No Matter What We Feel
This devotional was written by Robin Dugall
I'm the man who has seen trouble, trouble coming from the lash of God's anger. He took me by the hand and walked me into pitch-black darkness. Yes, he's given me the back of his hand over and over and over again. He turned me into a scarecrow of skin and bones then broke the bones. He hemmed me in, ganged up on me, poured on the trouble and hard times. He locked me up in deep darkness, like a corpse nailed inside a coffin. Lamentations 3:1-6 (MSG)
In today’s Scripture passage, we read that Jeremiah (the author of Lamentations) feels broken and destroyed by God’s angry hand. To us, though we have all probably felt the same way at one time or another, it likely feels a little wrong -- even sinful -- to actually blame God. Still, in this instance, Jeremiah is unashamed to come before God and tell Him exactly how he feels:
Abandoned. Rejected. Alone. Grief. Loss. Abused. Angry. Frustrated. Bitter. Apathetic. Hopeless. Dirty. Depressed. Betrayed. Vengeful. Let down. Heartbroken. Enslaved. Pained. Ugly. Judged. Lost. Afraid.
Perhaps you are experiencing one of these emotions right now. Jeremiah provides us an important reminder that God isn’t intimidated or surprised when we come to Him with our hurting hearts. As followers of Jesus, we get used to putting on a happy face and skipping the natural processes of coping and dealing with our hurts. Remembering that God made our emotions and has experienced each one Himself can help us get through difficult situations. Knowing that our Creator can relate to our experiences reassures us that we are not alone. Further, Jesus tells us that we are blessed when we are going though sadness or mourning:
You’re blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. Matthew 5:3 (MSG)
God can fearlessly handle the tears, the screaming, and the groaning from our hearts. He’s big enough, He loves us, and He doesn’t let us go. The times when we are distressed, He comes the closest. He uses our difficult circumstances to grow and change our hearts and lives. In tough times, God gives us opportunities to see how big He really is. If we look closely in the midst of troubles, we can see that God is not finished writing our story. He’s not done with us yet. He’s using our circumstances to recreate our lives to make us stronger, deeper and more reliant upon Him.
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1. Where are you emotionally today? Take a moment and do a quick “heart check” and take those feelings to the Lord.
2. When you are experiencing hard times, do you feel God is close to you or far away? How do you draw close to the Lord?
Lamentations 3; Philippians 1:6; Psalm 22; Matthew 5:3-12
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