Journal Entry ~ 02/20/19

18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. 
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.  - Psalm 34:18-19

In order to feel the nearness of God when our hearts are broken, it's crucial that we have a theology of suffering that is aligned with biblical truth. In other words, the lies in our beliefs about our trials need to be identified and those lies must be replaced with the truth.  

When you're suffering in a trial, you don't just suffer what you're suffering, you suffer *how* you're suffering. What are the temptations in your thinking when you're suffering that's keeping you from the nearness of God?  Identify those lies and replace them with the truth. 

Sometimes we're tempted to doubt God's goodness - where is God, why would He do this to me?  When you come to question the goodness of God, you stop going to Him for help - you won't go to someone you don't trust for help.  In the moment when you need him the most, you won't turn to Him.  The lie here is that doubt questions the goodness of God. Truths that battle this lie can be found all over scripture - start in 1 Peter 5:9. 

Another temptation is worry or fear - we beat ourselves up with questions we don't have the answers to.  Worry is forgetful, it forgets that you are not in this suffering by yourself.  Accept the reality that it is impossible for you to beat this by yourself. Stop worrying, and stop assigning yourself a responsibility you don't have - you don't have the ability to work through this yourself. Worry is God-forgetful, and it assigns to me responsibilities that I don't have.  Worry lies to us and questions the presence of God.  Again, the truth that counters this lie can be found all over scripture, but you can start in Philippians 4:6 if this is your temptation. 

Another temptation you may struggle with in your trials is envy.  Envy is the belief that God sometimes gets a wrong address. It longs for the life of someone else, someone who does not have the trial I'm enduring. The problem is it doesn't long for God, it longs to exchange places with someone, it longs to be relieved of the trial. Envy lies to us and questions the wisdom of God.  Know that God has set the plans for you personally and specifically, and He means them for your good. He knows the struggles in your hearts, your blindness, your idols, and He desperately wants to root them out of your heart so you rely completely and wholly on Him and Him alone. If this is your struggle, start meditating on Jeremiah 29:11. 

There are many more temptations when we're struggling than just these three - the important thing is that you spend time meditating on your suffering with just Him, and open your heart and your mind so that He can reveal to you why you are suffering in your trials. 

Remember, you never just suffer the thing you're suffering...you suffer through the thinking that the suffering brings into our lives.  When He reveals to us our suffering in the trials, and we replace those lies with the truth, that's when we find the nearness and the comfort God offers to our broken hearts. 


Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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