In this video, Dr. Derek Thomas provides encouragement to Christians who are enduring suffering.
There are times in the experience of most Christians that a severe trial will overtake them. I guess there are some Christians who go through life and the sun is always shining, they’re beside still water, and their cup is overflowing. But most of us go through periods of trial and testing, and some of us go through periods of great trial and severe testing to the point that they might think God has abandoned them. Not just that the clouds have descended, not just that things are tough and difficult, but God has forsaken them. And we have a Savior who has uttered those very words: “Why have you forsaken Me?” Now, those words need to be interpreted in enormous depth and care because Jesus is suffering the consequences of our sin, but He does know what it feels like to be abandoned by God. It’s one of the reasons why I think the book of Psalms is so important. Right at the center of our Bible, there’s a songbook, and God’s children are meant to sing. And what do they sing when they’re feeling blue? And the answer is they sing God’s Words. They sing the Psalms. And the Psalms are so, so realistic. They don’t pull punches. There are times in the Psalms when you’re angry and frustrated and depressed and cast down and you feel as though God has abandoned you. And the truth is—the theological truth is—that God never abandons and forsakes His own even when we can’t see Him and feel Him and know that He’s there. He is there. And we must hold on above everything else to a firm conviction in God’s loving providential care.
Editor’s Note: This post was first published on June 24, 2019.