Monday, April 13, 2015

When Peace and Joy and Hope all Fade


When peace and joy and hope all fade...

Give thanks.

I've had friends these past months discuss hard situations with me where it's been difficult for them to climb out of and eventually I no longer know how to encourage them. It's hard feeling like you're stuck in grief or lacking peace and faith, yet trying so hard with no results. You try to focus on other things, try to trust God and try to believe in His will, but it's as if nothing changes and you're still burnt out lacking the peace, joy, and hope you so desperately crave.

Pain is hard. It's hard because we often feel we have the right to it, and some of the time we do. It's hard because it hurts and we want to get out, but at the same time we desperately need the time to feel it in order to get through it.

But finally, we're ready. Or almost ready, to crawl out of our hole and notice the sun shining again. So we try to make our way through the dark, reading the Bible every day, praying consistently, turning on positive music, pushing the painful thoughts from our minds...and nothing changes. The hurt is maybe a little better, but still hurts all the same.

One of my friends was feeling this way recently. I encouraged her in every way I knew how and learned she was covering all the bases that I could possibly think of, so the question hung in the air still: why?

Honestly, I have no answer that is going to automatically relieve you of your hurt. But I encourage you to do this: in the midst of your pain, give thanks. I basically wrote what I'm trying to say now in a post a few weeks ago (click here to read). When we give God thanks, it reminds us of who He is. When we thank Him for dying on the cross for us, it reminds us of His love for us, even when we're going through a time of hurt and we're struggling to trust Him. Thankfulness gives us reasons to rejoice! Lifting up praises to God turns us from our grief into a moment of joy. And sometimes it takes time to heal from hurt, but God will bring us joy. He is our Hope, and He is our Peace.

Thank Him for it. Besides, often times the reason we walk through the hurt for so long is because God is seeking to bring us ever closer to Him. And that's the best gift we could ever ask for.

So lift up your praises to Your Comforter, Hope, Peace, and Joy.

"So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you...I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world."
John 16: 22, 33

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