Devotional | Does God really allow us to suffer?

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"Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with you, O God? You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You will restore me to even greater honour and comfort me once again." Psalm 71:19-21

All throughout the Bible we can clearly see God’s promise of restoration. After reading Psalm 71, I couldn’t help but be filled with the promise of hope. Sometimes, it’s so easy to let hardships, pain and obstacles bring us down. Psalm 71 blatanly describes how God allows us to “suffer much hardship”, but at the end of that hardship lies something great; something so much better than our surrounding circumstances: a promised restoration. Often times we can put a big period at the end of “you have allowed me to suffer much hardship”. We sulk. We complain. We stay stagnant. We get angry. We feel hopeless. We blame God. This results in us settling for complacency. We give complacency a rightful place in our lives. We begin to feel ‘satisfied’ with our pain and we allow it to control us. We allow it to lead us. We lose all hope of wanting to see change.

What about what follows after the hardships? What about being restored to an even greater honour and comfort? To restore is a beautiful action; one that only Jesus can accomplish.

Two definitions of the word restoration that stood out to me in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary are, “the act or process of returning something to its original condition by repairing it, cleaning it, etc.” and “the act of returning something that was stolen or taken”.

God’s heart for us is to live as Sons and Daughters completely rooted in identity- this is how He has always intended us to live. The key word in the first definition is process. He doesn’t want to rush the process. God actually values it. He is patient. He understands the significance of going through a series of events or a particular season of life that will eventually lead to an end result: a promised restoration. It hurts Him when we dwell in the hardships of life; when we wallow in our iniquities. And so as He restores, His motives are to return us to our original condition. He molds, heals, holds, equips, convicts, disciplines, teaches, purifies, cares, secures, encourages and loves us with all of His heart. Not once does He hold back anything from us. Not once does He force or manipulate His way into our hearts.

God wants to return to us what is rightfully ours.

He wants to restore joy, love, peace, value, worth, strength, connection, and relationships. The list is endless. What are you contending for at this point in your life? Don’t settle. Don’t even think twice about making pain your home. You deserve so much more than that. He’s calling you forth into a destiny full of restoration and fulfilled promises. What will your response be?