“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing
with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Romans 8:18, NIV

There are times when God seems to be strangely absent. We usually feel most alone when we are facing our most trying circumstances. Many in those moments cry out, “My God why have your forsaken me?” When Jesus was on the cross we sense that God was far away. Yet, there is a mystery in the cross that reveals God’s strange and powerful presence. In closely studying the death of Jesus, we discover that at the very moment when God seems to be absent, he was doing his greatest work. When Jesus was dying, God was saving. When Jesus was suffering, God was purchasing men and women and boys and girls. In the darkest moments God was at work.

So it is in our lives. In the dark moments of fear, pain, suffering, and difficulty God is not absent. He is present in those moments loving us and caring for us and helping us. Jesus came into the world and suffered, just as we suffer. In facing the same kinds of sufferings and our sufferings and disappointments and use for them to bring glory to Him. He redeemed the agony of our suffering and reveals how he can use it to cause us to become more Christ-like. He demonstrates how facing the trials can build our faith and trust in God not destroy it.

Many want to look beyond the cross to the resurrection. It is a much more pleasing story to the human existence. However, the story of the cross and the mystery of God’s presence there make sense of the lives we live and the sufferings we face.

QUESTION: Can you look back to a difficult time in your life and see now how God was working? Might God be more present in your current circumstances than you first thought?