs out loud. I also have a playlist of hymns from my church.