Why Does Suffering Exist? // How to Respond to Suffering

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David lived a life most envied. He was successful in battle and considered a hero in Israel. He was the king and had abundant power and wealth. He had a large family, along with the favor of God on all he did.

However, David hit a rough patch (as we all do) and in Psalm 43, he is struggling to trust God in his suffering. It’s ok to wrestle with God in the midst of your pain; He wants you to be honest and real with Him. However, a time comes to get a hold of yourself and choose faith. That’s what David is doing here.

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!

David is examining his feelings and the confusion he is experiencing in this current season of suffering. Although David’s name is not mentioned it is commonly believed that it is indeed David penning these words, perhaps during the time his son Absalom rebelled against him to take the throne and David had to flee. Surely having been betrayed by his son, living in exile, and feeling as though God’s hand had left him caused great distress for David.

What David realizes in suffering is that it’s not healthy to live there or sulk in the sorrow. Instead, he chooses to get a hold of himself by reminding himself that God is good and worthy to be praised. Which leads to another way out of suffering: praise.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 challenges us to give thanks in ALL circumstances, even in the trials. it doesn’t mean when you feel like it or when everything is going how you’d prefer. It means to praise God for His goodness and faithfulness when it’s hard to muster praise and life seems hard.

How do you respond to suffering? Get a hold of yourself and start thanking God for being steadfast in grace and love. Tell yourself that you won’t wallow in the pity and sadness but rather pull yourself out of the pit to find hope.

God is good all the time, meaning that when things appear to go south for you or in this world, it’s not His desire but it is His ability to turn it around for good. Look for God’s goodness in the world’s darkness.