Matthew 27:41-47 (ESV)
41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 "He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, 'I am the Son of God.'" 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way. 45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, "This man is calling Elijah."
If you’ve ever experienced trauma, you can relate to feelings of anxiety and abandonment. Questioning God in times of crisis does not necessarily indicate a person’s lack of faith. On the contrary, it can actually reflect a sense of hope that God cares and is present with us in our pain.
On the cross, Jesus experienced cruel ridicule and mockery. His accusers scoffed at his claim to be the Son of God with a smug certainty that God didn’t care enough to rescue such a blasphemer. In his humanity, even Jesus pleaded with his Father in hopes that he might escape his terrible suffering. If Jesus himself prayed for relief, we do not need to worry about questioning God in our times of stress and hardship. God wants us to pour out our deepest requests to him because they reveal the reality of our faith rather than its absence. In the book of Psalms, David repeatedly pleaded with God for release from suffering. That release didn’t always come, yet David was honored by being included in Jesus’ ancestry.
God is always with us, even though it may not feel that way. When we are hanging on by our fingertips in the darkness, we can cling to his promises. Psalm 18:30 says, “God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.” In our anxiety and stress, God never leaves us. Proverbs 1:33 says, “All who listen to [God] will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” We might never find the answers to our questions this side of eternity, but the fact remains—God keeps his promises and never leaves us alone in our suffering.
Dear Lord, we thank You that You are always with us. Help to remember that even when we don’t feel that way. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.
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