Walking with God...
By Jim Kok, Crystal Cathedral Pastor
"If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there...even there your hand will guide me."
Faith is not the capacity to eliminate pain. It is not a spiritual strength that makes life's heartaches hurt less. Faith is not a spiritual superiority that lifts one above the ordinary tears and grief of life. It is not immunity from disease, failure, or loss. And, it is not armor against the perplexity, despair, and confusion these troubles usually bring with them.
Quite the opposite. Faith is the freedom to enter pain, to feel it for what it is, to experience life at full strength, to mourn personal and global threats and losses, to enter with raw nerves - as mere people can - into our own and others' diseases and agonies. Faith, at its core, is essentially the ability to suffer.
Rather than a power model of faith that makes us think we can and should be super-persons, we need a weakness model. God has revealed himself to us as one who has the courage to experience hurt, not as a hero who shrugs off blows. God, in Jesus, entered our condition, our pain, our humanness.
Faith is an awareness that God is alongside us in all circumstances. God has been there, and God is there with us, all the way, come what may.
Prayer: Dear Lord, when I experience hurt and loss, I know you are there to bolster and encourage me. You know my pain. My faith in you gives me the strength to carry on. Amen.