Summary: In this world of pain and hurts, where is God when it hurts? What is God doing when a believer is going through pain, trouble, and hurt in life? A powerful sermon to encourage believers in times of pain and brokenness.
Introduction: There is lot of suffering and pain in this world that we are living in. Maybe you have been diagnosed with sickness or you lost your job or a loved one passed away or your prayers are taking a long time to be answered. Despite doing your best, your condition is the same. On one side you are God’s child, doing everything the best you can but on the other side, you don’t have an answer to the pain you are going through. You are asking to “Where is God when it hurts?”
Illustration: I remember as a young boy I wrote a very competitive exam and I had a lot of plans laid up after I finish the exams. I went and took prospectus from different universities and planned for a great career only to realize that I failed in one subject that too for the subject I studied well with one marks. My world had come to an end and I had no answer why.
I remember another time after having settled in a good work in Bangalore, I resigned just because I got a great an opportunity to work in Singapore. I was selected out of many people. I got the appointment letter from one of the reputed firms in Singapore. I surrendered my passport and paid my visa and work permit charges, only to find out a couple of weeks later that my visa had been rejected because of government policies. My dreams shattered. I did not know why? I never got any answer why I was going through hardships?
Maybe you are having the same question today – Where is God when it hurts?
Many people think that God has given them a tough life, whereas some others are having an easy life. Sometimes we feel that we suffer far more than others. But this is simply not the case, everyone has unique troubles. Your friends may not have the same trouble as yours; you may not have the same problems as mine. Everyone has their own share of struggle but the Lord has promised to be with us and deliver us from all our troubles.
Psalm 34:19 18The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. In the Bible, from Abraham to David to Apostle John, all were afflicted, all were in trouble, yet all came out of their trouble as heroes of faith, stronger, and higher. It does not mean that God enjoys putting us through trials. In the world of sin we are living in, there is pain but God will deliver the righteous out of it.
1. God tests our heart in our hurts.
Do we believe and trust God even in the midst of pain and suffering? Do we believe in the promises of God even when everything looks impossible? Do we trust in God even when we do not understand His ways in our lives? Our trials can be a test of our faith.
Deuteronomy 8:2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. Every trial the Israelites went through from the Red Sea to the Promised Land was a test of their faith; God was testing their heart whether they would be faithful to him.
We know the test Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego went through. When King Nebuchadnezzar asked the people to fall down and worship the golden image he made, they said, “No, Even if we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know king that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
As a result, they were bound and cast into the furnace that was made seven times hotter. As the king and people were watching, there was a fourth person in the fire. See what the King said: Daniel 3:25-27 25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” 26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.