IMG_3463 by you.

“My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” (Psalms 119:50)

While we were suffering through a pretty oppressive winter, God’s promise of fresh, new life was already at work.  This little leaf was patiently waiting for the right combination of light and warmth to gently unfold itself and display the hope of a beautiful spring.  Even as the snow was still falling and we were shivering and shoveling, God’s promise of relief was present and waiting for God’s moment to signal relief.

Suffering by its very nature is always difficult.  Whether the suffering comes through physical or psychological distress, economic hardship, or relational crisis, the pain is always difficult, and even dangerous.  Suffering can lead to despair, and despair can lead to the loss of life.  One of the things that makes suffering bearable is promise – promise not only that suffering will end, but also promise that there will be new life on the other end of the suffering.  The end of suffering does not necessarily signal hope.  The end of suffering can be simply numbness, not life.

The drama unfolding this Holy Week reminds Christians that God knows our suffering completely.  Jesus walked the path of deepest suffering as he endured denial and betrayal by his friends, physical abuse, and death.  What got him through was promise – God’s promise of life.  It was the presence of that promise in the midst of the suffering that enabled Jesus to walk the path of suffering to be the Christ – our Christ – our promise.  God’s promise is more than the end of suffering.  God’s promise is renewed and new life in response to our suffering.  There is hope in life because we have God’s promise even in the midst of our suffering.  I pray that God will help me remember divine promise in the midst of suffering.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Sand Hill United Methodist Church
Boaz, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my new book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit

Check out my new video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”


~ by revgenelson on March 31, 2010.

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