Featured Article: dealing with Pain and Disappointment
The Bible says, “Guard your heart with all wisdom, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs). The Word of God is full of deep and wonderful truth. Many Christian advise us to “guard our hearts” in friendships. It is indeed wise to guard both our emotions and our expectations. We must be wise, and not needlessly expose ourselves to hurt or disappointment.
Even those of us who have had wonderful families, perhaps Christian families, will know that no parent is perfect. We are always going to get let down or hurt at some point. Those of us who have come from more troubled backgrounds will probably have learnt that really you cannot live with your security based on people. Parents and other friends should be an encouragement to us; loving us and being a positive input into our lives. But when this is not the case, we can be devastated. How ever fortunate or not we are with the people we have around is, our security must be in God. He is the one who made us and who loves us like no one else could. Although it is very normal to look for encouragement and approval from those around us, we must not allow disappointment to devastate us if our hopes are not realised.
In this life, we need human companions as well as God for a companion (Genesis 2:18). If there is no one around you at the moment who is providing this friendship, at least in some way, then actively try to find it. Search for people, If necessary, move church or even where you live, researching where you might go. Life can become a constant test of survival, where you have no real choice apart from just to accept suffering and to stick it out.
God - The Rock, is secure
It can take time to know healing from our hurts and disappointments, and with this to trust God and truly place him as our security. Disappointment is a nasty enemy. We may hope for just simple, basic things in life. Maybe good friends, or a partner to share our live with. But our track record registers disappointment. However, we need not loose hope when we know God. We may not get all we want or hope for, and this is hard to accept when other people seem happy and are enjoying themselves.
With God, all good things are possible. If it is confidence you need, he can bring it, and if it is a miracle you need, he can answer your prayer. Don’t give up or loose hope, and do gain encouragement and help form where ever you can. If there is some sort of a spiritual curse over your life, which stifles you living in freedom and enjoying good things, then he can break it by his power (Colossians 2:13-15)
Grasping to hope
You may be in the depths of pain and disappointment. It may be of some hope to think that Jesus has always been through worse than us. Perhaps it is as if you are finding it hard to breath, such is the fear and depression that chokes you. Jesus must have experienced this and more as he suffered for us on the cross. We at least get to catch our breath, though we suffer.
When we feel very low or isolated, even very basic recognition from other Christians can lift us and bring us hope. It allows us a wonderful glimpse of God and of how life can be for us on earth. Sometimes we feel that we are hanging on for dear life. A friend once used an image to encourage himself. It was of seeing himself in deep waters, drowning. That’s how he felt at the time. He saw a helicopter - which represented Jesus, hovering over the water, and someone reached down to rescue him from the seas. This brings to mind Psalm 18:16:
“He reached down from on high and took hold of me, he drew me out of deep waters”.
Selfless Trust in God
Healing really can take time. However, we find moments of relief and hope, and quickly learn to take every bit of encouragement that we can get. There is so much hope and encouragement in the Word of God. Don’t ever loose hope when you know God, as he can restore and heal, and he will never leave you. If you do miss out in life, and do not get all that you hope for on earth, he will make things up to you in Heaven. Provision and healing will be made complete. God is perfect, and he will richly reward us if we are faithful, he will not deprive us of good things.
We are all on our way home to Heaven, and on the journey we can know the healing and power of Jesus in our lives. We can know comfort, peace and provision, as well as the privilege of serving others and sharing God with those who do not know him. Hold on, and hold fast to God’s hand. He will never let go. In a field of wounded soldiers, try to get up off your feet and help those who are in need around you. Follow the example of Jesus, and in so doing, know him more.
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