I know that God can help in every situation. I know that He can cause all things to work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. I know we are at times too close to a situation to see any answers or really be able to help in any way. But, no matter how much we know God is there and He helps. Sometimes it will seem that He isn’t listening to our cries.
If you read the Psalms you know that David cried out many times to God pleading with Him to hear and answer his prayers. He asked God why He was waiting so long to act with regard to his enemies. He tells of his feelings that the wicked seem to be blessed by God while those who loved and served God were under a curse.
Listen to Paul in 2 Corinthians. In chapter one, verses 3 and following he said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” Then in verses 8-11 he added this, “For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us. He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.”
Since God comforts us and shows mercy to us in all kinds of situations, how do we get into situations where we are burdened beyond our strength and feel like giving up on life itself? One of the huge lessons in 2 Corinthians is that the God of mercy and grace doesn’t operate in our times of trouble with the rush that we would think He would. Paul sent Titus to Corinth hoping to solve problems and get their relationship back on track. Paul was anxious to hear from Titus. Paul went to Troas hoping to find Titus. While there God opened a door for him to preach the gospel, but he was in such despair at not finding Titus he went on to Macedonia.
In chapter 7 he said, “For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within. But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus; and not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he reported to us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced even more.” God timetable is very different from our.
In 2 Corinthians 12 we get more insight into the whole point. Paul told of being caught up into the third heaven and hearing words unlawful for a man to say. Then to keep him from becoming proud God gave him a thorn in the flesh, a minister of Satan. He prayed fervently for God to take away the thorn. God said, “No, My strength is made perfect in weakness. My grace is sufficient for you.” Paul then says that he glories in his weakness, knowing that when he is weak he is strong.” Now he glories in his weakness, insults, distresses, persecutions and difficulties.
We will never understand the different trials and problems we go through in life. It will always seem that God should act faster and more decisively to spare us more difficulties. It will never make sense that people who are devoted to God often go through huge trials and problems. When you try to help it often seems the problems multiply and the solutions shrink.
There are some things we can do for those who are in the grasp of Satan as he pulls them from one trial to the next. We can pray. In 2 Corinthians 1:11 Paul said, “You also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.”
Prayer helps. It may not change things as quickly as we want. It may not bring the answers I think it will or even that I’m asking for. But God helps and prayer helps.