Facade is an interested word in that it is really a mask that many Christians and people of this world do. Pain and Suffering is everywhere, and we tend to try and hide it from those around us. I think about Job, from the Bible, who is often used for Pain and Suffering. Have you read through it? Or maybe a pastor spoke about it? Job lost EVERYTHING: Riches, land, workers, his Children, and even his wife (to Bitterness and Anger). He sat there in his own misery, and even at one point had boils all over his body. You see Job was a righteous man, and Satan told God if He took everything from Job He would see how much this man would love Him. God let Satan take it all away. What happened?
Christians really do think that if I have enough faith I will not have suffering or even pain. Let me ask you this did Jesus say we would not suffer in this world? No, He didn’t. You see even though Jesus saved us, died on the cross, shed His own blood on our behalf, was buried, and rose again in three days defeating death and sin doesn’t mean suffering and pain is gone… does it? Suffering and Pain will come. For some it can be years, a life time of it, and others it could be in moments or pockets of their life. Does that mean you didn’t have enough faith during that time? In our western culture we are either blind to it, hide it, or really don’t care for those who do. The truth is… it is there, and we need to trust God no matter what is the outcome (Prv 3:5-6)
In churches we love asking people how they are doing, but do we really want to? Christians are good at wearing masks in the church masquerades. When hard times come to someone we often “don’t” have the time so we ask how they are doing in passing, but we don’t really want to know. So many cases those people who are suffering work hard to wear the mask to hide their suffering so they won’t be critique or “disciplined” in their pain and suffering. In fact, many times outsiders and critiquers believe sin is the root for your issues. Let us be clear, pain and suffering can be more than a health issue it can be losing your job, a loss, waiting years for God to open a door, injured that hinders you, mental abuse, bad environment, family hiding secrets, your character destroyed by gossip, and much more.
If you are walking in God, seeking His will, trusting Him, trying to hold faith, and staying faithful to His word, prayer, and Christian fellowship you will not be alone. The world believes they are alone when it seems life is failing and then suicide is the answer. I bring you hope, and His name is Jesus. Christians sometimes forget that they are never alone even though they may be from an earthly perspective. What saddens me is that when someone in my situation (no job for 4 years) is criticized for not making it happen. At first, they are there for me, but as time pasts many of those faithful prayers and edifiers turn into gossips and critique why you (me) cannot get a job because: I am not trying hard enough, I don’t have enough faith, maybe I am sinning and God is punishing me, go get any job (tried over 300 times each year and no door opened), or maybe you should just where you can (no money how do you move???).
You see Job’s friends did the same to him. Even his wife through it all switched from a support to a bitter and angry woman. Job was told to just “Curse God and die.” He didn’t if you were wondering, and he instead did question and wonder why God was putting him through this. He prayer and sought out God, and when God wouldn’t answer him he continued to cry out. David (knowing he was to become King) cried out each day as he fled from King Saul’s army, Joseph being given to slavery and imprisoned waiting at time past without even knowing the answer to WHY, and Paul begged for God to get rid of his thorn in his side, but in all these cases God answered in His time or didn’t even give the why’s. You see God’s planes are never our (Isa. 55:8-9). At the end, the hope is not for restoration, a happy ending, or answers it is that you have grown, discovered more of God, and realized that hope is not the end but in God. Job got a new family and was restored all his earthly riches, but that was not what he saw. He saw God in a new way, he grew from the experience, and his relationship with God was the most important thing through the experience.
I leave you with God’s answer to Job: Job 38:4-7
The Lord Answers Job
38 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
2 “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Dress for action[a] like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
5 Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
6 On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
7 when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
8 “Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
9 when I made clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10 and prescribed limits for it
and set bars and doors,
11 and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?
12 “Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
and caused the dawn to know its place,
13 that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
and the wicked be shaken out of it?
14 It is changed like clay under the seal,
and its features stand out like a garment.
15 From the wicked their light is withheld,
and their uplifted arm is broken.
16 “Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
Declare, if you know all this.
19 “Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
and where is the place of darkness,
20 that you may take it to its territory
and that you may discern the paths to its home?
21 You know, for you were born then,
and the number of your days is great!
22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
for the day of battle and war?
24 What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?
25 “Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain
and a way for the thunderbolt,
26 to bring rain on a land where no man is,
on the desert in which there is no man,
27 to satisfy the waste and desolate land,
and to make the ground sprout with grass?
28 “Has the rain a father,
or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb did the ice come forth,
and who has given birth to the frost of heaven?
30 The waters become hard like stone,
and the face of the deep is frozen.
31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades
or loose the cords of Orion?
32 Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth[b] in their season,
or can you guide the Bear with its children?
33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
Can you establish their rule on the earth?
34 “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
that a flood of waters may cover you?
35 Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go
and say to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who has put wisdom in the inward parts[c]
or given understanding to the mind?[d]
37 Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
38 when the dust runs into a mass
and the clods stick fast together?
39 “Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
40 when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in their thicket?
41 Who provides for the raven its prey,
when its young ones cry to God for help,
and wander about for lack of food?