Perhaps you or someone you love is going through intense suffering right now. It’s easy to ask if God cares–does he hear our prayers? Here’s a quote from Timothy Keller that I find helpful. When he mentions “the incarnation” he’s talking about the Christian teaching that God the Son–Jesus Christ– became human 2,000 years ago. The suffering of our Lord means that he’s infinitely qualified to console us in our suffering.
“The incarnation means that God suffered, and that Jesus triumphed through suffering. This means, as Hebrews 2:17-18 said, that Jesus now has an infinite power to comfort. [Christianity] shows you a God unlike the god of any other faith. Have you been betrayed? Have you been lonely? Have you been destitute? Have you faced death? So has he! Some say, ‘You don’t understand. I have prayed to God for things, and God ignored my prayer.’ In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus cried out, ‘Father…may this cup be taken from me’ (Matthew 23:39) and he was turned down. Jesus knows the pain of unanswered prayer. Some say, ‘I feel like God has abandoned me.’ What do you think Jesus was saying on the cross when he said, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me’ (Matthew 27:46)?
Christianity says God has been all the places you have been; he has been in the darkness you are in now, and more.”Timothy Keller, Hidden Christmas, 52.