Have you ever felt that God has pulled over to the side of the road, asked you to get out, and drove away? Have you ever felt abandoned by God? I have.
Most have. In times of suffering, we can feel alone. It seems that all our prayers are left unanswered, and there is nothing we can do to stop the misery. But it is true?
No, it’s not true, and in fact, it’s almost impossible to think that when you read what Paul wrote in Romans:
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31–32
God spent the farm on us who believe in him and live our lives for him. He gave his son for us. He’s invested so much in us and for us, it is unimaginable that he could abandon us for any reason. We often see suffering as punishment, but Paul reminds us that the Christian suffers for godly reasons.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3–5 (ESV)
None of this knowledge takes away our circumstances. Our suffering is real, and we need compassion going through hard times, but it can comfort us that even in our anguish when we know we are not abandoned by God. The Lord is always with us.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38–39 (ESV)
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. John 10:29 (ESV)