In the Face of Suffering

Veronica Burlock, Worship Pastor, Wheaton | October 11, 2023

As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
James 5:10-11

This past summer was the hardest summer of my life by far. For me it was a season of waiting but even more a season of God stripping me of my self-sufficiency. A painful process. Slowly but surely things that I was most proud of in my life were taken away. Relationships changed, some ended. I felt so alone, so bare, I didn’t even have a corner of my own to cry in. 

Then on top of that, I dealt with family issues and work getting busier and busier. One difficult and challenging  thing after the next and no ending of the suffering in sight. There were days when I pleaded with God to help me and change my situation because I know that He is more than able… and He didn’t… and I didn’t crumble into dust. How? Because the Lord was with me. I met with Him every single morning. I made sure that I was filling myself up with God every single day. I made Him my first priority. 

Before this season, I would read my Bible several times a week. I definitely prayed and had my rhythm. But in this trying time, my desperation for the Lord grew and I needed more of Him. He graciously gave me more. My relationship with God is deeper and more intimate now. I’ve personally experienced Him to be Jehovah Jireh, my provider; El Roi, the God who sees; and, Jehovah Tsaba, Lord of Hosts. 

If we look at any of the prophets, or the heroes of our faith, they stayed very close to the Lord especially in trying times. Tony Evans says “it is a spiritual decision not to give up until God shows up and shows out.” The only way we can do that and come out on the other side better and not bitter is if we walk through our trial with God step by step. If you’re in a tough season, make the Lord your first priority and meet with him every single day. In return you will experience God in deeper ways.

Next Steps   

The Psalms are a wonderful resource to help us draw nearer to God during trials.  Take a moment and pray Psalm 25 back to your Heavenly Father.  Our hope is in Him.