I have a young friend who lost his dog and best friend today. As I thought about how he must be hurting I was reminded that walking with Jesus doesn’t mean life is always going to be a party or filled with positivity. We live in a broken world and unfortunately we will be faced with loss, painful experiences, frustrations and disappointment. At times we will have to face and do hard things.
In these moments it important to acknowledge our feelings and to know that even in our pain God is there and we can draw close to Him. For “the LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
In Western culture we are often taught to keep a “stiff upper lip”, and told to “suck it up princess”. However the bible is full of the passionate emotions of people crying out in lament, questions, frustrations and expressing their disappointment to God. A faith and trust in God that doesn’t allow room for “crying out” to Him results in a shallow faith. It’s not only healthy to share our hurts and feelings with Him—it’s necessary for our relationship to grow. God actually wants us to be honest with Him and to share our hearts, even if that includes some tears, for He knows there is healing found in that place with Him.
Isaiah 53:3 tells us that the suffering Messiah (Jesus) would be “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.
“Where have you laid him,” He asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they answered, and Jesus wept. (John 11:34-35)
The bible says we are to imitate Jesus and since Jesus Himself wept and cried out to the Father, it’s also okay for us to do the same. Imitating Him means we are to rejoice, to celebrate, to laugh, dance, to speak God’s word, to weep, and to mourn with those who mourn. Minimising our feelings can actually rob us of intimacy with God, as He doesn’t see our relationship being conditional on us always feeling great or having it all together. We can grow to know Him in both our breakthroughs and happiness, and in our disappointments, hurt and frustrations.
Are you hurting? Take the opportunity to open up your heart and to be honest with God about how you are feeling. He’s not bothered by your honesty, anger, hurt, tears or whatever else you want to express. Be real with Him and know that as you turn to Him in even the worst times, it can cause you to have a deeper relationship with Him.
In Psalm 30:5 David sings, “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” This is a promise that even when life hurts, it won’t be forever. Be honest today – lean on God, tell Him how you feel and know that He will bring you through whatever you are facing.
“Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” (Psalm 55:22)
“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)