All this has come upon us, though we have not forgotten you, Psalm 44:17
There is some suffering that can clearly be connected to a decision we make. If we blow up at a friend because of stress from our current situation, we may destroy that friendship. If we become negligent at the workplace, it may cost us our jobs. But there’s other sufferings that we are unable to trace to a specific action or sin. The psalmist describes the suffering of God’s people at the hands of their enemies (v10-16). Yet, God’s people appeared to be faithfully following God (v17-18).
The Old and New Testaments make it clear that even God’s people will suffer in this life. Jesus promised there would be hardship for His followers, but He also promised victory over all suffering in the end (v16:33). Yes, we feel the effects of our own personal sin, but we also suffer because we live in a fallen world that is still waiting for everything to be made right. This pandemic reminds us that Jesus has not yet returned to make all things new, and suffering produces an aching for that time to come. In hardship, let the eyes of your heart look to God who alone is savior and redeemer (v26).