God is Faithful
One of the greatest blessings of life is to know God.
Knowing God means that He also knows us.
God knowing us means He knows life hurts at times. When ever I go through hard times, sad times, dark times, and discouraging times - I can testify with many of you that the greatest cure comes from looking at Jesus.
Remember how Isaiah 53:3 calls Jesus "A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief…". Sounds to me like just the One to get to know when troubles, pains, and afflictions come rolling through like an unexpected summer storm on the picnic of our life.
So where do I look when life hurts? I start in
Hebrews 4:15-16 "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
Did you catch that? Jesus can ‘feel the pain with us of our weaknesses'. Now what would you call depression, discouragement, frustration, sadness, and so on - weaknesses. And what does Jesus do? He feels the pain with us. The word is sum-pascho ‘with' ‘pain'. In fact the pain of the cross is called the paschal time or pain time. And that is what Jesus feels for us.
Great so how does that help us? Well to bridge the chasm between the High and Mighty Sinless Jesus Christ the Lord of Glory - and you and me, God gave us the cast of this Book. Today look with me at an Old Testament figure whose life reflects the feelings of Jesus for our weaknesses we painfully live with. His name - Jeremiah. His testimony is the 25th book of God's Word, and it is called Lamentations. Does that title suggest anything to you? It is the cry of a troubles soul. It is the testimony of a man who knew pain, weakness, and much sorrow.
When Life Hurts
So as we turn to Lamentations 3, what are the Biblical afflictions God uses, manages, allows and most of all - hurts that HE can handle:
1. THE HURTS OF BROKEN PHYSICAL HEALTH: Lamentations 3:4 He has aged my flesh and my skin, And broken my bones.
2. THE HURTS OF DEEP EMOTIONAL STRAIN: Lamentations 3:5 He has besieged me And surrounded me with bitterness and woe.
3. THE HURTS OF PERIODS OF DARK DEPRESSION: Lamentations 3:6 He has set me in dark places Like the dead of long ago.
4. THE HURTS OF DESPERATION AND BURDEN OF BEING TRAPPED: Lamentations 3:7 He has hedged me in so that I cannot get out; He has made my chain heavy.
5. THE HURTS OF FEELING OUT OF TOUCH, DISTANT FROM GOD AND LEFT BEHIND IN LIFE: Lamentations 3:8 Even when I cry and shout, He shuts out my prayer.
6. THE HURTS OF FRUSTRATION AND CONFUSION: Lamentations 3:9 He has blocked my ways with hewn stone; He has made my paths crooked.
7. THE HURTS OF ANXIETY AND SADNESS: Lamentations 3:17 You have moved my soul far from peace; I have forgotten prosperity.
8. THE HURTS OF PHYSICAL WEAKNESS AND HOPELESSNESS: Lamentations 3:18 And I said, "My strength and my hope Have perished from the Lord."
9. THE HURTS OF BITTER AFFLICTION AND AIMLESSNESS: Lamentations 3:19 Remember my affliction and roaming, The wormwood and the gall.
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