God’s Character Doesn’t Change in Your Suffering

A while ago, I went through a pretty consistent period of depression. It was the lowest my life had been since I was in drug and alcohol treatment in 2012. It was difficult for me to reconcile the goodness of God and the gospel as I felt miserable on a consistent basis.

A good friend of mine really challenged me during this time. One, he helped me to realize that much of my suffering was self-inflicted. Depression isn’t always this way, but in this case, it was. Second, he told me to quit beating myself up and focusing on “what was wrong with me” and begin thinking about “what is right about God”. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was a turning point for me in coming out of depression. So with pen in hand, I popped open my journal, and here’s what hit the pages.

  1. God creates and sustains the entire universe. (Gn. 1:1-2; Heb. 1:3)
  2. He knows me more than I could possibly know myself. He is aware of all things I struggle with, why I struggle with them, and is patient to deal with me in my own sickness. (Psalm 139)
  3. He sent Jesus, who accomplished perfect righteousness in his life, so that I could be remade in his image. (Rom. 3:21; 8:29)
  4. He bore the full weight of my sinfulness, extending grace upon grace to the complete spectrum of my fallen nature—past, present, and future. (Ac. 2:38; 13:38; 2 Cor. 5:21)
  5. He is changing me and my family in Christ to become like Christ, worship Christ, and enjoy Christ. (Phil. 3:3; Col 3:18-21; 1 The. 1:6)
  6. He shepherds me back to him when I long to run from his graces. (Psalm 23)
  7. He reminds me of what I deserve so that I can celebrate the mercy he’s extended to me. (Rom. 9:22-24)
  8. His love for me isn’t based on my current emotional experience. Its unshakeable and unchangeable. (Psalm 100)
  9. He calls me to have love for my neighbor, in the same way I have love for myself. (Mk. 12:29-31)
  10. He encourages and comforts me in deep affliction and pain. (2 Cor. 1:3-7)
  11. His thoughts ascend far above my own and his purposes are far above my own. (Rom. 11:33-36)
  12. He works all together for the good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose. (Rom. 8:28-30; Gal. 1:15-16; Eph. 1:11)
  13. He redeems my life from the pit. (Psalm 103:3-5)
  14. He restores my soul to Christ. (1 Pet. 5:10-11)
  15. His pursuit of my wayward adulterous heart is relentless. (Hos. 3)
  16. He is faithful to secure me in salvation according to the faithfulness of his love. (Jn. 10:28-29)
  17. He bears the Word upon my conscience, convincing me of my desperate need for him. (2 Tim 3:16-17)
  18. He stirs my affections away from the love of sin and toward love for his name. (Rom. 6:19-22; 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 6:9-11)
  19. He endures regardless of my junk. (Jn. 1:16-17; Ti. 2:11-13)
  20. He is equally present and involved in both my good and bad days. (Jas. 1:2-3)
  21. The depths of his character only greater expose the depths of his love for those who are his in Jesus. (Ps. 40:10-11)
  22. He thinks about and considers me in my pitiable condition. (Ex. 34:6-7; Eph. 2:4-5)
  23. He died for me, securing my righteousness before the throne and was raised to reveal the certainty of my inheritance in Christ. (Rom 3:20-30; 5:1-10; 1 Cor 15:20-23; 1 Tim 1:15-17)
  24. He gives me confidence and assurance. (Rom. 8:31-39; 2 Tim 1:12; Heb. 11:1)
  25. He has given me his Spirit so that I can participate in his promises today. (Isa. 32:15; Jn. 14:26; 2 Cor, 1:21-22)
  26. He enables me to live a godly life. (2 Pet. 1:3-8)
  27. He has purpose in all things I go through. (Col. 3:17, 23)
  28. He presses me in laziness with thoughts of eternity. (Eph. 5:13-16)
  29. He is the source of every good and perfect gift I’ve received. (Jas. 1:17)
  30. He listens and answers my prayers and pleas for mercy. (Mt. 7:7-11; Lk 18:1-14; 1 Jn. 5:13-17)

This is only a small picture of the God of Scripture. Meditate on the passages, not just the principles. The Lord speaks to us from his Word regarding who he is. It is this unchanging character we cling to.

I pray this may be a list of truths you can run toward to meditate on the vast magnitude of God’s character.

I pray these promises revealed in Scripture provide you with rest in the midst of your turmoil.

I pray that if you don’t know the Lord, this can point you to the incredible benefits of the life Christ purchased for sinners with his blood.

Most of all, may this take your thoughts off you for a moment and fixate them on the King of kings and Lord of lords.