Tag : suffering
Tag : suffering
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners (Isaiah 61:1, NIV).
Are You Broken-Hearted?
Are you in a season of pain and suffering? Many people today suffer abuse at the hands of another person, sometimes someone they trust and love. Some are victims of sexual/physical abuse and others are victims of emotional abuse. Sadly, many are children, and the abuse or trauma can affect their development and negatively distort their view of the world. They become frightened and feel unsafe, unloved, and unprotected which can be carried into future relationships—causing more pain and hurt. Some grow up and suffer depression, anxiety, relationship conflicts, and turn to alcohol, sex, or drugs.
This is the desire and goal of the enemy since the beginning of human existence. He wants fear and doubt to sever our intimate relationship with God. Fear is at the root of many of our problems. This fear, which develops from childhood, is in direct opposition to love. The Bible tells us “God is love” (John 4:16) and “There is no fear in love” (1 John 4:18), so one can safely say that fear is not of God. He never intended for us to live in fear. He created us to be in loving relationships. The very nature of God is to be in relationship, a caring committed connection between one person and another. Like God, we have a need to be connected. He created Adam and Eve so He could have a relationship with them. We were built to be connected; attachment is the core of the soul’s existence.
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
(1 Peter 4:8, NIV)
Jesus’ heart beats close to the victim of abuse or trauma, especially the children. We are in a spiritual battle against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). The powers of darkness will constantly try to put out the Light of Truth in your life. The worldly ways of life will battle for your mind every day. Fight back! Fight for the freedom of your mind. “Repent”, translated from the Greek, simply means change your mind. God is merciful and wants you to accept His invitation of mercy. No more pain, anxiety, depression, or fear.
You are a beautiful child of God, and He is a loving Father who wants your heart to change. He wants you to turn your heart towards Him and towards each other. We are rebellious and disobedient children, but He is a loving and forgiving Father. Jesus was the ultimate victim. We were the ultimate abusers. Our sin nailed Him to the cross and yet He still loved and forgave us. Turn your broken heart towards your loving Father and let go of fear. You do not have to be a victim, the road to restoration is waiting for you. We serve a God who has overcome the world. Stay strong in your faith, and love others well.
Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.
(1 Corinthians 16:13–14, NIV)
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4, NIV).
Are you in a period of suffering or grief? The last two years have been very challenging for many around the world. For some, trials and tribulations seem never-ending. As we reflect on the events in the Ukraine and wonder why God is allowing these events to unfold, we can turn to the Bible for answers.
God often uses difficult times to change our heart and mind and increase our compassion for others. The Greek writers used the Greek word metanoeo to refer to repentance. Metanoeo means to have a change of mind or thought that is so powerful that it changes a person’s way of life. When Jesus began His ministry, He said to repent. This was the beginning of the spread of the gospel, the good news. Jesus was talking about a change of heart toward sin, the world, and our relationship with God. It entails an inner transformation that gives rise to a new way of living that exalts Christ and gives evidence of the truth of the gospel. In John 14:6, Jesus tells us He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” and no one comes to the Father except through Him.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5, NIV).
When we are transformed by the Holy Spirit, we “bear fruits in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8). Genuine repentance is an inner change of heart and thoughts in all circumstances that produces the fruits of new behavior. The new behavior of acting differently, speaking differently, and living differently will inevitably manifest outwardly because of being made completely different on the inside. If you believe Jesus is the Lord who died on the cross to save you, you will have a changed mind (repentance) about your sin which will produce spiritual maturity.
Do you believe? If you said yes, rejoice in the suffering!
“Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ” (Ephesians 4:13-15, NIV).