Sometimes life deals a heaping dose of hurt. I’ve experienced it myself several times recently, either firsthand or via family and friends. Here are a few examples:
- Cancer claims a pastor’s wife and leaves a widower with three children under five years old.
- A young couple’s first child is born with multiple birth defects and dies within three hours.
- Cancer strikes a middle-aged mother of two teens.
- A grown child makes negative decisions that affect innocent others.
- A youth pastor leaves his family for a teenage girl. (Actually, I know of four such cases in the past year).
When life deals hurt, our hearts naturally feel heavy. Sometimes it’s difficult to focus on our tasks at hand. Sometimes it’s difficult to feel thankful, and it’s easy to feel betrayed or angry. Emotions can boil into an unhealthy state if we let them. This morning, as I sift through a mix of emotions, I read Psalm 46:7-11:
“The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress. Come, see the glorious works of the LORD; See how he brings destruction upon the world. He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
‘Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation, I will be honored throughout the world.’ The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.”
How can hope be ours when we’re hurt and feeling heavy-hearted? By remembering these five truths from Scripture:
- God is with us. He is right here, living in us 24/7.
- God is our fortress. Our enemies cannot destroy us because He surrounds us with His presence.
- God will end our battles. That might happen here, or it might happen in heaven. Either way, they won’t last forever.
- God is sovereign. He’s able to bring good from bad, beauty from ashes. As we learn—as we really learn—to rest in His power and love, then we experience stillness of the soul amidst the storm that blows.
- God will be honored. I believe this one’s conditional upon how we respond to our circumstances. If we allow our emotions to spiral into toxic yuck that contaminates everyone around us, then of course, God will not be honored. But when we apply the above four truths, then indeed, He will receive honor. And that’s when onlookers take notice and say, “Something’s different about you. What is it?” Eternal purposes far beyond our imagination are achieved.
If you’re feeling heavy-hearted today, please take a few moments to reread Psalm 46:7-11. Thank God for its truths, and ask Him to help you apply them to your life. Therein lies hope.
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