Are there Any Promises for Parents in Pain?

by | Mar 7, 2022 | what you can do

photo cred. Wout Vonacker on Unsplash


Are there any promises for parents in pain?

Moms and dads whose deeply troubled teen or adult children continuously spiral in and out of chaos want some kind of guaranteed ending to their heartache. Can anyone do that for them? Is there any counselor or program out there that claims to make such an offer? Is there anything they can know for sure? Hurting parents search frantically for someone who can give them the hope of a happy ending, something they can hold on to on the dark days. Are any promises they can cling to?

I wrestled with that question for a long time. During our more than fifteen year journey no one ever promised me that my daughter’s life would turn out the way I wanted, or that she would even survive. No counselor, psychiatrist, or doctor could give me any reassurances…not even God.
Where substance use is involved, especially with mental illness as a complicating factor, statistics for longterm recovery range from only 30% to 42%. That’s only 3 or 4 out of every 10. Those numbers are way too low for my liking. But it’s the reality I had to accept.

No one ever told us, “There, there now, don’t you worry. Everything is going to be just fine.” If someone did say that, I politely thanked them, then walked away as soon as I could, realizing they meant well but couldn’t understand. I didn’t need false promises. I needed something more solid. Then and now, I turn to Someone who is bigger and stronger than I, who knows all things, and who “gets it”. I turn to God.

Dear friend, when we pray for our sons and daughters, we come together around the promises of God. We trust, we hope, we wait and we say thank you for whatever He gives – or withholds.

Is it easy? No. Trusting, hoping, waiting and being grateful are the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.
How often I have wondered where God was and why He allowed what He did. Have you?

While We Wait

While we wait (and hope and trust and work on being grateful), we need an attitude of alertness to God’s still small voice and to his Word that has already been given in the Bible. Let’s come together around his promises. I urge you to make time to read his inspired Word everyday (God’s love letter to you) and look for his promises. Dig in and find them. There are treasures waiting to be discovered. If you don’t own a Bible you can download a free Bible App. There are several to choose from. Here are two: YouVersion and Bible Gateway.
As you find promises write them down and make a list. Read your list often to remind yourself what you can depend on no matter what you see happening. If you’re anything like me, you need constant reminders because this journey can be wearisome and long.

Author Henry Nowen wrote, we are “waiting in the knowledge that Someone wants to address us. . .”

One way He addresses us is through His Word, the Scriptures, the Holy Bible.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true…”  2 Timothy 3:16a

When His Word comes to you, I pray it will become flesh in you and give you a whole new life. O God, this is what we long and pray for in our children’s lives too. We will continue to wait with expectancy. We will remain attuned to your Word as we stand in your Presence – together. This is the only way we can live in such a chaotic world and survive spiritually.

6 Promises for You 

photo cred. Daniel Thomas on Unsplash


To answer the question of the title for this post: Are there any promises for parents in pain? Yes! Many!

These are 6 of the promises I found in the Bible. They are from God to you too. They are for all who believe in Him. And there are many more. My list expanded to 33 which we included in the back of our Hope for Hurting Parents Parent Notebook. I clung to each of them as my bedrock, my solid ground, my strong hope. They can be that for you as well.

1.I am not alone. God is with me and will never leave me or forsake me.

“God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” Hebrews 13:5b

2. God loves me and my child with an unfailing, eternal love.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

3. I have all the help I need from the Holy Spirit – Helper, Advocate, Counselor, Comforter.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.”  John 14:16

4. Jesus prays for me all the time.

“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”  Hebrews 7:25

5. God will give me the strength and endurance I need.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall.” Isaiah 40:29-30

6. There is always hope.

“But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure.”  Psalm 71:14-15


***What promises you have found in the Bible that helped you on your painful parenting journey?