I look all around me and see tons of “religious” people. Sure they go to church on Sundays and make all of the motions but I think we would all be grieved to know the truth of the salvation of many around us. I look at their lives and all that they have, no not their money, possessions, or careers but their relationships and families and I can’t help but be disappointed and discouraged. I am both disappointed and discouraged in part because I see how their spouses and children are taken for granted and how those precious gifts of relationships are abused and neglected. I’m disappointed and discouraged because I have relied on God to fulfill those desires, hopes, dreams and even promises that He made me in those areas and how much time I’ve missed to truly cherish those things. Maybe, you like me have experienced this in your own life. Maybe like me you had a parent who abused you and neglected you in some way. Maybe you’ve been through trials and tribulations like I have at work, with sickness and/or death of a loved one. Maybe you were bullied all through school like I was and still struggle at times with any sort of confidence in yourself.
Brothers and sisters, I have good news. Jesus was one of us. He called us to be like Himself and the good news for those of us who have been through so much pain and hardship is that we are closer to Him than those who exalt their own status, who flaunt their wealth, and who disregard everyone but themselves. Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 in the Amplified version: “Just look at your own calling, believers; not many [of you were considered] wise according to human standards, not many powerful or influential, not many of high and noble birth. But God has selected [for His purpose] the foolish things of the world to shame the wise [revealing their ignorance], and God has selected [for His purpose] the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong [revealing their frailty]. God has selected [for His purpose] the insignificant (base) things of the world, and the things that are despised and treated with contempt, [even] the things that are nothing, so that He might reduce to nothing the things that are, so that no one may [be able to] boast in the presence of God. But it is from Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God [revealing His plan of salvation], and righteousness [making us acceptable to God], and sanctification [making us holy and setting us apart for God], and redemption [providing our ransom from the penalty for sin], so then, as it is written [in Scripture], “He who boasts and glories, let him boast and glory in the Lord.”
We can take comfort in our disappointments and in our discouragement in the knowledge that Christ became one of us and suffered just like us so that we can both lift His Holy Name High and give Him all of the glory, praise, and honor but also so that we can know that He understands our pain as well.
Believe me, I know that it’s hard to see past the pain sometimes. It’s hard to not be overwhelmed and blinded by what we are going through in the moment. And Yes, it’s equally hard to give thanks and praise to God during those times of heartbreak and disappointment. Even still, we have to realize that Jesus knows and understands where we are, He knows what it’s like to grieve and to have a broken heart and spirit. He knows what it’s like to carry the burden of our sin.
Just when you feel like you are alone in your pain, remember that Jesus Christ died for you, He experienced what it was like to be severed and forsaken by Father God to take your sin and mine and to be the sacrifice so that we never will have to experience a disconnect from God or taste of the fires and pain of hell. This earth and it’s sometimes miserable existence is the most that we as born again believers will experience of the evils and pain of hell and a disconnect from God. For that reason we should rejoice, we should shout out praises to the name of Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
What is he saying, you’re no doubt asking yourself at this point. How is this supposed to bring me comfort? Brothers and sisters God makes us promises all throughout scripture. Let’s have a look and find some encouragement in the living and inspired Word of God.
“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” (Psalms 34:17-19)
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalms 147:3)
“fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
“for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
Most High and Exalted God, we thank You and give You praise! We come to You and bow at Your feet to give You honor and our devotion. I thank You God to speaking to me through the person of Your Holy Spirit so that I can share of my thoughts and hopefully bring my brothers and sisters in Christ closer to You so that You can bring them comfort and peace. Thank You Jesus for setting the ultimate example and for being the ultimate sacrifice for us so that when we feel that we are at the bottom we can look to You and see that we will never be as low as You made Yourself. We praise You and give you honor and thanks Jesus and we are forever grateful that You are in Your rightful and honored place at the right hand of Father God to intercede for us and to claim us as Your own. Without You we are nothing, we depend on You for every breath and every heartbeat. God, use us in our brokenness, use us in our weakness, use our wounds, our pain, and our loneliness for Your Glory and to show Your Majesty and Splendor. We are humbled even more God that You would choose us to be Your children and vessels for Your service. Show us today and everyday Your love and compassion for us. Draw us ever closer to Yourself. Please be with each and everyone of us in a special way. Lord bless us and keep us. Make Your face to shine upon us, and be gracious to us. Lord show us Your favor and give us Your peace. I humbly pray these things over us in the precious name of Christ Jesus our Lord. AMEN