When times are tough, we often wonder if God is really there at all – and if He is, why does He allow us to endure such pain? Dr. Jeff Myers, President of Summit Ministries, shares an encouraging word from John 16:33 for those wondering how to respond to the pain of life.
“In this world you will have trouble. You will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.”
In this instance, the word ‘overcome’ is a battle word.
“It comes from the Greek goddess nike and it means to deprive the enemy of its ability to cause harm.”
When we enter into relationship with God, past hurts and pain do not simply disappear. At times, they can intensify as we grow in our faith. However, that does not mean God is not present.
“When we understand pain from Jesus’ perspective, the suffering takes on meaning. God is not as interested in ending our pain as He is growing our dependence on Him day after day. That’s why Jesus prayed, ‘give us this day our daily bread,’ that’s why in the Old Testament God provided the manna for the Israelites every day.”
Sometimes, in our deepest pain, we learn how to be dependent on God for our daily bread.
“During a particularly difficult time in my life, I would lay in bed and say, ‘God, I just can’t do this.’ He would bring Lamentations 3:22-23 to my mind, ‘because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for His mercies are new every morning and his faithfulness is great.’”
“It was as if Jesus would say to me through that passage, ‘I don’t want you to think about the next six months, I don’t want you to try to imagine how you’re going to live the next five years of your life like this, let’s do today. My mercies are new today.’”
When we depend on Jesus daily, the questions we have about why pain exists begin to be answered.
Dr. Jeff Myers is an author, teacher, and president of Summit Ministries which cultivates young leaders to transform culture with a biblical worldview. He is one of America’s most respected authorities on Christian worldview, apologetics, and youth leadership development. He holds a doctor of philosophy degree from Denver University. Dr. Myers and his family live in Colorado.