God’s promises are referenced often in Christian circles. We know they’re in the Bible, but what are they? No matter how much time you’ve spent reading God’s Word, it’s so normal to think … wait, what are those promises again?
That’s exactly why we’re doing this series and why I want to talk about what God’s promises are with respect to adversity and suffering. You may never have felt more adversity in your life than you do right now walking through infertility. So let’s look a little closer at what God says to you in this place. Can we start with one of my favorites?
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” John 16:33
So that’s a mixed bag of news. Trouble and adversity are a certainty in this world. But we can find hope in a God who can and who WILL ultimately overcome ALL adversity and trouble.
I’d like to share with you some of the questions I’ve had in the midst of my journey and a few verses that speak to those questions.
What I am supposed to do with all this crushing disappointment?
“Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises.” James 5:13
Lord, you know I’m praying. I’ve prayed so much, I’ve stopped praying. And now I’m trying to pray again. And countless others are praying on my behalf. How can this be right? All this pain I feel is coming from a God-given desire to start a family. And now it’s been YEARS of adversity. Whyyyyyy?
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also rejoice with great joy when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12-13
Okay, so again, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. But I’m desperate to make sense of this. What’s it all for?
“For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.” 2 Corinthians 4:17
“If we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself. ” 2 Timothy 2:12-13
“So that the proven character of your faith – more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire – may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7
“And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
So good things ARE eventually coming. But how long, O Lord?
“The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while.” 1 Peter 5:10
A little while. OK. It’s just that each day in this struggle can feel like a LONG while. Those promises about great things coming, joy coming, and growing faith, perseverance, character, and hope sound good. I know those things don’t come quickly, I just need a little more hope to keep going.
“And that is why I suffer these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12
Fighting to reaffirm trust in the Lord during this struggle is essential. He will always be my lifeline.
“Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
No matter how much we may feel God is silent in our struggles, He is always at work. What we interpret as silence is rarely an accurate measure of all that God is doing in our lives.
Remember that nothing, absolutely NOTHING, can separate us from His love.
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
“Yet he knows the way I have taken; when he has tested me, I will emerge as pure gold.” Job 23:10
May this bring you hope to keep pressing onward in your journey. I’ve heard it said that adversity and suffering come to be our master teachers. Let them teach and change you. They are not here to chain you. They are here to make you better. He promises … and He who promised is faithful.
[Note: All verses quoted from Christian Standard Bible.]
Jaclyn Toscas is a writer and contributor on the content team of Waiting in Hope. She grew up in the Houston suburb of The Woodlands and lives in the Washington DC area with her husband of six years. Through her 5-year journey of infertility, IVF and loss, she has discovered great passion in helping women rediscover God’s goodness through their pain.