Let’s just be honest, trials suck. When you are going through a trial, the last thing you want is someone trying to sympathize and not empathize. Sympathy is acknowledging a person’s pain, but actually making it more isolating for the person in pain. For example, “I am sorry YOU are in pain.” However, empathy is acknowledging a person’s pain, but coming alongside the person in their pain. For example, if you say, “I feel your pain and I am here for you,” and actually mean it; you’re showing empathy.
I’m sure you’ve heard this before: “God will turn this for good, somehow He will turn it for good.” If I’m being honest, when people have said that to me, I have done a thousand eye rolls silently in my head. Even though I know the statement is true, sometimes in the midst of my trials I just don’t believe it. Whenever people say that statement to me, I think, “But how can God take this miserable part of my life and make it good?” I want to believe… but I seriously struggle sometimes, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one.
This devotional is for the person going through the heat of a trial; trying to gasp for air in the midst of the storm.
I have been there. I might not have gone through exactly what you’ve gone through, but I do truly feel pain and sorrow for what you’re experiencing. There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning with no hope for your situation because nothing has improved. Read this and realize God’s love for you: God had me write this for YOU. This is a reminder that God has not left you and He never will (Deuteronomy 31:6). Even though you don’t feel Him, He is still with you (Matthew 28:20). He hears your cries and sees your tears (2 Kings 20:5). He is working behind the scenes (Romans 8:28).When this is all said and done and He’s delivered you (He will as you keep trusting in Him), this will be a part of your testimony and life story that will bring others to Him.
I feel like there is pressure to always have to be overly positive about our life situations, especially if you are a Christian. You may feel like you have to say you are fine when you are not. Well, I am here to tell you that it’s okay to be sad, you have permission to have feelings. Don’t become numb to them, but embrace them and work through them. Jesus had feelings too.
Here are some verses to encourage you that you are not alone. Jesus had emotions too, and He was not afraid to show them or share them with others. Most importantly, He was not afraid to share them with God, the Father.
Jesus needing solidarity from heart breaking news:
“When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.” – Matthew 14:13
Jesus shows righteous anger against those disrespecting the House of the Lord:
“When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” – John 2:13-17
Jesus shows sorrow when a friend passes away:
“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked, “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept.” – John 11:33-35
Jesus showing agony… He was in such deep agony about having to die that He was sweating blood:
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” – Luke 22:42
Jesus showing empathy and guidance to a woman in need:
“Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”
Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” – John 8:1-11
Jesus showing forgiveness even though His enemies were not apologetic for physically beating Him to death. As He hung on the cross, this is what He said:
“Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.” – Luke 23:24
I find comfort knowing that I am not alone on my emotional roller coaster of life. Jesus was the prime example of how to hope enduringly, love endlessly, forgive generously and comfort deeply. What a friend we have in Him, right? He is our source of strength and comfort. Most of the time during my trial, all I needed was time away with the Lord. Even five minutes would change my whole mood. As I cried out to Jesus, I would just picture myself at His feet face first. He is so worthy of our love and honor. He has not left you, beloved. You are getting refined, and He is building your character.
You are not going through this trial in vain. He loves you and is guiding you into His arms, just embrace him.
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” – Romans 5:1-5
Please take at least 5 to 10 minutes after reading this to pray to God. If you don’t have time now, set aside time later to dwell on what God showed you through this and especially His scriptures. Seek His comfort and peace during your time of trial, but ultimately just seek Him. He knows exactly what you need. He loves you.