Whispersfrommyheart's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Sorrow

Psalm 119:107
I have suffered so much. Give me a new life, O LORD, as you promised. God’s Word ® Translation

I read Psalm 119:107 during morning devotions a couple of days ago. I was struck, in particular, over the sufferings of several friends and families. So many postings on Facebook about the death of loved ones. Personal trials. Heartache. Medical issues. Hurts. Pain. Suffering.

I also was taken back to my own personal sufferings. The life of sexual abuse I endured as a child. The fear suffered through adolescence and early adulthood. They abuse I suffered at the hands of my husband. The heartache of my divorce. Raising my three sons without a godly man in their lives. The sufferings of a single parent: not enough of anything. Loneliness. Depression. Heartache. And, as an adult, suffering through the memory of my childhood. The struggle to become free from the past. Suffering. And, surveying the landscape surrounding me in this space and time, suffering from the loss of my job over two years ago. Running out of savings. Uncertainty of the future. Suffering the loss of my mother — who lived with me for the past 18 years — and the loss of my car, and the loss of my house — all three within six months time.

Pain. Heartache. Suffering.

My life isn’t that much different from anyone else. The whole world suffers. Turn on the nightly news and the suffering of mankind is right in front of us. Well-dressed men and women recite the turmoil, heartache, and debasement of mankind at six, twelve and ten.

Some people suffer for no other reason than pure evil.

There is no rhyme or reason to the suffering of innocent children. Abuse. Abandonment. Starvation. Trafficking.

There is so much suffering!

I won’t lie to you. I don’t have all of the answers. I think I have a tiny piece of understanding that helps me make sense of it. I address the subject in my book Whispers From My Heart more in-depth, but I’ll try to give you the shorter version without compromising the heart of the answer.

Did you know Jesus, the Son of God, had to learn obedience?

It’s shocking to think of, isn’t it?
Wasn’t Jesus the only sinless person who ever walked the face of the earth? He was. Yet, we are told, Jesus learned how to be obedient. Look at the first part of Hebrews 5:8

Hebrews 5:8 GOD’S WORD® Translation
Although Jesus was the Son [of God], he learned to be obedient…
Other translations say the same thing.

Why would the Son of God need to learn how to be obedient? Didn’t he already know perfect obedience?

The Perfection of God took on the imperfection of humanity: Human Flesh. Flesh in its fallen state. Drawn toward the propensity to sin. Not only did Jesus fight temptation in the desert for forty days after his baptism, he had to fight against the daily lure of sin in his flesh just like we do. His body was 100% human, and his flesh waged a war against his spirit just as the bible says it does against our own flesh (See Heb 4:15, Gal 5:17, James 4:1 & 1 Peter 2:11). We learn through scripture that He was tempted in every way, just like us, but he did not sin. The one thing we haven’t seen yet is how he learned.

We all know we learn through lessons. Hands on experience. So did Jesus.

Let’s read the entire verse of Hebrews 5:8 Although Jesus was the Son [of God], he learned to be obedient through his sufferings.

So, through suffering, Jesus Christ learned to be obedient.

Hebrews 2:10 GOD’S WORD® Translation
God is the one for whom and through whom everything exists. Therefore, while God was bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was the right time to bring Jesus, the source of their salvation, to the end of his work through suffering.

The word suffering in the Greek is

:pathéma: that which befalls one, i.e. a suffering, a passion. In particular for verse 10: 1. that which one suffers or has suffered; a. externally, a suffering, misfortune, calamity, evil, affliction

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary says this:

Whatever the proud, carnal, and unbelieving may imagine or object, the spiritual mind will see peculiar glory in the cross of Christ, and be satisfied that it became Him, who in all things displays his own perfections in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. His way to the crown was by the cross, and so must that of his people be.

If Jesus did, and we are to follow his example, then we, too, learn obedience through the things we suffer.

1 Peter 4:13 GOD’S WORD® Translation
but be happy as you share Christ’s sufferings. Then you will also be full of joy when he appears again in his glory.

It’s not pretty.
We, as his followers, are to share in the sufferings of Christ. Just take a look at the way the new church in Acts was treated. Look at the way Christians in third world countries are treated. Martyred. We are greeted with words like, “Love not your life until death,” “He who endures to the end,” and “Pick up your cross.” Those are not words of comfort and ease, my friend. They are words of hardship and trials.

Here in the United States, most of us suffer from the things we bring on to ourselves. We disobey God and suffer the consequences of our own decisions, then get mad at God because he is allowing us to suffer. But suffer we should. That suffering, even if it is of our own doing will be our teacher. We will learn.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary has this to say:

1 Peter 4:12-19 By patience and fortitude in suffering, by dependence on the promises of God, and keeping to the word the Holy Spirit hath revealed, the Holy Spirit is glorified; but by the contempt and reproaches cast upon believers, he is evil spoken of, and is blasphemed. One would think such cautions as these were needless to Christians. But their enemies falsely charged them with foul crimes. And even the best of men need to be warned against the worst of sins. There is no comfort in sufferings, when we bring them upon ourselves by our own sin and folly. A time of universal calamity was at hand, as foretold by our Savior, Mt 24:9,10. And if such things befall in this life, how awful will the day of judgment be! It is true that the righteous are scarcely saved; even those who endeavor to walk uprightly in the ways of God. This does not mean that the purpose and performance of God are uncertain, but only the great difficulties and hard encounters in the way; that they go through so many temptations and tribulations, so many fightings without and fears within. Yet all outward difficulties would be as nothing, were it not for lusts and corruptions within. These are the worst clogs and troubles. And if the way of the righteous be so hard, then how hard shall be the end of the ungodly sinner, who walks in sin with delight, and thinks the righteous is a fool for all his pains! The only way to keep the soul well, is, to commit it to God by prayer, and patient perseverance in well-doing. He will overrule all to the final advantage of the believer.

We’ve all suffered. Here on this earth, in this fallen state, we will continue to suffer. And, by those things, we too, like Jesus, will learn how to be obedient to our Father, even to the point of death. Once this life is over, our reward is eternity spent in God’s presence.

This is the life God has promised to those who follow him.

The Apostle Paul tells us the glory waiting for us far outweighs the suffering. I like how the Aramaic Bible in Plain English says it:

2 Corinthians 4:17
For the suffering of this time, while very small and swift, prepares us great glory without limits for the eternity of eternities.

If you would like to do a more in-depth study, you can find more scriptures on suffering here.

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Pain.

Heartache.

Disappointment.

Sorrow.

Loss.

It’s all around us. Everywhere we look we can find someone who has been hurt, is being hurt, or will be hurt in the future.

Pain is a fact of life. We deal with it in adolescence, and we deal with it in adulthood, and moments in between. From the time we’ve squeezed through the birth canal, it’s guaranteed, we won’t get out of this life without shedding a few tears of hurt, heartache, disappointment, sorrow or loss.

It’s inevitable.

Recently, someone very dear to my heart was forced to face deep heartache. A relationship ended and devastation occurred. There were many questions. Tears. Lots of tears. Deep sorrow. Pain, almost too unbearable to handle. There was depression too. Lack of energy. Not wanting to think.

Why do we have to face pain? Is it because of something we did, or did not do? Is karma biting us in the butt? No. Personally, I think pain and heartache are a normal part of this life we live. A symptom of the fallen-ness of our world.  It is not, however, something we should dish out to others.

There are lots of hurting people in the world. Someone will hurt us, just as my dear one found out. But, the question is: When we are hurt, do we hurt back? The answer is no, we don’t. Oh, the natural instinct is to hurt the offender worse than we were hurt. To validate our pain by causing pain. That’s what our flesh wants us to do. Cause them pain and make it hurt so good. Right?

The problem with wounding those who are already wounded is, Jesus isn’t in it. He told us, in Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you;” (KJV).

Our flesh doesn’t agree with that scripture, but, restraining ourselves from adding insult to injury is the road we are to travel.

Apparently this life isn’t about us. I don’t say that to make light of what has been done to anyone in the past. Some of us have experienced major violations against our bodies and souls; sexual abuse, marital infidelities, violence, rape… the list could go on. But, if we were to look backwards, we would see that Jesus has already taken care of those things, and because he did, we have to move forward.  We need to be about the business of the Kingdom of God.

We need to do his work.

Again, I don’t make light of what you, or any one else, may have had to endure in this life. This blog is dedicated to helping women and men recover from the effects of childhood sexual assault. But, if, because of the atrocities that I was forced to endure as a child–until I was 15 years of age–I remained angry and vindictive, seeking ways to avenge myself, my honor, continuing to wish and pray for an opportunity to kill those men who treated me wrong, I would not have started this blog. I would not have written Whispers From My Heart. I would not have started a page for my book on Facebook to encourage women and men who struggle with the issues of sexual assault. And, I would not be in the position to help people overcome the trauma of sexual abuse. If I remained wrapped up in my pain and did not move forward, I would not be of use to you because I would not be able to get over me.

This life isn’t about me. It’s about you.

The focus of my life is now helping others. It is my job to proclaim that freedom from an abusive past is available through Jesus Christ. It is my job to shout from the roof tops that God is still in the business of healing the wounded soul. I can’t do that if I am focused on me. I have been where you are at. I’ve experienced the places of despair from which you came. I have cried those same tears. I have felt those same fears. That same pain.

Pain is useful.

My pain, as bad as it was—and it was extremely bad—has become the very avenue by which I now counsel others. My pain has afforded me compassion where I might not have otherwise acquired it. The pain we have suffered in the past, once we have allowed healing to take place, becomes useful in the work of the Kingdom of God. People who have deep wounds want to talk to people who understand their pain. In that sense, pain is turned into something glorious. Something beautiful rises out of the ash heap.

Can you see that?

I love what Romans 8:28 says. “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.” What once was life stopping pain, God turns into something that will be for our good and for his purposes.

I wrote a poem about the abuse I suffered—it’s entitled “Mercy Heard and Mercy Saw.”  In that poem I wrote, “What Satan meant for evil child, I’ll use for good this day.” It’s true. Satan meant to destroy my life by the rape, molestation and incest I endured until I was 15 years old. For the better part of my life, he accomplished that goal. But God came to heal me and deliver me, and now I use my past for his glory.

Pain hurts. But, pain can be good tool in God’s hand.

Use your pain for the glory of God.

One day, while pondering why bad things happen (especially to me) this poem began to form in my mind. When I finished, I realized I didn’t have a clue, if God is so good and is as loving as the bible tells us he is, why he allows bad things to take place in our lives. But, I do know that through it all, God receives glory and somehow, in spite of the chaos, his will is done and faith is increased.

I DO NOT KNOW

 

I do not have an answer to

The questions asked of why;

Why circumstance cause hearts to break

And sorrow eyes to cry.

 

I do not know a reason for

The suffering of man;

Nor can relate how grief and pain

All fit into God’s plan.

 

I cannot fathom depths of God

I do not understand;

How tragedies merge gloriously

In triumph through His hand.

 

For reason’s that I’ve yet to know

Or fully comprehend;

Because of love He does allow

The pain where faith begins.

 

And yet through suffering we see

His mighty hand of grace;

Reflected in our character

And written on our face.

 

While human understanding fails

To give the reason why;

Each one can rest and be assured

It’s not escaped His eye.

 

Our God in His great Sovereignty

Has all things in control;

And through our faith and trust in Him

He calms our troubled soul.

 

And this is what He’s promised us

Before our trials began;

His Power is perfected in

The weaknesses of man.