Pain and Purpose; Trials and Triumph; Helplessness and Hope

The homeless man with the sign: “hungry – anything helps”; the single parent raising a special needs child; the family of a man serving in the armed forces opening the front door to hear, “I am sorry to inform you that your husband/father has been killed in combat”; the young adult, living on the streets, waking up to the reality of his/her own private hell:  “My life is rotting away; I need to live again; I want to live again.”

Pain, struggles, fear, challenges, trials, chaos, helplessness.  Is their any purpose in the pain?  Can there be triumph through the trials?  Do we dare to hope while feeling helpless?  There is purpose, there can be triumph, and we should dare to hope IF . . . we look for the answers that are true and real.  Some people have found the truth and some will yet find it:

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”

11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:

“Amen!
Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
Amen!”

13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”

14 I answered, “Sir, you know.”

And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore,

“they are before the throne of God
    and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne
    will shelter them with his presence.
16 ‘Never again will they hunger;
    never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,’[a]
    nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne
    will be their shepherd;
‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’[b]
    ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’ (Revelation 7:9-17)

It’s the Lamb who shed His blood who shows us the purpose in the pain; who leads us to triumph through the trials; and who gives us the courage to hope while feeling helpless.  Have you shed any tears lately?  God can and will wipe them away if you will let Him.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:2-3).

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