Text: 1 Peter 4:12-19, Romans 5: 3-5, Job 2:3
“ I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” -Romans 8:18
It’s hard to be thankful while your world is crashing down. The ending of a job, the illness of a loved one; so many circumstances in life take our breath away.
We are a world uncomfortable with long term, deep suffering. We want to fix or be fixed quickly. We offer advice, platitudes, prayers and cries to God of, “Why us? Why them?” No one wants to suffer, and yet we all experience it at some point. And when we do, there are myriads of suggestions on how we should handle it.
As we walk through our valleys, we do not have to dwell on the pain we have. Often this seems wrong and backwards – that we would dare to find joy in the suffering. Isn’t that a betrayal of the pain? Do we need to be ashamed that we didn’t get our prayers answered, that in the eyes of others we believed in a God who ignored us? Saying we’re thankful and hopeful in these situations seems naive and maybe just a bit crazy to those who are watching.
As Christians, we are able to honestly say, “This hurts, it hurts so much, and I’m not happy about it; but I have a great hope that this pain is temporary because of what my God did.” Job was considered a “man of integrity” by God Himself for enduring all he did and yet choosing to be faithful to the Lord (Job 2:3). While Jesus was a man of sorrow at times, He didn’t allow that to define His life. In fact, He died so that we would have hope even in the suffering of our earthly lives. It’s ok to be sad, but we know Jesus lived, died and rose again so that we can know in the midst of terrible pain that this isn’t all there is.
Our hope is never in vain when it’s in Jesus. Our thanksgiving in suffering is a testament of how temporary the pain is, and how great we know our joy will be one day.
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
For an added layer of worship and study, we chose a beloved hymn for each day of our Give Thanks plan. Today, we invite you to listen to “My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less” as we dwell on the truth of God’s word together.