Despite all the hardship that Hagar, Moses, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Job (and others in the OT) faced they never gave up on God. They walked through slavery, oppression, humiliation, and pain. They lost family, land, and homes.
Yet, they didn’t turn from God.
It is astounding to me that they didn’t abandon him. They knew that most of what they were experiencing was directly from the hand of God, yet they trusted him.
They wrestled, they grieved, they pleaded, they asked questions, but they didn’t give up on the heart of God. They knew they could trust him with their circumstances. He was the God who saw them. He was the God who delivered them from Egypt. He was the God who would relent on his retribution. He was the God who would restore.
They trusted in the heart of God within their trials and sufferings. They spoke with God to find that place. They didn’t give up on him. And he didn’t give up on them. He let them question him, wrestle, grieve, plead so that they may find their peace and find their hearts settled within his.
Paul heard of these warriors of our faith when he spoke of the great cloud of witnesses that are ever present to remind us to find faith within our own trials. Perhaps he remembered their tenacity and endurance in faith when he noted that we can rejoice in our sufferings. Paul gleaned something from the faithful who walked before him and we can too.
To experience suffering and not allow our hearts to be distanced from God is a great test of our faith.
May we be found faithful.