By Will Graham
It seems like every new day brings fresh reports of massive natural or man-made tragedies: Tornadoes, fires, floods, riots, shootings and more. Closer to home, it’s very likely that you have encountered a divorce, a lost job, debilitating or life-threatening health problems, or some other heartbreaking trial.
It is completely natural to ask why God would allow something like this to happen, why there is so much pain in this world, and why you have been affected while others seem to have it easy.
To be honest, I don’t have the answers. There are a few things that I do know, because they are promised to us in the Bible.
God is in control. While we all want the mountaintop experiences—the wonderful times when everything is going well—those moments are few and fleeting. There is no golden ticket to an easy life.
In fact, Jesus told us in John 16:33 that the opposite is true: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Yes, there will be hard times—it’s guaranteed—but there’s also a promise: Christ has overcome the world and He is in control.
God promises that good will result from your suffering. My grandfather, Billy Graham, once said, “Mountaintops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.” Both the mountaintops and the valleys of life make us cry out to Jesus. The mountaintops cause us to praise God, while the valleys cause us cling to God.
If you put your faith in Jesus, He will take your suffering and use it to a positive end. Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
You may be traveling a valley that is incredibly difficult and painful. However, I pray that you will take solace in knowing that God has a plan. You may not get to see the fruit this side of Heaven, but even now He is working through you. Your life matters!
God will walk beside you. In John 11, we read the story of Jesus’ friend Lazarus, who became ill and died. When Jesus arrived four days later, everybody—especially Lazarus’ sisters Mary and Martha—were mourning, and Jesus mourned as well. John 11:33 says, “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.” (ESV) Jesus wept alongside Mary and Martha as He walked with them through their valley of sorrow, even though He knew what He was about to do. The tears turned to joy when Jesus miraculously raised Lazarus to life.
Similarly, God is not abandoning you in the midst of your darkest hour. You might not see a miracle on the level of Lazarus, but God understands your pain, is with you, and desires to comfort you in your suffering.
God promises eternity for His children. Further, God promises a glorious existence in Heaven, which waits on the other side of the painful realities of this world. Those who put their faith and hope in Jesus will experience what is described in Revelations 21:4: “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” What an amazing promise!
My friends, short of the Lord’s return, each of us will die at some point. In the scope of eternity, the important thing isn’t when you stand before God, but where you stand with God. If you’ve placed your faith in Jesus, cling to Him. If you haven’t, please don’t put it off any longer. He’s the hope you’re searching for, and the only true and lasting remedy in this broken world.
Don’t wait. Trust in Jesus right now.
Will Graham is the Vice President and Associate Evangelist at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. For more information on the BGEA, visit https://billygraham.org. This article was reprinted with permission.