Life is hard! How do you get through it all? When too many painful seasons chain together, we start asking serious questions. Most people’s questions flow out of losses, disappointments, and pain.
As people are trying to get through, their questions often wrestle with God:
- Where are You in all this, God?
- How will You keep Your promise to me?
- Why don’t I see progress or answers after all these years?
- How patient do I need to be?
- How do I handle this stabbing pain, rise from this bottomless pit?
- Why so many losses and disappointments?
- I can’t believe that person would betray me!
- What did I do wrong?
- Where did I mis-step?
- How can I fix all this?
- I can’t take any more.
When you are on the unanswered side of these, it can be discouraging. Depression can tease you. Sometimes you wilt and fade into the wallpaper of life, feeling dried up and raw. It’s hard to grab onto hope again. Your once-steel-nerves look like thin, frayed wires. Add aging or health problems, and you may wonder if life is simply an endurance contest.
Empty and Lonely
Living in this place is empty and lonely. It wasn’t supposed to be this way – not the original plan. These conditions are part of a fallen, imperfect world. Even so, sometimes in losses, we find ourselves asking the wrong questions.
Crying out to God in life’s empty pockets and lonely experiences helps you take a first step onto a better path. Crying out to Him takes faith that He is who He claims and that He is working where you can’t yet see. Healing usually happens in layers, not all at once. If you stay with God on this path, you notice things you didn’t before. With God’s help, kindness, love, and provision – acceptance can grow a tiny bit at a time. This helps you move into the future. Walking with God through sorrow eventually connects you with hope again. God is a good companion. He still does miracles in hearts. So – Cry out to God!
Critical Direction Needed in Loss
What about needed direction in the middle of losses? This may sound overly simple, but God wants you to ask for His help. He has promised to give wisdom to the person who lacks it, asks for it, and believes to receive it. (Jas. 1:5-7 is an excellent section about this.) When you trust Him for wisdom, He will give it: through His Word, through credible believers, through His Spirit in your heart. So – Ask God!
Stay In A New Place
There is companionship in loneliness by opening to God’s love. There is strength in God’s power and goodness, even though He doesn’t answer your questions. Resolving to trust God even when it doesn’t make sense brings peace – despite long-term issues not changing. Rest happens in the middle of troubles by eagerly seeking to be with Him. (See Mt. 11:28-29) An intense “faith-look” into the face of God helps shut out the noise of sorrow, and then you see joy that was invisible before. In this place, a person’s questions change into positive, fresh power with possibilities. So – Stay near God!
New ideas and questions can form in your heart and mind as healing slowly progresses. Move intentionally toward the kind of questions that propel you forward into health. They bring answers.
- What can I learn from this pain/depression?
- How can I bring glory to God through this?
- Would I be able to help someone else who is suffering?
- What new, unimaginable provisions from God have I not yet discovered?
- How could these sorrows develop my character?
- How can I have more of Jesus as I suffer through these things?
- What resolve must I exercise to welcome trials as training opportunities? (Jas. 1:2-3)
- Am I willing to take up a positive, fresh, faith-based perspective – and let previous perspectives die?
- Will I choose to bless the Lord and worship Him with zeal, expressing my faith in His love? Scripture calls this a “sacrifice of praise.” (Heb. 13:15)
So – Think about new ideas, and ask God new questions!
Stand firm and do not listen to voices that make God out to be a liar. Scripture teaches, “Stand firm, then, and do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Gal. 5:1) Determine to not give room for excuses, justifying, self-pity, and defeat. Instead, speak Scripture into your heart:
- I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Phil. 4:13)
- God is my Rock and my Help. (Ps. 18:2; 28:1; 31:3; 42:9; 94:22; 144:1 and many more)
- Jesus is my dearest Friend. (Jas. 2:23)
- I will never leave you or forsake you. (Deut. 31:6)
- When you pass through [the terrible deep times], they will not sweep over you. (Is. 43:2)
- I will bring you out into a spacious place of good things. (Ps. 18:19; 31:8 and 19; 103:5; 118:5)
So – Stand firm in God!
Summary of How to Get Through
As painful seasons chain together in your life, focus your gaze on Jesus. He has suffered deeply, like you. Jesus said, “In this world, you will have troubles. But – take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33) So – Take heart in God!
Cry out to God! Ask God! Stay in God!
Think about new ideas, and ask God new questions! Stand firm in God!
Take heart in God!
Additional blog articles that might help:
- A mini-library of “hope” articles: http://www.intentionallivingministry.org/blog/category/hope
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