My week has been full of painful stories. Stories from women in the midst of incredible pain and crisis. Stories of…
- Broken relationships, marriages
- Desperate financial situations
- Mothers & daughters at incredible odds
- Parents struggling with the results of their children’s poor decisions
My heart has hurt for these women. The struggle, the pain in their eyes is almost too much as they seek answers to their staggering questions.
“In this world you will have trouble.” John 16:33
Jesus pulls the curtain back a bit and reveals a truth that is a difficult one to hear. He is intentional with His words, assuring us that during our days here, we will have trouble. The NAS uses the word “tribulation” and it translates into “a pressing” and “distress.”
And while the verse finishes with, “But take heart! I have overcome the world”…
How does our heart make that leap from such pain to such promise?
The psalmists absolutely knew pain. They experienced incredibly desperate situations:
- Broken hearts
- False accusations
- Laments over sin
- Huge questions
Any of that sound familiar? But listen to this…
I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” (Psalm 42:9-10)
This scripture assures my heart that even these, these men of God chosen to pen this book of Psalms, were not afraid to express doubts and ask questions.
Because I’ve asked them.
Anyone else asking questions? Anyone wondering why? Anyone feel as if your very bones are breaking under the “pressing,” the taunts of the enemy of our soul?
What do I believe?
At the end of the day, when we lay our head down on the pillow, we must ultimately answer this one question: What do I believe about my God?
This morning as I took a walk, the weight of my own burdens began to fill my mind. I could feel all my emotions begin to churn. When this happens, I usually go one of two ways:
- The anxiety goes viral and invades. My mind races after thoughts of how to fix, mediate, or take care of the problem. I become consumed with the weight of it.
- I push the thoughts out of my mind and ignore them all together (picture a kid covering her ears yelling “la-la-la-la-I can’t hear you”).
But recently my heart keeps coming back to this question… “What do I believe?”
How I answer speaks volumes.
In Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby writes, “Your relationship with God right now reveals what you believe about Him.”
As we read God’s Word, a gift full of promises and truths, how would our lives be different if we really believed what it said?
Girls this does not mean that we don’t question. Or hurt. Or wonder why. This by no means is meant to minimize anything you may be experiencing or walking though. The pain of life, that trouble that Jesus assured us of, is often times more than we ever thought we would experience.
He asks us to “take heart“…. and believe.
I encourage you to spend some time in worship today. This song by Chris Tomlin says it so clearly.
Sing it sister. And believe it with all you’ve got.
©2011 Julie Thomas
Looking for a fresh online study this summer? Join Julie for “Summer in the Psalms” by clicking here.