5 Things to Remember When It Hurts, and It Feels Like God Isn't with You
With everything going on today in our nation and around the world, life can get overwhelming. Sometimes, our personal lives can feel more like chaos than peace and order.
There are times in our lives when we can’t control our circumstances and where we find ourselves in hardships that are not of our doing. When we go through those painful times, it can be easy to feel that God isn’t with us.
Why do we go through seasons of hardship?
I could give the cliché, yet...a very valid response that hardships make us stronger. But to be honest, I have yet to find an answer that truly satisfies the mystery of human suffering. I’ve come to accept the mystery of not knowing because I believe that God is in control. He knows why he allows hurt and pain into our lives.
I don't know what you are going through today, but I want you to know that even though it hurts right now, know that God is with you.What I have learned is that sometimes pain is a part of Gods plan. And even though it hurts, I can trust that God’s plans for my life are good and he is holding me together.
These words comfort me so much when I find myself dealing with a difficult situation:
"When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end."-Isaiah 43:2 MSG
Please know that seasons change and your days will get better. So here are 5 things to remember when it hurts, and it feels like God isn’t with you.
God IS with you- Sometimes we can forget that God is with us. God says that he will never leave or abandon us. David writes in Ps 23:4 "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.." Just because it hurts and it’s hard doesn’t mean that it’s not God’s will. It also doesn't mean that he's left you to go through your trial alone. We will all go through dark times. The hope that we can hold onto in the midst of pain is that God is always with us. Beyond what we can see, God fights for his children and he is fighting for you.
It’s OK to cry- I think sometimes we try to be superwoman or superman, and forget that we are human. Our emotions are very real, and the worst thing we can do is pretend that we are OK when we are not. Scientifically, crying releases endorphin's that help us feel better. Spiritually speaking, God is close to the brokenhearted, and those whose spirit is crushed, (Ps 34:18 ) so it's OK to cry.
Seasons change- The pain won’t last always. Seasons come and go, and each one of us will experience highs and lows as we journey through life. King Solomon wrote that “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecc 3:1). Sometimes we will experience the beauty and warmth of spring and summer. Other times, we will know the cold and fierceness of fall and winter. Your hurt will not be forever--let that be your hope and motivation.
Don't allow your pain to harden your heart- When we go through hardships, there is a tendency to go numb because it’s easier to not feel when you’re going through a hard time. It's easier to bury the pain and try to forget it exists. But by hiding our hurt, we can become cynical, negative, doubtful and angry. Cry if you need to. Pray. Scream. Find a support group, therapist, a close friend.Allow yourself to feel the pain then do whatever you need to heal and rise above your hurt.
Gratitude changes your perspective- I saved gratitude for last because learning to be thankful opens our eyes to the good things we have in our life. I have found that if I take the time to write out a gratitude list, my attitude changes. I am more hopeful and optimistic. I realize that I am blessed beyond measure. I no longer take for granted the breath in my lungs, the car I drive, the food on my plate and every other blessing that I have. No matter how bad you may think you have it, someone is always having a harder time. When you focus on the positives in your life going through difficult seasons become easier.
Know that God is with you on your good and bad days. In your pain, God does not leave. He's right there in the middle with you--working in the unseen.