Have you ever felt you could not talk to God because you were too upset? When my Savannah was three, our other kids asked her to say grace before breakfast. She had just gotten out of bed and up to the table. She declined to pray and said,
No, I am too grumpy to pray.
How many times has that been me or you? I will be at church and trying to worship God with song, but realize my heart is so heavy. I feel like I can not utter a prayer to Him because I am too grumpy inside, but it is many times in that moment of choosing to pray to Him I feel relief in attitude, in sadness, or in hurt. It is in that moment I feel healing or can talk to God about my heartache. I do not believe He asks us to only come when we are happy and filled with life, but also when our heart is burdened and feel like we can not speak or talk.
Recently life situations have arisen where I question God’s intentions towards me. So many times I have seen God’s miraculous provision for our family and a direct leading for where my husband should be, but I have been shut out of the very things I thought would be open doors. I have questioned, “Is God for me or for my husband only?” Romans 8 is such a powerful, wonderful, and glorious passage for the believer.
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
But then it is believing this to be true even when life seems dark. Jesus sits next to God and pleads for me. Intercedes for me. Feels my pain and sees my loss. Pretty powerful, but in the midst of pain and suffering I all too easily forget. However, there are many people in the Bible who suffered, Job, David, the Israelites as a nation, Hagar the slave. I do not believe God is asking us to never be angry, never be sad, never be hurt. God does make promises to the believer. We will suffer. We will hurt. But there is a future we look to when we suffer.
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
Read Psalms: My God, My God, Why? Understanding the Lament Psalms to contemplate writing your own Psalm of Lament.
Read Learning From Hagar’s Suffering and think about the God who sees even though He may call you to continue in your suffering.