As I wrote earlier this year, an experience of suffering can be very disorienting to Christians who are trusting God to protect them from pain. This is not the kind of trust God has called us to have, and though most of us know this intellectually, I think this is something that has to be learned through experience. What will you cling to when your hopes for God’s provision seem to fail? What does it really mean to trust in God’s provision? You will struggle with these questions.
The last line of this quote from Kevin DeYoung’s The Good News We Almost Forgot is a crucial truth you need to learn as a Christian. Either suffering will teach this to you, or suffering will drive you away from God:
All of this theology is moving us to trust. Because God created everything out of nothing, and because He still sustains His creation by His providence, and because the God who did and does all this is our Father by virtue of our union with Christ—because of all this, we can count on our God.
He will turn to good whatever adversity He sends me. The Bible is not naïve about suffering. Trusting in God’s provision does not mean we expect to float to heaven on flowery beds of ease. This is a “sad world” we live in, one in which God not only allows trouble but at times sends adversity to us. Trust, therefore, does not mean hoping for the absence of pain but believing in the purpose of pain.
Keep repeating that last sentence to yourself until it reshapes your soul’s expectations, enabling you to focus your trust on something solid and unshakeable: God’s goodness, sovereignty, and love for you through purposeful pain.