“Do you remember the story of Job? It’s a story of great suffering, but also of great strength, and even greater faith. Like in the story of Job, it can feel overwhelming to not be able to have a simple answer to suffering and hardship as we are enduring it, but God gives Himself as the ultimate answer. He is the ultimate comforter and healer, and He is our Redeemer.
God’s goodness does not depend on your attitude.
I’m just going to drop that bomb on you and let it sit for a little bit. Don’t keep reading quite yet. Read the line over and over and over. Let it sit and convict and heal and give hope.
The Goodness Of God
I was recently in a discussion with some dear, unbelieving friends about the goodness of God. Their seven-month old son is dealing with some severe disabilities and if I’m being honest, as someone who has suffered recently and had her own doubts, it was a hard conversation to have.
As I woke up this morning, I could feel an attitude of doubt and ungratefulness start to loom over me, but Daddy kindly spoke, “My goodness does not depend on your attitude.”
Wow. Let me tell you, that definitely gave me a quick attitude adjustment. As I meditated on it more, I was reminded about a phrase the Lord gave me a couple years back. It was also in a time of suffering when I lost my community, a dear friend, my father got diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and my grandfather was about to die. In that time the Lord said, “Hanna, no matter what happens on this side of eternity, in the end it’s all the same glory.”
That statement reminded me of passages in Romans 8 that reads:
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the suffering of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us…Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (v. 16-18; 35, 37, ESV)
You know what Paul is saying here?
He says if we are to take our place as heirs with Christ and children of God. We’ll suffer. That’s not the sweet, gentle, soft gospel you’ll here in many churches, but it’s the real-life gospel. Even if we love Christ with all our hearts we still experience loss and death. But what does this suffering lead to? GLORY.
Changing Your Perspective
What God was speaking to me two years ago and reminded me of this morning was this: “Hanna, change your perspective. As my child, because of Christ, you now live with an eternal perspective and not just a single lifespan. Death is hard, but its not final. JESUS FINISHED THAT. All suffering is rooted in fear of death–you don’t live under that spirit of slavery anymore.
Death isn’t the finish line, rather it’s the gateway to what you’re really made for.
What’s happening to you in the present time isn’t even worth comparing to what is to come in eternity. You can always be a conqueror, even when you feel
WOW. Now that’s the gospel. That’s the truth. No matter how easy (we have two cars, a home, a loving family and retire at 65) or hard (we’re born into poverty in 3rd world circumstances surrounded by death, disease and war) our life is, with Christ the end is always the same, wonderful glory. When we love and pursue Christ–it doesn’t matter what this present world brings us, or what our perspective and/or attitude is, because the end is always eternal pleasure in His Presence.
Because With Christ…
And that statement is what I want to tell my friends. God’s goodness is eternal and never changing. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you don’t suffer–but you have hope in the midst of suffering because with Christ, you always have a happy ending. Because with Christ, death is a victory–not a defeat. Fear and worry don’t have a legal hold on us anymore–because with Christ, we are more than conquerors and nothing in this world or the world to come can change that…now that’s the true, eternal goodness of God!
You sit in heavenly places, dear ones. Take your rightful place alongside Christ. Let your royalty and your authority as a daughter of the eternal King set the tone for your circumstances; and always remember–this isn’t all there is. There’s always so much more.
In the end it’s all the same glory.
Read also: Where is your God now?
Sometimes you can feel overwhelmed by all the things going on in your life. Anxiety, depression, worries. People who seem to make it their life’s goal to make yours a struggle. And as if that is not enough, you feel like God is nowhere near. It even seems like He is the One putting you through this.