When the Christian Suffers

Romans 8:28, And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.

Being Christian does not mean you are exempt from evil and suffering. God does not promise this. Christians still suffer; indeed, you are more prone to suffering (John 15:18-25; 16:33). Yet God has promised His presence in your suffering (Matthew 11:28-30; 28:20b; Psalm 23; 73:23-26; 94:14). God is present with us and how He delivers each of us from our unique suffering is up to His creative will, and He is certainly capable. “For God is accustomed to make all things out of nothing, and so He can call forth and produce good from evil” (Lectures on Genesis, Luther’s Works 6:58-59).

I do not know how God will presently deliver you from your suffering, O Christian; but I do know where He has promised His presence: the Word, the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist, and your Baptism. Go to these promises for your comfort. Furthermore, Christ has given us His Church, where He has promised to be with those who gather in His name (Matthew 18:20). If anything, take it from me.

I have been abused, and God provided love, healing, and comfort. I have been depressed, and God provided joy. I have been anxious, and God provided calm. I have experienced betrayal via adultery, and God provided love and trust. I have been near death, and God provided life. When I do die, God shall give me eternal life. Apart from  the bodily resurrection I will experience, none of the good provisions God has given me in my evil experiences were miraculous; God instead chose to provide via ordinary means, as He often does. Neither were they immediate, but in His perfect timing.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10).

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