How to trust God When Our Children Face Hardship and Suffering
I recently found myself tiptoeing toward trying to rescue my son from a hardship, until, that is, my husband gently reminded me, “Unless you plan on living in his dorm room in college and going on his honeymoon when he gets married, you need to stay out of the way and allow him to navigate this and grow. You have to trust God to use this for his good.” He’s a smart one, that man of mine.
As moms it’s natural and normal to want to ensure our children’s happiness and protect them from all of life’s hardships. My heart has broken in ways I didn’t know it could break as I’ve walked alongside my boys through some pretty hard stuff.
Can we be real about this? It’s so hard to watch our kids navigate the “gift” of hardship, even though we absolutely know that it’s essential to their growing into responsible and resilient kids.
Here are just three of the many passages that help me trust God and remain hopeful when my boys face hardship.
1. Jesus isn’t surprised or overwhelmed by my child’s hardship or suffering.
In John 16:33 (NLT) Jesus not only told us we would experience suffering, but He assured us He has already overcome our sorrows. He says: “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
2. Hardship and suffering does not have the final word.
In Romans 5 Paul writes: We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our con dent hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (5:3–5 NLT)
Note the progression here: suffering → perseverance → character → hope.
3. My children are ultimately HIS children.
In Romans 8, Paul continues, The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs— heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. (8:16–17 NIV)
Our children are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. That’s an extraordinary inheritance! And their hardship and suffering cannot hold a candle to the glory—and the incomparable happiness—that is awaiting them and that will be revealed in them.
These are just a few of the promises of God to which we can cling! And as Paul Tripp recently wrote, “There is no chance whatsoever that the promises of God that you cling to will fail, because they were made by One who simply cannot lie.” Amen?
Even as I pen this post I am being challenged to trust these promises of God all over again. To trust that He is using the heartache my son is experiencing to produce perseverance, character and hope in my son’s life. And it really does bring me immeasurable comfort to know and believe this: God is not going to let my son down. He will be faithful to His promises.
So what can a #momsetfree do if she can’t prevent or fix all of her child’s pain? She can be present in it! When our kids are hurting, crushed, or confused, we can lean into their pain, listen without lecturing, and love without limits. We can guide them with truth. We can pray with them and for them. And we can equip them with the skills they need to be successful. And as we do, we can cling to Scripture for hope. Yes, we can do that!