“Your most profound and intimate experiences of worship will likely be in your darkest days— when your heart is broken, when you feel abandoned, when you’re out of options, when the pain is great, and you turn to God alone.” - RICK WARREN
Suffering is the reality of the world we live in. And I wish I could tell you that you will never experience suffering yourself. In the book of Romans, Paul tells us that suffering entered the world through sin:
"Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks for-ward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." Romans 8:20-22
It seems that everywhere we look, we find more and more people truly living under suffering - millions through poverty, millions through slavery - and yet the beauty of Jesus is that He always brings hope, wherever you are, in whatever circumstance. Yes, His name is higher than all pain and suffering.
If you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death, all I can say to you today is hang on. The psalmist makes a statement that says, “Though darkness is all around, I will fear no evil” (see Psalm 23:4).
My heart breaks for my brothers and sisters in Christ who are under persecution, for those who are in abusive relationships, for children who are growing up without loving parents to guide them and instill in them an assurance of being loved. There are those who conspire to tear down our sense of worth and potential. They would have us live with a spirit of fear, intimidation, depression, and oppression. That’s why within these chapters on worshiping God in every season, it is critical to remember the finished work of the cross when evil tries to press in on every side.
Whatever situation you find yourself in, know this: God is present. Worship Him—recognizing and acknowledging His greatness— even in moments of great pain, and you will discover His grace and power is sufficient: “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9).