When facing tragedy, what do you do? Sorrow, pain and tears overwhelm your heart until you cannot see how to take even one more step. Darkness surrounds and questions fill your mind with no answers. The best you can do is scream into the sky, “Why?” Oh, yes; I have been there many times in my life; despairing of life itself. Those moments when the pain is so great that you cannot even find the strength to pray. How can one hold on when all seems lost? When joy and hope are all gone, how do you hold fast to faith. Over the course of a lifetime, I have discovered these 7 steps. In the last post, I reminded you of three foundational truths to Abiding, Steadfast Joy. Now, lets look at the steps when tragedy strikes.
When you cannot pray, take time to sit alone with God. He already knows your anger, your sorrow, and your questions. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we cannot speak.
Romans 8: 18-26 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Likewise, the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
LAY IT AT THE CROSS
If while sitting alone with God, some sin comes to mind; Repent, lay it at the cross, and then, forgive yourself as well; because, God has. As I wrote in A Broken and Contrite Heart, page 40 “When we wallow in self-condemnation with guilt laden hearts we have taken our eyes off of Christ in all His Glory and refocused our attention on ourselves somehow believing that we had something to do with our salvation and sanctification to begin with. Guilt will not be able to make you more holy, so you must take your eyes off of you and refocus on Christ Himself.”
Philippians 3:13-14, “Brethern, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Recognize God is God, and I am not.
When God appeared, presenting to Job a series of questions; Job realized that the mysteries of God were more than he could understand. Throughout the Bible; God has reached out to extend His Hand of Grace to His Creation, despite, our rebellious hearts which search for idols. He does this; because, He knows He created us for “Glory”. All too well, He realizes that our hearts can never be satisfied until we are satisfied in Him. Although, the sorrows we face here seem senseless or unjust; we cannot see the whole picture, nor do we understand fully our own hearts.
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Romans 11:33-34
SING SONGS OF LAMENT
Nothing brings us closer to God than song. Whether we listen to Christian songs that reflect the pains or sorrows we are feeling and at the same time refocus our hearts on God’s Grace and Sovereignty, our hearts join in. It is as though we join in solidarity with others who have been there and found their way out. Perhaps that is why the book of Psalms is so special. The largest number of Psalms are songs of lament which end in praise. Every emotion of the heart can be found there. So, begin reading the Psalms.
Psalm 61: 1-2 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Be Gentle with yourself
Don’t beat yourself up; because, you cannot feel faith. Some of God’s greatest men of faith at times battled with sorrow.
Jeremiah 8:18 When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me.
Be Honest with God
Whatever you are feeling, do not be afraid to tell God; even, if you are angry. He knows anyway.
Zephaniah 3:17-19 The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee.
This life, with all of its trials, sorrows, tragedy and heartbreaks, is but a second in time compared to eternity in His presence.
Psalm 30:5 weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
I pray these steps help any of you who are facing the depths of sorrow while facing tragedy and that God might guide you into bosom of love. I pray He might bring comfort to your soul. Hebrews 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
In Abiding, Steadfast Joy, I wrote honestly about many of my own struggles and detail the three foundational truths God talk me through those trials. Tragedy has been a part of life; yet, through tragedy God led me closer to Him where I found joy. Though I did not understand at the time; I would gladly walk every step of the way again, just to know Him as I do now as my joy and my greatest treasure. Life still has a lot of trials to face; but, He is guiding every step of this journey and I have learned that I can trust Him.
DO YOU KNOW CHRIST AS YOUR SAVIOR?
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Savior: I urge you to go to my page titled How to Be Saved by clicking on this link. Because there is nothing more important than this, I urge you to seek Him today.
OR ARE YOU IN OF NEED PRAYER?
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Recently released Books Available
A labor of love, this book provides you with 3 foundations of truth from the scripture which once known will provide you with abiding, steadfast joy. Undaunted by the storms of life; your joy will overflow.
Providing a foundation of faith and hope; even, as we see so much evil in the world and in our nation. With so much sorrow and despair, this book I wrote to guide you into discovering God’s Perfect Plan of love; amid this chaotic world filled with life’s storms.
You may click on the picture for more information on either of these books.
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©Effie Darlene Barba, 2017
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned except for my own books. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.