Have Faith – In Pain & Suffering (Part 3)

Happy New Year?

We are 50+ days in the New Year. I hope you are having a purposeful 2019 up till now. My New Year has come with an unexpected loss of a loved one. My cousin of 20 years old became sick suddenly and in a day, her life was taken. The pain is unexpected and hurting…Many questions. What happened to her ? How could this have happened? Why Lord? Two years ago, my same dear aunt already lost her husband, my uncle to cancer. And now she had to bury of one of her three children…Unimaginable. How do you have faith in these trying times.. hmmmm What can you say about these things?

The reality of what is written in Matthew 8:23 – 27 has become ever so clear to me, while going through these dark times with the family. Here you have the disciples in a boat with Jesus. On their way to the other side of the lake and here comes such a great storm. The storm was heavy that the waves were covering the boat. A very scary situation indeed. In this serious situation, Jesus is sleeping. This must have been some seriously deep sleep.

Matthew 8:23 – 27

Of all the things that could have been said, Jesus answered them with the question: “why are ye fearful, Ye of little faith? It is notable that Jesus first asked the question, before he commanded the storm to be still. This just shakes my soul.

Many of us should know that the context of these verses are interrelated with the previous verses in the chapter surrounding faith. It is like the writer is showing us that the disciples did not as yet grasped who this Jesus was, while seeing the miracles of Jesus. On the other hand we see that those who spent lesser time with Him captured his divinity by just listening to Him ( see previous posts ) Their faith was validated by their actions. They saw something that informed their current behavior, which was not cultural or traditional. These are revelations that we cannot just capture by being with someone.

Was the fear or the disciples invalid? And why did Jesus call them “ye of little faith”? What did he expect them to do then? Didn’t they ask the right question: “Lord save us, we perish? Sigh….I love how the Benson Commentary puts it:

saying, Lord, save us, we perish — Thus manifesting both the disciples’ faith in his power, and their weakness in not considering who was with them in the ship. And he saith, Why are ye fearful — Can ye imagine that God would suffer me to be lost in a tempest? or that I would consult my own safety in the neglect of yours? The disciples, having seen their Master perform many miracles, had abundant reason to rely on his power and goodness, even in a greater danger than this.Their timidity, therefore, was altogether culpable, and the reproof he gave them just; O ye of little faith? — As if he had said, You undertook this voyage at my command, and are you afraid that you should perish in it? 


What is in here for us today?

This bible passage pretty much depicts the suffering and darkness that occurs in our journey with the Lord here on earth. This suffering can take many forms: from unrighteous rulership that causes much persecution and evil, to sickness, death, persecution and real natural disasters. In these times it is utmost important that we understand that God is with us and that He is sovereign. John Piper puts this beautifully:

when I say that God is sovereign is not merely that God has the power and right to govern all things, but that he does govern all things, for his own wise and holy purposes.

John Piper in his book Suffering and the Sovereignty of God

We also must know that our enemy, the devil, has a strong hand in much of the storms in our life. But God still governs Satan. How powerful the storms may rage in our life, God is the sovereign keeper of all things and through it all, His purpose is birthed forth. I quote again,

The apostle Peter describes the suffering of Christians like this: “Your
adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone
to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds
of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the
world” (1 Pet. 5:8-9). So the sufferings of persecution are like the jaws of a satanic lion trying to consume and destroy the faith of believers in Christ. But do these Christians suffer in Satan’s jaws of persecution apart from the sovereign will of God?

John Piper in his book Suffering and the Sovereignty of God

God is in control. Therefore we as His children should always be found in the right posture. We can learn much from Job.

Even though God had loosened the leash of Satan to do this, it is
not what Job focused on. “Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his
head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, ‘Naked I came
from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and
the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD’” (Job 1:20-
21). And the inspired writer added: “In all this Job did not sin or charge
God with wrong.”
Job had discovered with many of you that it is small comfort to
focus on the freedom of Satan to destroy, but for others, like
Job, there is more security and more relief and more hope and more support and more glorious truth in despising Satan’s hateful hand and looking straight past him to God for the cause and for his mercy

John Piper in his book Suffering and the Sovereignty of God

My Final Words of Consolation

God is control beloved! My dear aunt Nelleke, my cousins: Melony, Chandy, God is control in your life! Brothers and Sisters, Family of God, The Lord God reigns. In the good times, in the bad times His purpose stands forever and His loves stands forever. He never fails and He never makes a mistakes. The name of God, Jesus Christ, will again be glorified in the darkest hours. Most of all, we should know that the Lord is not distant in our suffering, He is in the boat with us. The closest that He got to pain and suffering is by acquainting Himself with suffering by dying at the cross. He has literally felt pain, rejection and rejection felt in the most extreme ways. It was the way for Him to save us from the condition of sin. There is therefore no doubt that God loves us. The more reason to trust Him. For He promised that we will live even if we die. He has showed us that. Hallelujah!

You will not perish by the storms of pain. The Lord gives you strength. This journey with Him has been undertaken under His command and He is with you. Joy, my niece, your beloved one, is no longer here, but lives forever!


Read the Dutch translation of this article here/ Lees de Nederlandse vertaling van dit artikel hier


3 thoughts on “Have Faith – In Pain & Suffering (Part 3)

  1. I can relate to the pain of losing loved ones. I lost my father in August 1998. I was still (deeply) hurting when 10 months later, my mom also died. But my consolation rests on God’s Word that “everything happens for a reason”. I held on to my faith and looked to God constantly to keep my sanity.

    Liked by 1 person

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