So many people are suffering in their spirits in these last days. It seems more of us are needing counseling, suffering from depression, anxiety, paranoia, and a myriad of other mental illnesses. Some are cutting themselves or even committing suicide. It's alarming how this is rampant even with our children and teens. Many people have no hope and their hearts cry out to God, asking why. Why does He allow them to continue in brokenness and fear? Many feel that their lot was cast before they had a chance to get a foothold in this path we call life. They are victims of another person's poor choices or sins. Some of us are victims of our own foolish choices or sin. We struggle under a heavy weight of guilt and grief. We feel our life is over and we can never get past this sorrow."WHY?! Why do I have to suffer?" we cry out in anguish, but God seems so silent, far away and unconcerned.
Where is God and why hasn't He rescued us from this weight of grief and fear? Why doesn't He hear and answer? Thankfully, God has already answered! He heard our cries over 2000 years ago, and He bore our shame, our sin and our sorrow. He carried the cross, taking our sin upon Himself, though He had no sin, to set us free. Jesus made the way for us to be able to live in freedom and joy. The abuses and injustices that someone else laid on us, the consequences of our own poor choices and the penalty for our sin was all nailed to the cross in the person of Jesus Christ.
Since Jesus has given His life to set us free from the painful emotional consequences of sin, it is up to us to choose freedom. We were bound by sin, but Jesus paid the price for our freedom. If we choose to believe, we step out of prison and into the freedom of his measureless grace. When the weight of sin is more than we can bear, we can learn that we do not have to carry it any longer. In our minds, we must keep releasing the sorrow and laying it at His feet. By faith, we can learn to release it, until gradually, piece by piece, we release the scars left by bitterness, abuse, and grief. If we can release those broken pieces, we can begin to heal. Roots of peace and joy will spread down into the crevices left by the pain. Where we thought there would always be pain, healing will begin to take root. Eventually, those who've been abused might even recognize their abusers as victims, too. They might begin to pray for them that their eyes will be opened and they will see the path to joy and come to know the peace that only Christ can give.
The disciple, Thomas, asked Jesus how we can know the Way. Jesus replied that He IS the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14) If we want to find life, we must seek to know Jesus. As we learn more of His ways, we will know how to reach out and take hold of the life that He offers. It is only by faith that we can enter the Kingdom Of God and learn how to think and live by spiritual principles that raise our thoughts above our circumstances and show us hope. We can begin to see ourselves and others as Jesus sees us. Then, we will see that our wounds have caused us to look to Jesus, to look up higher than we would have ever looked if we knew no sorrow. We will see people who are suffering and begin to see beyond our selves. We will rise from self pity to become a wounded healer, reaching out to rescue other people whose hearts are crying out, "Why?" Just as Jesus suffered to bring us new life, we have shared in the fellowship of His sufferings. (Philippians 3:10) This is the only way we can open our eyes to the people we are called to minister to. The only way we can start seeing them as Jesus sees them. If we never know suffering, we will never have true compassion. If we never have true compassion, we will never fulfill our purpose of pointing hurting people to Jesus.
Once we have suffered, our eyes begin to open in so many ways. We can look at someone's face or hear their voice, and the Spirit Of God shows us they are hurting. He shows us their true need, often in a very specific way. We look into their faces and we see ourselves reflected there. We see past the smiling face they wear, straight into the pain and fear in their soul. We recognize the pain that caused us to begin seeking Jesus; the pain that shook us out of our complacency and opened our eyes to those in need.
When we understand that Jesus has already paid the price for our sin and sorrow; when we understand that He forgives us in our present state, then we can begin to lean on Him, to trust in Him to keep us from falling. For how can we fall any farther than we already have? He is here to lift us. Although we might still feel sorrow, hope rises within us to know that healing will come. Remembering the sorrow keeps our hearts soft to the sorrowful, so that we don't so quickly forget from where He brought us. We should never think we've arrived, for He is always healing, shaping and molding us into His image. He will finish the work He started in us, so we need only rest in Him and study Him, trusting that He will guide us along this path we call Grace. (Philippians 1:6)
If we are weak or fearful, we just keep our hand in His. No longer do we run and hide our nakedness as Adam and Eve in the Garden. Grace covers our sin and we run to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. The name of the Lord is a strong tower! The righteous run into it and are safe! (Proverbs 18:10) If we are angry, bitter or tempted to sin, He is our Defender. His grace protects us and leads us into all truth. He is patient and loving with us. Blessed be the name of the Lord!
When we recognize our carnal nature working within us to make us stumble, we should began to speak His praises. The enemy wants to make us run and hide in shame, but praise is our weapon of warfare. When we feel weak or afraid is not the time to sit down and surrender; to go back into fear and bondage. The enemy works on our mind and emotions to put a mantle of heaviness over us and pull us back down, but, God has set us free from the weight of sin. If we stand firm and begin to speak scriptures and praises, the clouds will lift from our confused minds, and we will see Truth. We will see right through the illusions of the enemy. We must speak the high praises of our God, then we will see Him high and lifted up and faith will rise within us to keep going until He returns to make his home with us. (Revelation 21:3)
I recommend the following articles to encourage you!
Tangled Up in Blue: Depression and the Christian Life
How to Claim Validation, Your Gift from God