All through Scripture it’s this way. Moses had faith to stand before Pharaoh; God then sent the plagues that set the people free. The priests had the faith to step into the flooded Jordan River; God then stopped the river so they could cross to the Promised Land. Peter had faith to get out of the boat and walk on the water to Jesus; Jesus then caught him and saved him. Peter had faith to preach at Pentecost; God then sent his Spirit and 3,000 came into the Kingdom. John had faith to worship on Patmos; Jesus then gave him the Revelation.
Why believe in God even when it hurts? Even when your son is demon-possessed or our marriage is in trouble or your job is in question or your health is in doubt? Why trust him in the hard places? Because he redeems all he allows.
God is holy. He can never make a mistake. He must therefore redeem for greater good everything he allows. He must use everything that happens to us for his glory and our good. All things work for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
We may not see his redemption this side of glory, but it’s coming. Paul told us that our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory to be revealed. It’s always too soon to give up on God.
So give him your pain or problem, by faith. Trust him to redeem it for his glory and your good. Let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season we will reap a harvest if we faint not (Gal. 6:9). Keep walking, trusting, obeying. You cannot measure the eternal significance of present obedience.
Two of my faith heroes are named Robby and Allison Ates.
Some years ago I stood with them at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas as they had to remove the life support for their precious baby girl. As Robby held Emily’s tiny hand, he happened to look out the neonatal intensive care unit’s small window. At just that moment, a pink balloon floated by and on up into the blue sky. He sensed God’s Spirit encouraging him to know that he could let his little girl go, that God would catch her and bring her to heaven with him. And so he did. At her graveside service, Robby and Allison brought balloons which we released together.
How has God redeemed their tragedy? By helping them trust him together in the hardest places of life, through financial challenges and health issues and family struggles. Theirs is one of the strongest faiths I have ever seen. And by using them in his ministry. Whenever a couple in our church loses a baby, we call Robby and Allison. Caring for grieving families is part of their ministry.
They know they will see Emily again, that she is in her Father’s hands. They know that in the meantime, they are in the same hands. So are we. This is the promise of God.