Friday, August 9, 2013

Suffering and God's Love

Question of the Day:

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?” Romans 8:35 NLT

After I lost my daughter from a stillbirth in my ninth month of pregnancy, I remember thinking what I did for God to remove His love from me that He would allow this tragedy to occur.  I thought I had lost my baby because I did something wrong that deserved God’s punishment. What an awful feeling that was for me. I felt so abandoned and rejected, and because my home church at the time refused to give me counsel for my loss or do a burial service in remembrance of my daughter, it only confirmed my belief.  After all, these men were ministers of God. If I did something to remove God’s love from me, they would surely know, and this was the evidence of it. I was desperately hurting, and I needed to hear that God still loved me and that the result of losing my daughter was not an act of punishment upon me. 

The enemy used this opportune time (Luke 4:13 NKJV) to press down even harder on my pain by whispering his lies that God had left me. That He was disappointed in me; that I actually deserved my pain and loss. He is called the father of lies by Jesus in John 8:44. He is our mortal enemy seeking whom he can devour (1 Peter 5:8). He looks for the sick, the young, the old, and the separated from the flock.  

This is how the enemy works, and if he can get you thinking these destructive lies, it can lead you into a very dark place. Many people are driven to a sad end to their lives by committing suicide because they have been led to believe that they are not worth loving; that their life is a waste. That not even God could love them. When you have spent your life with feelings of rejection and abandonment, this conclusion is only a short walk away. 

In Romans, Paul is asking, “Does it mean [does it equal; is this the conclusion of the matter] that God doesn’t love us if we are facing calamity or trouble?” 

The emphatic answer to that question is, “No,” but what a painful conclusion to believe that God doesn’t love you when you’re hurting and feel a deep sense of desertion. The enemy uses this state of mind very effectively to try and destroy not only our emotional, mental and physical state but most importantly our spiritual walk with God. The enemy can use our own thoughts and fears to manipulate the truth of God’s love to say just the opposite, In Romans 8:38-39 Paul is convinced [encouraged, persuaded] that nothing, but nothing, can remove God’s love for us. 

I didn’t have a right understanding of God when I lost my daughter. I held an almost fairytale image of who God was and what it meant to follow Him. I believe Paul was trying to clarify this truth by encouraging believers in saying, “Bretheren, the sufferings of our life does not equate that God does not love us. Following God sometimes comes with suffering and pain, trouble and sorrow. Jesus never promised us a bed of roses; in fact, He told us just the opposite. Don’t be surprised then when bad things happen but be encouraged to know that He also suffered and suffers with us. Do not then allow the enemy to use this against us to hurt us and separate us from His love.”

I have written in previous posts about the importance of knowing God’s love and when our pasts are full of rejection, it can be hard to renew [repair] our thoughts to think anything different, but it is necessary if we are to survive such occurrences and attacks from the enemy. Suffering in the hands of our adversary is not new to believers. Jesus warned us that we would suffer for His name sake (Philippians 1:29; Romans 8:36). 

Suffering can be inflicted by people or circumstances that are out of our control. I have only to trust in the Lord’s mercy and compassion to survive such difficulties. Oh, that we can say as Christ did, “Not my will but yours be done,” as we are asked to sip from the cup of suffering that comes our way. 

 “…We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37 NLT)

Faith tried by fire is one of our callings, “that the genuineness of [our] faith, [being] much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7). 

We are sometimes asked to step into the fiery furnace so that we can reflect His glory in our lives to others. We are His vessels on which He has chosen to show mercy so that His name may be declared (Romans 9:23 NKJV). Again Paul encourages us with 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.”

In conclusion, remember, we war not against flesh and blood but against the principalities of darkness, and we are reminded to put on the full armor of God. We must be in the Word daily, sing songs of worship even in our darkest moment, and we must lay our cares upon the throne of God in prayer. “For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into the captivity to the obedience of Christ,…”(2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Hold those defeating thoughts hostage with the truth of God’s word. Don’t allow the enemy to strike you down with lies, but allow the Lord to renew you with the truths of His word today. 

Images attained through Google images:,,