The struggles that exist in every human soul as they watch the news and read the papers regarding the intolerable suffering and sense of loss for those caught up in the Manchester bombing cannot be more strongly expressed. Struggles that question. Struggles of doubt. Struggles that try to make sense of an incredibly nonsensical act. We feel it. Never underestimate the struggle in our hearts as we watch these news stories unfold.
As it is an everyday struggle, we would expect God to speak to us often about suffering, and, indeed, He does. If I were to pick just one verse from the Bible it would be this:
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him,
for God is our refuge
Here, the psalmist gives us three things to do:
- Trust in Him
- Cry to Him
- Run to Him
Trust in God
Unlike men, God never lies, never falls asleep, never fails to fulfil His promises and never leaves us or forsakes us. Even in the middle of a terrible event like the Manchester bombing, God can be found to be fully trustworthy. I know that’s hard to hear. I know that it’s incredibly more difficult to do. The Psalmist wrote:
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you
“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
Cry to God
One of the things that makes a Christian, a Christian, is their regular and unashamed crying before God:
Samuel cried to the LORD for Israel and the LORD answered him.
1 Samuel 7:9
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him And saved him out of all his troubles.
in the negative God’s people are rebuked for not crying to God:
“They do not cry to me from the heart
Crying our hearts out to God is central to the Bible’s teaching on suffering. It’s not natural for us to feel so vulnerable, particularly when suffering has the tendency to make us feel so exposed but I recommend that you do this. When ever suffering comes your way cry out to God. Find someone in the church who has learned to pour out their hearts to the Lord and get encouragement from them.
Run to Him
The psalmist says that God is our refuge. That means that when we trust him, and allow ourselves to be vulnerable to him as we cry out to Him, He becomes for us a place of refuge. There we find peace. There we find sanctuary. There we find restoration of our souls. Run! Run quickly to Jesus!
Manchester, if you’re reading: we love you. we are praying for you.