Some say God wouldn’t be a loving Father to allow trials and pain in the lives of His children. But that’s only part of the story. Pastor Bob Russell shares about the power of God in our suffering.
“I look back over my life – the times when I hurt the most were the times when I learned my greatest lessons. The only response we can have is to trust that He is good and wait for the answer to come down the road.”
Bob shares a very personal season of suffering; his wife suffered a stroke, a seizure, and a near-death experience. “In the middle of that experience, when you can’t control the situation, it’s a really difficult thing.”
Bob touches on the facts that we are:
- Wasting away but being renewed day by day.
- Precious to God from before our first breath into eternity.
- Called into a battlefield when we become a Christian, but God has given everything we need to succeed.
- Promised three things: the promise of God’s presence, the promise of heaven, and the promise of maturity.
- Strengthened by trials. “Spiritual muscles are developed during spiritual testing.”
We’re promised trials in life, not respite. But trials and the presence of God are not mutually exclusive. “His presence is so close and that will be a time of spiritual growth for us… Most people determine God’s presence by feeling. It’s not by our feeling; it’s by a promise. We serve a God who does not lie. He promises to not leave us or forsake us.”
More of Bob’s encouragement can be found in his book: Acts of God: Why Does God Allow So Much Pain?.