Suffering with Faith

The suffering of God’s people is not always correlated to their unfaithfulness toward Him. The afflictions we experience do not necessarily tell us that we are sinning in some way.

We see this clearly in Psalm 44. In the midst of distress and misery, the Israelites turn to God and say with absolute honesty to Him, “All this has come upon us, though we have not forgotten You and we have not been false to Your covenant.” They’re saying in effect, “Lord, we have kept our part. We have remained true to You, so why have You left us?” And they continue to entreat God, crying out, “Awake! Why are You sleeping, O Lord. Rouse Yourself! Do not reject us forever.”

It seems quite audacious to say to the eternal and living God, “Wake up!” Is that even allowed? The answer is yes, because this cry of complaint is done in the context of faith.

This psalm begins with recalling the mighty deeds that the Lord has done for Israel and then declares that He is their King and the only one they look to for salvation. They are approaching God as His people, as His children covenantally bound and devoted to Him—loyal despite their sufferings.

And so likewise, as God’s people, you must turn to Him in your distress. When you encounter a trial, one of the greatest acts of faithfulness is to call upon the Lord, and you do not need to hide your feelings from Him. It can be right to say, “Lord, where are You? I am drowning. I am so lonely. I am so afraid. Why is this happening to me and my family?”

But you must not stop there. Remind God—and yourself—of His past faithfulness toward You. Be specific. Literally count your blessings. And then in faith—call upon Him to help, ask Him to wake up—just like a child that appears at the bedside in the middle of the night when they are afraid or sick.

Like every good Father, He delights to comfort and protect His children. So in your trials, turn to Him in faith.

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