Where Is God When It Hurts? A 7 Day Study On Finding God In Our Pain

Day 7 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Welcome to the last day of our study. Let’s recap where we’ve been before we make the final, concluding move.

  • On Day 1 we learned that goodness is the bedrock truth about the world we live in.
  • On Day 2 we learned that evil is an invasion in the good world that God has made.
  • On Day 3 we learned that God is present even in our dark circumstances.
  • On Day 4 we learned that God intends good to come from evil (even while he is not responsible for it!).
  • On Day 5 we learned that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus are the proof that these things are so.
  • On Day 6 we learned that our responsibility in the midst of our pain is to wait on God.

And now Day 7. As we conclude this study, I want you to think for a few moments with me about Jesus’s resurrection, as it relates to Christian hope. 

Many Christians, if you ask them what gives them hope, will answer with something like the following: “What gives me hope is the thought that one day I will get to be with Jesus in heaven.” The idea is that the pain of our circumstances will one day be resolved by God’s  removing us from the world—either through death or the return of Jesus. God, many Christians believe, like a great, divine firefighter, will simply evacuate us from this world; we’ll be rescued one way or another from the burning building before it collapses.

The belief is so common nowadays that we hardly notice that it runs in directly the opposite direction from that of the Bible, the early church, and indeed most of the church up until just recently. God’s plan, according to the Bible, is not to abandon this world, or to evacuate us from it; his plan, rather, is to rescue and transform it, and us with it. The ancient Nicene Creed says it perfectly when it concludes: “We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.” And this—exactly this, no more and no less than this—is our hope. 

The Apostle Paul in our reading for the day compared the resurrection of Jesus from the dead to the “first fruits” of harvest. My dad, who lives up in Wisconsin, is a master gardener. When I was a kid, our family always looked forward to that moment in late summer when the first of the gourd-like tomatoes he grew turned red. It was our signal: “There’s more where that came from . . .” Within weeks, the garden would be bursting with them.

The Father did not abandon his Son to the grave; he raised him up to indestructible life. And what he did with Jesus he intends to do with us as well—indeed with this whole weary world: not evacuating us or abandoning this weary world but raising it all up in resurrection life. The Resurrected One is coming, friend, and the voice from heaven will shout: “Behold, I am making all things new. . .” (Rev. 21:5)—even your very life. Hold on, friend; he is your hope.

We adapted this Plan from All FlameLearn more about this discipleship resource.