From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
There are anguishing scenarios of human suffering. All one has to do to hear the cries of the hurting is to listen to the news for just a few minutes, as most of it will not be good news. In just one broadcast, these stories were reported: three high school athletes were hit and killed by a drunk driver; a beautiful teenager was reported missing and her distraught parents found her on the streets of San Francisco, living as a prostitute; a minister’s child was diagnosed with incurable cancer.
It’s natural to center upon ourselves when trouble comes. Personal pain tears us apart. Philip Yancey, who has written on this subject, shared this thought: “God does not, in the comfortable surroundings of Heaven, turn a deaf ear to the sounds of suffering on this groaning planet.” We must also remember that God did not exclude Himself from human suffering.
Jesus suffered more than any other person in history did. He came to save people from their sins only to be humiliated and His life threatened. Though innocent, He was denounced as the enemy of God and man. Then He was crucified. The Bible says He was “acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). When we are in trouble, we need a friend. Jesus is that friend, and He understands our sorrow and grief. We must look to Him for our strength and assurance, and then one of the greatest things we can do in our own times of discouragement is to encourage others in theirs.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)