“When you hurt, God hurts. Regardless of what He may be in the process of accomplishing, regardless of how noble His purposes may be, He is in touch with what you are feeling.”- Dr. Charles F. Stanley
“When Jesus saw [Mary] weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. . . . Jesus wept.”- John 11:33, 35 (NIV)
In Chapter 13 (“The Power of Perspective”) of Can You Still Trust God?, Dr. Charles Stanley discusses John’s gospel account of the raising of Lazarus. Above all, Dr. Stanley observes, through the pain and adversity, God may allow us to face, two things ring true:
- Jesus is sensitive to what we are feeling. Just as Jesus wept over Lazarus, He weeps over our sorrows as well. In addition, Hebrews 4:15 tells us: “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses.”
- Whatever Jesus accomplishes through our suffering is in our best interests – always. However, the degree to which things work out for our best interests directly correlates with our response.
Furthermore, Dr. Stanley underscores, nothing captures the attention of an unbeliever more than a saint who’s suffering successfully. Certainly, it’s easy to talk about Christ when things sail along smoothly. But, words spoken from a life filled with pain take on a great deal more significance.
In conclusion, Dr. Stanley offers two perspectives on dealing with tragedy:
“Oftentimes greater than the tragedy itself is [people’s] response. Because they see no immediate good, they assume there’s no good to be found, that God has abandoned them or perhaps was never interested in the first place. They will not trust God with what they cannot see. . . .
. . . God specializes in taking tragedy and turning it into triumph. . . . We, then, are the tools through which God will attract the world’s attention. He works through our conversations, our character, our preaching, and our adversity. His success in all these areas depends in part upon our response.”
Today’s question: Do you truly believe that God hurts when you hurt? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Maturing as Christians – marginal interest?”