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Where is God when life gets hard?

If you’ve ever wondered that, then you’re in good company. I’ve asked the same question. So has pretty much every human ever. When the bottom falls out of your life – when it seems you’re facing obstacles from left to right – our gut reaction is to cry out, “Where are you, God?”

And the answer that comes back is one of the best things you’ll ever hear.

Romans 8:38–39 says,

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Okay, so based on that passage, where is God when life gets hard? Where is He when your friends leave you? Or when your family falls apart? Or when your dreams come crashing down?

The Bible says that God is right there with you in your pain – loving you through it all.

Now, maybe you’re thinking, “That’s great… but then why doesn’t He take my pain away?”

Great question. That’s another one a lot of people have asked. Like the apostle Paul, who wrote the passage above.

Paul endured more heartache and hardship in a few short years than most people face in a lifetime. He was beaten, mocked, shipwrecked, and imprisoned. He lost friends to death, faced loneliness, and wrestled with depression. Eventually, Paul himself was killed for following Jesus.

At one point Paul was going through a particularly tough time. We don’t know what it was, but he described it as a thorn in his flesh. Maybe it was sickness, mental illness, or chronic pain. Whatever it was, he couldn’t shake it, and he begged God to take it away.

God replied… 

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) 

What does God mean by that? Does He not care that Paul is struggling?

Of course He does. Just like He cares about the pain in your life. Never forget that Jesus was a man “familiar with pain” as Isaiah 53:3 says. He knows sorrow. He gets us. He loves you.

But what you and I need most – and what this world needs most – is not a change in circumstances, but a transformation of the heart.

That’s what Jesus does when He comes into your life. And that’s the hope He displays in your life when He carries you through hurt rather than delivering you from it.

He says, “I’m going to see you through this. I’m going to shape you through this. And I’m going to use you to display my grace to a world that needs me more than anything.”

So whatever hardship, heartache, or hurt you’re facing today, find peace in God’s promise that He will never leave you, nothing can separate you from His love in Jesus, and His grace is all you need. Then you’ll be able to sing with confidence…

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

Nick Hall

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