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Finding hope and faith in the midst of pain

Posted by Dr. Wade Smith on

Las Vegas… New York City… Sutherland Springs. What do you say in the face of horrific evil that continues to manifest itself in our world and nation? 

The Psalmist cried out in anguish, My God, My God, why have You forsaken me? We do not know the circumstances around the Psalmist’s shout of grief, but we are sure that he felt abandoned and deserted by God. He felt alone in his pain.

Centuries later, Jesus hung on a cross with the sin of the world on His shoulders. Denied, betrayed, beaten and unjustly accused He cried out in His suffering, My God, My God, why have You forsaken me? 

And so, with the victims of Las Vegas, New York City and Sutherland Springs we cry out, My God, My God, why have You forsaken us?

Psalm 22 continues, O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; and by night, but I have no rest. The raw emotion and honesty before God is striking. There are no answers and there is no rest for those who experience such devastation. 

The Psalmist and thus the Scriptures acknowledge that no one is immune from the experience of sin and evil in this world. Encounters with this type of evil lead to unanswerable questions, immeasurable pain and unbearable isolation.

Yet, evil does not have the final word. The cross of Jesus gives way to the empty tomb. Jesus announces the ultimate defeat of evil through His resurrection.

  Thus, today’s survivors can find hope in the midst of their pain and numbness. They can overcome by faith.

For this reason, we continue reading Psalm 22. Yet, You are Holy! In You our fathers trusted; They trusted and You delivered them. To You they cried out and were delivered; In you they trusted and were not disappointed.    

The Psalmist finds hope and faith in the midst of his pain because he knows that God is faithful. God is trustworthy. God is the Great Deliverer! No matter how desperate life becomes. No matter how much evil seems to win the day. We can cry out to God confidently that He hears our cries and will deliver us from evil.

This is our hope! This is our faith! God redeems our suffering, heals our wounds, and offers a new morning after the darkness.