All people face adversity in various forms and at different times in life. Difficult times can range from a minor irritation to life altering. Issues arise in relationships and lead to emotional pain. Trials are a real part of life. Multiple people battle life threatening cancer. Others stress over financial peril and failure. Parents deal with rebellious and spiritually unfaithful teenagers. Some spouses find themselves locked in a marriage that generates more unhappiness than bliss. Some battle constant loneliness after the death of a spouse. Today many face tenuous job situations and the prospect of long unemployment. And, what about those who, as a result of the curves of life, fight off the disillusionment of dashed hopes, unfulfilled dreams, and the anguish that comes from failure that is ones own fault?
When we are down, we may wonder: Where is God? Doesn’t He care about me? I feel so alone. Will God “really” help me? The answer to these questions is that God is present, He does care for you, and will go to work on your behalf to help you in the best way possible. God specializes in coming to the rescue of those who trust in Him.
Pain is not new. It is the result of living in a sinful world. Paul wrote that creation is in bondage to corruption, and groans together as in the pains of childbirth, Romans 8.20-22. Our world is physically decaying and spiritually infected with sin. We hope for something better. Something eternal. Something glorious, which the Lord will give to all who faithfully serve Him. But, what about now? How do we successfully contend with trials in this life? You will either conquer hurt or it will conquer you.
How emotional burdens can conquer you.
In order to win in this war you will first have to resolve not to do some things. For example:
Don’t try to hide your hurt. Putting up a wall of protection to hide your emotional pain is not dealing with it. In fact, this often adds to the problem. David said, For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long, Psalm 32.3. Later David said, I was mute and silent; I held my peace to no avail, and my distress grew worse, Psalm 39.2. Don’t hide your hurt. Find someone you trust and open your heart. It can be very healing to get things out in the open.
Don’t run from it. Running from your problems never solves them. David knew all about the temptation to get away during the dark moments of his life. My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me. …And I say, ‘Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest,” Psalm 55.4, 6-8. If we run, the same problems will still be waiting on us when we return and they could be worse!
Don’t engage in destructive behavior to numb the pain. While it may feel right, it is never good to lash out in anger or revenge against others who have caused our pain. Engaging in this behavior will lead us to a place to where we become withdrawn, cold, and angry. How many let their emotional pain affect them to the point to where they are unable to reach full potential in life?
Don’t dwell on it. While that may be easy for someone else to say, this must be your goal. Constant focus on the negativity will drain you. Job said, surely vexation kills the fool, Job 5.2. When we dwell on our problems, it can lead to a spirit of bitterness and will rob us of any joy in our life.
How you can conquer emotional burdens. Remember you can trust God because:
You are not alone. Everyone hurts. We all have emotional burdens to carry. While we carry our own burden, we can reach out to others who are hurting. One of the most effective ways of dealing with our own emotional burdens is to minister to someone else who is struggling with a problem in their life. This takes the focus off self and reminds us that others are not immune to the tribulations of life.
God will meet all your needs. His well never runs dry. God is never in a bad mood and God will never let you down. In fact, God wants us to approach Him with our problems. Peter said to, cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you, 1 Peter 5.7. Peter’s writing backs up what we learn in the Psalms: Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will act, Psalm 37.5. Later the Psalmist says, cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved, Psalm 55.22. Do you trust God to meet your needs?
God will fill your heart. In scripture, we often see the language of abundance when referencing the blessings of God. These are not just empty words. They were written with us in mind and are as real as anything this physical world has to offer. When our hearts are full of despair and grief – God promises to help our heart overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit, Romans 15.13. When our hearts are full of loneliness and we are fumbling through the pain of rejection, God promises to help the love of others to overflow for us, 1 Thessalonians 3.12. And when our hearts are full of doubt and uncertainty, God promises to fill our heart with abundant joy, John 16.24.
There is hope on the other side of your pain. You can give your burden to God. He invites you to trust in Him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light, Matthew 11.28-30. Will you trust in God? You can begin a relationship with Him today and let Him go to work filling your life with hope, love, and joy.
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