We will get through this

Physically we are somehow in August but mentally I feel like I’m still processing April. Anyone else feel like that?

This year has been a bear, without question. I used to bemoan people on New Year’s Eve who every year seem to claim that the departing year was a “dumpster fire” and they can’t wait for the new year to arrive, only to be ready to leave that year behind for the next one. This year, I think we’ll all be ready to leave 2020 behind.

But the truth is, every year for the rest of our lives will bring heartache, suffering, pain, and sadness. And just because the calendar switches over to January 2021, that doesn’t mean COVID-19 or any other horrible thing about 2020 will magically disappear.

I don’t know what you’ve dealt with in 2020, but I know we’ve all dealt with something. We’ve all experienced suffering and pain — some of us in ways we could never have imagined. The reality is that this isn’t the last season of suffering we’ll endure, either.

How’s that for an encouraging word?

Well, here it is: we don’t know when our seasons of suffering will end. But we do know they will end. God had already promised us that. Everything on this earth has an expiration date.

I’ve spent the last few years examining the idea of suffering and what the Bible says about it. It’s one of the hardest concepts for us to wrap our head around and it’s one of the main reasons people turn away from God.

I think we all need to shift our focus and adjust our lenses on how we look at suffering. When sin entered this world, suffering became inevitable. There is no way any human before us or after us could avoid suffering. Jesus himself suffered and felt all the emotions we feel.

So now the question becomes, what are we going to do about it?

Draw near to God in your suffering. Rely on His strength to deliver you from this season and trust that God will take you through it. Allow the words of Psalm 23:4 to comfort you:

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

My pastor, Gregg Farrell, preached on this on Sunday. The most important word of that verse, he said, is through. We don’t stay in the suffering. We don’t remain there. We pass through it.

I know this situation might feel like there’s no end in sight. I know it can be hard to hold on to hope. But I also know that God’s promises are true, and He never goes back on His promises. He promised to deliver us long before he ordained any of this to happen.

After you read this, listen to the song I have linked below by Chris Renzema called Springtime. It’s one of the most beautifully-written songs I have ever heard.

Pay close attention to the lyrics. Spring will come. He will make all things new again.