Finding the Faith to Face the Pain
Trusting and obeying God can be hard when He doesn’t make sense. I can hardly bear the story of Abraham and his son, Isaac, found in Genesis 22:1-14 NIV. It’s all about God testing this man to see if Abe would trust Him completely.
God performed a miracle at Isaac’s birth because Abraham and Sarah were nearly 100 years old! What faith that must have instilled in the hearts of these two parents to have a baby when they were as good as dead. Why then would God ask Abe to take his son’s life on an altar as a sacrifice?
It seems like a cruel prospect but Abe was faithful. He trusted God in spite of the potential horrific consequence – his son’s death at his own hand. At the last minute an Angel of the Lord intervened and said (verse 12), Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
It’s a relief to know that God really didn’t want Abe to kill his son. He was testing Abe to see if he would trust Him even when He didn’t make sense.
When I started my abortion recovery class, I was only there because of God. In a way that is difficult to describe, God seemed to insist in so many ways that I attend. He even put the words into my mouth when I voluntarily agreed to attend as part of taking a new job.
God provided the abortion recovery class as a way to not only test my obedience but to make me completely reliant on His will. God also knew about the amazing peace and unexpected joy that I would receive at the class’s completion. Basically, He was developing my faith for the future. Today I need every ounce of that faith to do the work He planned for me to do before the World was formed.
Okay, so I’m not that good. I fought attending this abortion recovery class nearly every step of the way. I felt God was being mean and spiteful for forcing me to address this horrendous pain in my life.
How did He force me? By waking me up at night to reinforce His calling and filling my mind with memories that I could no longer avoid. Sleep deprivation is a powerful motivator.
Today I look back on that time as the most special place in my life. God was so close and spoke to my heart in a way only a loving heavenly Father can do. He provided the abortion recovery process to help me find Him again, not to torture me.
In those early days of my abortion recovery class I couldn’t thank God for the process He was accomplishing in my heart. When the pain was intense I’d get angry at Him for putting me through such turmoil.
My life seemed to be a series of incredible traumas. When you put them end to end there is no way that one person should have experienced so much horror. But God provided each ordeal in my life for a reason.
As I’ve grown in faith I look at people who haven’t experienced trauma and feel sorry for them. Many don’t know how to react when tragedy strikes. I’m stronger because of the agony and the faith that it developed in my heart for God as a result of simple obedience.
In spite of the pain, God wants His children to praise Him in all things. By praising in the hard times, faith is refined. It also messes up the enemy’s plan to keep us in spiritual bondage. We will certainly be grieved by the trial of working through this loss but, there will be a great result in the end. This is relayed in I Peter 1:6-9 NIV:
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
God gave Abraham enough faith to get up that mountain and put his only son on an altar. He asked, “Do you trust me enough to give me the life of your son?” God wants you to know that He has provided a way for sins to be redeemed through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Take a step of faith and agree to continue to work on whatever pain God brings to your mind. In all things, praise God for any ache you are feeling now because addressing it will refine your faith and leave you stronger in Him.
I’m grateful for God’s ongoing faithfulness and love, as outlined in Psalm 110:5, For the Lord is good, His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”