Last Wednesday I told you that I've discovered that, even though the Bible predicts it, many Christians are unprepared for When Suffering Enters Their Door. I wrote specifically on The Trap of Doubt and how we will be tempted to question the goodness of our Lord.
Today I want to write to you about The Trap of Worry. In the middle of suffering, you will worry yourself about many things: Why did this happen? Could I have prevented it? What will the outcome be? Do I have what it takes to make it through?
These questions are natural, and in many ways, they're not wrong to ask. But it's so easy to have your heart captivated with worry. You probably won't find the answers right away, and you'll panic as mountain of worry-driven questions grows higher by the day.
Here's the problem with worry - like doubt, it's God-forgetful. Doubt forgets God's goodness, and worry forgets His presence.
Look at those four questions above: Why did this happen? I don't know, but God does. Could I have prevented it? Maybe not, but God could have and chose not to. What will the outcome be? I don't know, but God does. Do I have what it takes to make it through? No, but God is with me every step of the way.
You see, worry assumes that it's only you vs. suffering. Worry finds a foothold in the lie that you're alone in your suffering. Meanwhile, the Lord names Himself Immanuel - "God with us."
You are never alone in suffering. Worry will tell you that you need to carry the burden on your shoulders; Immanuel says, "I will carry it for you."
When you fall into the trap of worry and believe that you've been abandoned by God, you won't run to Him for help. But when you believe that God was, is, and always will be there for you, you can run into His loving arms and find rest.
Remember, if you want to learn more about what the Bible has to say about suffering, you might want to check out my new suffering curriculum.
Paul David Tripp
- What suffering are you experiencing? Who do you know who is suffering?
- What has God communicated about His presence? Search through Scripture to find verses that teach on the subject.
- Why is tempting to doubt the presence of God, despite what Scripture says?
- Where has God proven to Himself to be near to you in the past?
- What can you gain by running to God in moments of suffering? In the same way, what can you lose by running away from Him?