Just a few days ago, I had a conversation with someone who has gone through years of struggle. He’s prayed and sought God’s healing over and over again. He’s witnessed the healing and countless victories of other brothers and sisters in Christ, but for him it’s elusive. He often prays these words from Psalm 25:16-18: Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins. And yet, he remains in a broken state of disrepair. After 18 years of constant illness, doctor’s appointments, surgeries, and medications, he’s worn down, tired, and wonders where God is in all of it. What does one say to a person in this state? I just listened and made a few feeble attempts at encouragement as my heart broke for him.
In the midst of our conversation he said, “I’m a Christian, why doesn’t God help me?” I understand why he feels this way, but I have to consider scripture in the matter. Psalm 34:19 tell us: Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. We will have afflictions. They will be many. But there is hope. God will deliver us. When? I don’t know. I’ve seen some receive instantaneous healing. Others are left struggling during their time on this Earth, but we have a promise of eternity with Jesus. We can cling to verses like Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. There is hope in that.