Thoughts, Questions, and Meditation Exercise

However, as it is written:
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

Prayer

1 Corinthians 2:9-11

I have often wondered if our pain and suffering have a purpose. I wished my pain made more sense to me. I know understanding its reason would make it bearable.

Just as I could not explain the reason for the medical injections to my three-year-old son see previous post for full story, is it possible that there are times when God cannot explain the reason for our pain in an understandable way?

Whether or not we ever comprehend the reason for our painful circumstances, tougher questions remain, such as “How do we survive suffering when it strikes?” And, “how do we hold on to our faith during trying times?”

It is during such times we constantly need to remind ourselves what we know about God. Just as my son trusted in my love for him, we need to believe in the promise of God’s unchanging character. He tells us he is understanding, present, steadfast, and loving. When faced with suffering we need to hold on tight to God and to his promises.

Over the next four weeks, we will explore each of these four beautiful qualities of God in greater depth. It is my belief we will discover that God is trustworthy even when life doesn’t make sense.

Opening Questions

Have you experienced a difficulty that shook your trust in God?

What particular detail of the situation challenged your faith?

How did your feelings about God get resolved?

Meditation Exercise

This week, let’s practice meditation scripturarum, which is a meditation practice that uses a particular set of Scripture passages for contemplation. David, the psalmist, had many highs and lows throughout his life. He openly lamented to God when he was discouraged or feeling hopeless. I recommend using Psalm 13 for this week’s focus. As you read the words slowly and let them soak into your heart. Imagine yourself as the writer of these words. When have you felt this way? What situations were you facing? Notice how the psalmist trusted in God’s unfailing love. Which of God’s characteristics do you rely on during times of trouble? You might find yourself focusing on varying aspects of the passages as you re-read Psalm 13 over a period of several days. What new things do you learn?

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