Sometimes our heartache and troubles come because we made poor choices. Other times our trials come because we need to work on our hearts and grow.
And sometimes our tragedy, loss and trials are bigger than ourselves.
If you’re sensing a heartache theme on my blog, I assure you I have many blessings and joys too. It’s simply that there are a million blogs and media posts touting the feel good, the joy and the blessings in this Christian walk. There is such a need for that of course, but there’s also a need for us to see that this Christian walk can and does hold trials and heartache.
When we’re in a season of trials, we need to remember that we aren’t alone. We need to know that experiencing a trial isn’t a sign of a lack of faith, God’s distance or always a failure on our end.
Sometimes we need to remember that we live in a fallen world and many of our trials are simply the result of that.
Often we get stuck in the feel good faith and inspirational quotes. We’re reminded we can have peace if we rely on God. This is of course true, but finding our peace in God is easy when life is going well.
How do you find peace when things aren’t going well?
How can you manage the doubt and questions when things suddenly fall apart?
What do you do when you feel abandoned by God? You had amazing faith and trust but suddenly feel lost?
Job’s Story – When Your Tragedy Is Bigger Than You
There are people who believe all trials are a lack of faith or a sign of hidden sin. Yet the Bible tells us otherwise. In fact, Job experienced some of the most unimaginable pain any human can. Was it because he lacked faith? Was he hiding sin?
Before his life fell apart, the Lord spoke about the immense faith and righteousness Job had:
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” – Job 1:8
If you read the entirety of Job, you will read a story filled with every fear we have. Losing a child is a nightmare every parent hopes to never experience. Some of us will experience that nightmare, but few will experience losing multiple children.
Finding yourself suddenly in complete poverty, all the evidence of your hard worked stripped away, is something gut wrenching to all those who work hard.
Waking up suddenly ill and in extreme physical pain, with no answer as to why, is not only scary, it can feel like torture.
Job experienced doubt and judgement from religious leaders. He felt betrayal. Job had to face his wife losing her trust in God.
The Righteous Aren’t Exempt From Trials
Many of us will experience heartache equal to at least one of the things mentioned above, but to experience all of them in a short timespan is truly unimaginable for most of us.
Here is a righteous man, filled with faith and incredibly blessed suddenly facing the loss of everything he loved. He wasn’t in deep sin. Job did not lack faith. He didn’t make poor choices which put his family at risk. And yet, he experienced the worst things one can experience on earth.
Why? Why would God allow such heartache to fall on someone He loves?
Thousands of years later, we have the whole story. We see what happened between God and Satan. We see the evidence of the enemy. But Job didn’t have that. Job didn’t have answers as to why he suffered.
Sometimes we will be like Job. We will be walking in faith. We will be doing our best to avoid sin. And then suddenly our world will come crashing down and we won’t understand why. Sometimes we will have no answer for our whys while we are on earth.
Why Does God Allow Such Pain For Those He Loves?
A friend recently asked, “How can God allow a mother to lose her child?”
Honestly? I do not have all the answers. When I held a lifeless baby, knowing full well God could step in at anytime, I did not understand why He didn’t.
However, I also know that we live in a fallen world. I know God isn’t a puppeteer. I know that He sees all things, so much more than what we see.
There were so many times I wished God could step in. I wished He would step in and change another person’s actions. I wished He would stop natural consequences of a fallen earth, such as death.
But I also knew that if He was a puppeteer we would not be human. We would not be able to choose real love. There would be no way or need to choose faith. We would not have our personalities. Empathy would not exist and therefore we would not have the ability to experience true connection with those around us.
As much as I wish He would stop all pain, I realize it isn’t in our best interest. Sometimes He does step in. Sometimes we see true miracles. But often, often we are dealing with a fallen earth while resting in His peace which passes all understanding.
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7
Why Do Righteous People Face Such Heartache?
Often we are walking a challenging life, a result of our fallen state, trusting in promises of eternity. We have to walk this life with our eyes on eternity, on what truly matters.
I do not have answers as to why some of the most faithful people experience such unimaginable heartache. What I do know, however, is those who walk the hardest roads and still choose faith, those are the people who can genuinely speak life to those around them.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. or as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.
If I’m sitting in deep doubt, in deep pain, and someone who is yet to walk a faith shaking crisis speaks truths to me, while I may believe them, they don’t always reach my heart.
But when I look into the eyes of someone who has walked deep faith shaking crises, and they still carry their faith, I see genuine faith and truth.
Sometimes Our Heartache Is Bigger Than Us
Sometimes our heartache is bigger than ourselves. Sometimes we are going to be the people who can speak truths into the hearts of those hurting around us. We all have our ministry, and some of us are in the ministry of heartbreak. And to be in that very needed ministry, we need to know heartbreak too.
I cannot say with certainty why some of us experience what feels like more heartbreak than others. But I can say with certainty that God knows. Even when it feels like He is allowing more than we can bear, or allowing unnecessary pain, we know His promises say otherwise:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
I Don’t Have Great Faith Like Job, I Have Doubt – What Am I Doing Wrong?
I’m able to sit here and write what I know from the Bible. I can sit here and give all the advice and the ‘right’ answers. You know what I cannot do? Pretend I never doubt.
I do not have perfect faith. I am not perfect and I very much still sin. However, what I do know is that God can handle our questions. I know God can handle our doubts.
Have you read through Psalms? So many chapters start with questions and doubt. Yet they end trusting in His promises. Asking the questions, bringing your doubt to God, that isn’t wrong. God can handle our thoughts, our anger, our confusion and frustration. And if we are willing, if we are open, if we ask in genuine faith, He is faithful to give us peace in His promises.
Psalm 77: 1-15
I cried out to God with my voice—
To God with my voice;
And He gave ear to me.
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing;
My soul refused to be comforted.
I remembered God, and was troubled;
I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah
You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I have considered the days of old,
The years of ancient times.
I call to remembrance my song in the night;
I meditate within my heart,
And my spirit makes diligent search.
Will the Lord cast off forever?
And will He be favorable no more?
Has His mercy ceased forever?
Has His promise failed forevermore?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah
And I said, “This is my anguish;
But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
I will remember the works of the Lord;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
I will also meditate on all Your work,
And talk of Your deeds.
Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary;
Who is so great a God as our God?
You are the God who does wonders;
You have declared Your strength among the peoples.
You have with Your arm redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.
Read More of Psalm 77
I encourage you to read through the remainder of Psalm 77. You are not the first Christian, and certainly not the last, who will have doubts and question God. Much of Psalms is filled with doubt, heartache and questions. Yet they also end with growing faith.
Still wondering why we experience heartbreak? Be sure to read When Heart Work Is Hard Work.