Have you ever heard the expression, "what do you have to say for yourself?" I can still hear my mom posing that question to me when dealing with my disobedience as a young boy. My answer generally was a shameful, "nothing." That was never the right answer by the way.
When suffering has invaded our comfortable lives, questions often abound. We want to know why it happened, why God didn't prevent it, and How allowing or sending such adversity into our lives could possibly be the work of a loving God. It's as if we're asking God, "what do you have to say for yourself?"
So, what does God have to say for Himself?
Well for starters He would like us to know when He allows us to suffer it is not an act of disobedience on His part: Psalms 145:17, "The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works." He would like to gently remind us of Jesus' words when He said, "in the world ye shall have tribulation" (John 16:33). In other words, the Lord would remind us that He Himself told us trials are a guarantee in life.
However, knowing how painful the suffering is for us and that often we need more than just answers - we need valid reasons to rejoice and be hopeful - God would say such things as the following: I see your affliction and I hear your cries. In fact I know all about your sorrows and I even know how painful this is (Exodus 3:7). He would want us to know that He is in complete control and has a purpose for the darkness.
If we have experienced the spiritual birth of John chapter three, then Jesus encourages us to find peace, joy, and hope in our heavenly future...a time when all tears will be wiped dry (John 14:1-6; Revelation 21:4).
Finally, God would urge us to cast all of our cares and burdens upon Him. Why? Because He deeply cares about us (1 Peter 5:7).
So, what does God have to say for Himself? He says, please give me your burdens - your cares - because I deeply care about you. In the mean time don't forget to join us in September as we continue to consider how much God cares for us and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to answer them for you.