Is there anyone among us who has not known heartbreak? Death stole someone you love. A friend betrayed you. A spouse deserted you. A child disappointed you. An illness interrupted your life.
Heartbreak comes in all shapes and sizes, and it changes us. In our pain we cry out, Why?
I have no adequate answer to that echoing question. But I’ve learned in heartbreaking places—dark places—we must choose to believe what we found easy to believe in the light.
- God is good.
- He makes no mistakes.
- He has a purpose for everything he allows.
- He’s always doing something bigger than we can see.
Remember the story of Joseph—hated by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused and imprisoned. God had a mighty purpose in everything he allowed. He was doing something bigger than Joseph could see.
God never wastes heartbreak.
In our pain we cry out, How will I get through this?
We have a choice: to draw near to God or turn from him. I read about a pastor whose wife was involved in a horrific car accident that left her with irreversible brain damage and severe disabilities. He made a statement I’ll never forget. “I wasn’t going to get angry with God. He was the only one who could get us through this.”
Heartbreak and suffering are all around us. Hardly a life is untouched. In pain we cry out, What’s the purpose in all this anguish?
I’ve considered that question and prayed for understanding, and the Lord has given me an answer that satisfies me. Purposes in suffering:
- That we may comfort others. “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 KJV).
- That others may see our faith. “Then the Lord said, ‘I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you’” (Exodus 34:10 NIV).
- That we may share in the fellowship of Christ’s suffering. “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:10).
- That we may learn obedience. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).
To persevere through suffering, we need a Christ-perspective: God has a purpose, and he is working for my good.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Click To Tweet
Paul’s perspective on suffering: “Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation. Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5 Amplified).
Maybe yours is an on-going heartbreak. Unable to move beyond it, you struggle day after day in an excruciating circumstance with no end in sight.
I know nothing more to say than this: God is good. He makes no mistakes. He has a purpose for everything he allows. He’s doing something bigger than you can see.
If you can believe that, you can endure—even thrive in—hard places. Looking back, I’m grateful for those sweet times of nestling in Jesus’ arms. I face the future knowing I’m always welcome there.
“The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms…” (Deuteronomy 33:27).
Stay there and trust him. He has a purpose. He will not allow your heartbreak to be wasted.
Would you tell me about a heartbreak that God ultimately used for good? And please share this with your friends!
© Dianne Barker 2019