Jun
21

What Can God Do About Our Pain and Disappointment?

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painMost of us are more than qualified to write a good country song or two. You know, something like,

“My heart is in more pieces than your picture on my floor…” or “This bottle is as empty as my heart.”
Seriously, (and I will sell the rights to those song titles if any of you want to cash in on my genius), pain and disappointment are a part of all our lives.
How can we stay grounded when life is hard, disappointments are many, and we find ourselves helplessly watching our dreams die? Can God do anything about our pain and disappointment?
As I pondered this last week, I thought of how the early disciples must have felt after Jesus was crucified. They had opened their hearts and dared to dream the dream of all dreams! They had given up their preconceived notions, traditional beliefs, and so much more to follow Christ. Their days had been full of miracles and mysteries, excitement and fulfillment.
Then, seemingly suddenly, everything was turned upside down, and they end up with a crucified Christ and a lot of confusion. But that’s not the end of their emotional roller coaster. With Christ’s resurrection came a flood of hope, mixed with a whole wagon load of questions, and much to be settled in each one of their hearts and relationally between them all.
I am quite sure there was a lot of restoration that needed to happen between believers. Much had been said and done in those last days and I imagine that there were quite a few offenses that needed to be dealt with.
Can you just imagine the swirl of gossip, accusation, and slander that surrounded the events of Christ’s last days and crucifixion? And then there was the question of the resurrection. Who believed and who doubted?
We can look at the teaching and prayers of Jesus in John 14-17 and see what Jesus knew they would have to deal with:
Worry, doubt, unbelief, feelings of abandonment, the need to change –again – in order to accept the ministry of the Holy Spirit, fear, the predicted “pruning”, the challenge to love, how to deal with the hatred of the world, religious persecution – from the established religious leaders, sorrow, being separated from Jesus, tribulation, the need for unity and sanctification, and the need to forgive, just to name a few!
That’s what we might call “a tall order!”
And it was in fact, an impossible order, without the ministry of the Holy Spirit who came and filled the believers. Yes, the 120 waited and prayed, and allowed God to deal with their hearts, but I promise you, they were still an imperfect people, but they served a perfect God who had, in reality, already trumped all that they enemy had accomplished.
Certainly, their problems didn’t magically disappear, but the Holy Spirit did bring the empowerment they needed to love one another.
The followers of Jesus had faced the challenges of a very dark season. They had failed many of the tests of the season. But yet God still chose to breathe new life into their hearts and fill them with His Holy Spirit and use them to birth His church.
And we find this truth, even in what appears to be total darkness to us, God is still on His holy throne. He still has a plan. He still has all the power we need. He still longs to fill us with His Spirit. He still wants to use us even when we blow it.
What can God do about pain and disappointment? With honest, repentant hearts, He can do more than we can ask or think. And that realization leads us all to the foot of the cross in love and thankfulness, just as the writer of Hebrews says “to find mercy and grace to help in our time of need.”

 

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Comments

  1. Bertha says:

    I really liked the article you wrote. I must say you are a very talented writer dear sis-in-Christ. I will now often come to your page and seek out precious jewels that you have written. This passage has made me feel better, my heart feels lighter and I KNOW that Jesus has forgiven me for anything I ask if I ask in His name and I turn from that which is trying to deceive me. Thanks again for your words of hope, faith and joy.

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