When tragedies like the Oklahoma tornadoes, the Boston Marathon bombing, and Newtown shooting occur, we are shocked and saddened at the senseless suffering in life. As it would happen, I am currently working on a sermon for Sunday based on Romans 5:1-5.
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
While we don’t understand this suffering, while we would rather develop our perseverance, character, and hope through other means, we know that God uses even this to teach us, grow us, and offer us opportunities to share His love with others. When we endure such trials, our words of encouragement gain power and authenticity for others who are searching, struggling, and suffering.
We must never think that God is dead or absent from these trials. This David Crowder Band cover (the version we sing at church) of the Newsboys’ song offers me hope.
Our faith gets shaken from time to time, but God is always there. We may be questioning and hiding our faith on the inside, but it will reveal itself again, roaring like a lion, when God is ready, when the Spirit moves, when we are open and faithful.