How To Have Hope In The Midst of Suffering

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It’s been about three months since I wrote my blog post about prayer, specifically relating to the power of prayer in Damar Hamlin’s life. Damar Hamlin was a football safety for the Buffalo Bills who suffered cardiac arrest and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. If you haven’t had a chance to read my blog post, you can check it out here

Just three short months ago, various media outlets and the country at-large embraced the “Prayer Works” movement with open arms. Football fans united in the stands and prayed for Damar Hamlin’s life. Prayer vigils formed outside his hospital. We watched reporters pray on-air for God to save his life. Players and coaches took a knee and bowed down before our Creator. It felt like the whole world was placing their trust in God to protect Hamlin, and Hamlin survived. 

Media Headlines January 2023: Prayer Works. Answered Prayers. Prayer is Real. 


God gets… the glory? 

Fast forward to today where we are reeling from the latest mass shooting at the Covenant School, a Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee. Instead of lives saved and protected, we are dealing with multiple lives lost and a lifetime of suffocating grief and pain that will be etched in the hearts of the victim’s family members, friends, and our nation. 

Many, including myself, are praying over this horrific tragedy and for the families and communities who are grieving. But this time, I noticed that the media headlines regarding prayer over this tragedy have taken a drastic turn from the warm embrace of prayer just three short months ago with Damar Hamlin’s healing. 

Media Headlines March 2023: Prayer does not work. We don’t want your stupid thoughts and prayers. Prayer is not enough.  


A quick glance at how prayer has been received this time around:  

Tennessee State Senator Heidi Campbell said, “We don’t need thoughts and prayers.”  

Gun control activist Shannon Watts said, “If prayers alone worked there wouldn’t have been a mass shooting at a school where they pray.” she tweeted. 

God gets….? 

When I see this disparity between prayer working and prayer not working, I am reminded how we (believers and nonbelievers alike) often equate prayer with the termination of suffering: “If it doesn’t terminate suffering, then it’s not working.” And then some conclude, “Well then, there must be no God”.  

So we take matters into our own hands and spend time and energy trying to terminate suffering from our lives, hoping to be the savior of our own lives.  

I get it. We don’t like suffering. I don’t like suffering. I don’t want it and sometimes I try to live my life as if it’s not there or I find ways to remove it as quickly as possible.  

Life is hard:  

  • On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by their partner (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence). If you listen to just one hour of my show, that’s 1,200 people that are being physically hurt during that one hour.  
  • Almost 6,000 children become orphans every day due to war, natural disaster, poverty, disease, stigma and medical needs (Orphans Lifeline). 
  • There are over 600,000 cancer deaths happening every single day (CDC).  
  • It’s estimated that one person dies of hunger every four seconds (World Vision).  

God tells us that there will be suffering in this world: 

I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world. John 16:33  

My hope lies in our mighty Conqueror who has prepared a place for us. It’s our mighty Savior who frees us of earthly suffering or promises to walk with us right through it.  

I don’t think “unanswered prayer” or suffering means that we stop praying or see prayer as futile. Suffering doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist. For me, it’s a constant reminder that we are made for another world: 

“While other worldviews lead us to sit in the midst of life’s joys, foreseeing the coming sorrows, Christianity empowers its people to sit in the midst of this world’s sorrows, tasting the coming joy.”   

-Tim Keller, “Walking With God Through Pain and Suffering

I don’t know how to do this life without Christ; without Him, suffering would be intolerable. But this is the hope we have today: that we CAN have HIS JOY, here and now, in the midst of the world’s sorrows, knowing that a complete restoration waits for us. 

So what can we do today?  

  • Embrace prayer; a gift that allows us to communicate with our great Lord.  
  • Grieve with the families and communities in Nashville, Tennessee.  
  • Weep over the evil that destroys this world and lives in its wake.  
  • Be the changemakers and waymakers by living out how He has called us to live, to love the things He loves, and to be fierce protectors of His most cherished possessions….His creation.  
  • Pray for this world to know Jesus as their Savior. Pray for healing, protection, for Christ’s swift return and for hearts to be softened and to turn from all evil.  

Devin Almonte 

Host of Encouraging STAR Stories, STAR 99.1

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Devin Almonte


  1. Hayley on April 13, 2023 at 8:21 pm

    Amen! We are leading about this in our study of I Peter.

    • Devin Almonte on April 13, 2023 at 10:43 pm

      Oh, I bet that is a great study!!! I’d love to hear more about it! God Bless! – Devin Almonte

  2. Susan on April 13, 2023 at 9:58 pm

    No one could’ve said all that any better! Jesus speaks through you through the power of the holy Spiriy amen!!

    • Devin Almonte on April 13, 2023 at 10:46 pm

      Aw, thank you! So funny you said that. I was planning to write about something else, but this topic of prayer and suffering kept coming up for me and would not relent. I told God, “That’s a hard topic Lord.” The one I was planning to write is a little easier. But it would not leave my mind so I said, “Okay, God! Got the message! We’ll write about what you want me to write about, but you’ve got to bring it to life!” – God Bless, Devin Almonte

      • juanita on April 13, 2023 at 11:01 pm

        God is my strong hold my safe place, been a verbally marriage for 17 years, some days he is kind, maybe a week or two, I say or do something he doesn’t like he gets very angry, God holds me up, and the Holy Spirit. without God I could not carry on, prayers for my husband Randy first to heal have a personal relationship with God and turn to Him for healing and me, I am 74 and my husband is 75, God Bless

  3. Lisa M on April 13, 2023 at 10:19 pm

    This was an excellent blog today. This needs to be shouted from the rooftops. Our God is with us through our suffering. It is not for us to understand why some are healed and some are not, why disasters still happen. We live in a fallen world and He has overcome the world. Lord help us to be courageous and strong as we face life’s hardships and allow us to show your love to all those around us. Thany you Devin!

    • Devin Almonte on April 13, 2023 at 10:48 pm

      Thank you!!! Yes! I agree that this is a message the world needs to hear and know! I pray that God will allow you to perhaps share this as He leads you with anyone who might benefit. – God Bless!

      – Devin Almonte

  4. juanita on April 13, 2023 at 11:01 pm

    God is my strong hold my safe place, been a verbally marriage for 17 years, some days he is kind, maybe a week or two, I say or do something he doesn’t like he gets very angry, God holds me up, and the Holy Spirit. without God I could not carry on, prayers for my husband Randy first to heal have a personal relationship with God and turn to Him for healing and me, I am 74 and my husband is 75, God Bless

    • Devin Almonte on April 14, 2023 at 10:51 am

      Oh Juanita, that sounds very hard. I’m glad you shared this so that I can be in prayer for you and your husband that God would come right in the center and give you wisdom and discernment and to seek guidance if necessary. And to allow your husband to know God’s peace and to give him a gentle and compassionate spirit for you! May the anger be replaced with God’s unfailing love. You are not alone and by sharing, I know that someone else now feels less alone in their trials. Yes, we face hard days of trials and suffering. But God holds me up too and gives me His joy, even when we’ve got a mess going on around us. God Bless! – Devin Almonte

  5. Ruthie F on April 14, 2023 at 7:44 am

    Thank you for the article, Devin. I agree… only in Christ can we find joy in the midst of suffering. It’s HARD because we like to plan and know and touch and see. I’ve referred to myself as doubting Thomas many times.

    This is timely as I’ve study through Isaiah. King Hezekiah prayed, and God listened and saw and answered. God doesn’t always answer like he did for Hezekiah, but it’s important to note God’s character and trust that He is listening and is seeing what we go through. We have to trust that He has a plan. Hezekiah (looking back on it after he was healed) was able to say it was all for his good (and God’s glory).

    No, it’s not easy during the suffering to say “this will be for my good.” In fact, it’s darn near impossible to say at times, and for me especially when it comes to physical pain, I get so discouraged and my trust begins to wane. So, the best thing for me to do is stay grounded in His Word so that I can remember to Whom it is that I pray and take heart that He is good and loves me no matter what.

    ““Go back to Hezekiah and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. Yes, I will defend this city… But what could I say? For he himself sent this sickness. Now I will walk humbly throughout my years because of this anguish I have felt. Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! Yes, this anguish was good for me, for you have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins.”
    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭38‬:‭5‬-‭6‬, ‭15‬-‭17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

  6. Fortune C Coratti on April 14, 2023 at 10:27 am

    Amen and thank you for your beautiful words sent to you from our great Lord!

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