Engaging God in Life’s Hardships

May 19, 2021Lamenting, Prayer, Suffering

Faith is not a leap into darkness and unreason in spite of cold hard facts. Faith is the honest and reasonable step in the direction of the person who can help you, given all the facts.  David Powlison, Good and Angry

The Christian life is about moment-by-moment engagement with the Living God who sees, cares, and responds to the plight(s) of his people. We live in a troubled and complex world, and, as God’s Word reminds us, expect to see complexities and trouble befall each of us on this side of the New Heavens and Earth. Fundamental to the Christian life is learning and practicing honest, heartfelt, and faith-filled engagement with God, no matter what you are facing.

The Psalms vividly display this kind of relationship with God. Psalmists never underplay what they are going through, but rather speak honestly to God about their hardships, while recalling to mind who God is and what he promises to do, and actively entrusting themselves to this faithful God as a sure refuge. Psalms 13, 31, 42, and 56 are a few examples that you could read right now and use as a guide to voice your own cares to God.

To be a Christian is to be invited by God to speak to him about life’s hardships. Jesus called the weary and burdened to come to him. Through the Psalms, the Lord gives a guide that goes beyond merely making our complaints known. God calls us to pour out our hearts before him in prayer expressing our many burdens and sorrows, remembering his tailored mercies in Christ, and depending on his new mercies in a way that makes a tangible difference in life today.

Over the next few weeks, we will explore more of what living faith looks like—in the various trials, temptations, and challenges we all face. We will look at five questions that serve a guide for turning to God in your struggles:

  • What am I currently facing?
  • How am I responding to what I am facing?
  • Who is God, and what does he promise and provide that is relevant to my particular struggle(s)?
  • How do I turn to God in faith, today, and entrust myself to his care?
  • How does living faith particularly reorient my attitude, choices, behavior, and perspective in the midst of my current struggle(s)?

We will look at these questions through one particular trouble all of us face: disappointment. What does it look like to take an “honest and reasonable step in the direction of the [One] who can help you, given all the facts” of your particular disappointments?

We are looking forward to this journey with you.