Pain is not a respecter of persons. Rich, poor, single or married--pain is a part of everyone’s life. The subject is not popular and most books offer tips on how to offset the symptoms. There are valid reasons for this. No one likes to deal with painful emotions, and it is no surprise. We rather ignore them and numb the pain by forgetting or using another vice like a glass of wine. When it comes to faith, you may feel rejected and unheard by God. Feeling distant from God when you are experiencing challenging times is normal and very common. This can be dangerous! When emotions are raw it is easy to turn your back on God and to blame Him for not answering us.That will get us nowhere and can make everything feel worse. Choosing to trust Him when we can’t see through the fog of circumstances is necessary from really losing our way. The decisions that you make now could impact you in the future on how you deal with pain. When we are hurting we can make dumb decisions out of emotions. In Lamentations 3:20-21 it said that we need to hold onto hope: “I will remember them and my soul downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.” Are you struggling through to focus on Him during this season of life? Take heart friend, you are not alone. Here are 6 ways to pursue God during pain.
Cling to hope.
We heard that all things do work together for our good, but tell that to someone going through a trial! God can work it out for the best because He is good. We need to trust that there is a bigger picture. We are not saying that trials are good and they are not necessarily sent by God either. The devil knows once we give up and have abandoned all confidence the battle is lost. Even when we get the one-two punch, we need to find that sanguine expectation—without it we have no lifeline.
Feel the pain.
Allow yourself to feel the pain and grieve. This does not mean you lack faith, it means you are human! The hardest part of grieving is allowing those walls to come down to do so. Turn to Jesus and ask Him to make you stronger and to heal you. Ask Him to heal you from your pain. Crosswalk shared on how we can overcome pain and how to let Him in. “Seek Jesus’ guidance for every step of your healing journey, knowing that He specializes in taking what’s broken and restoring it to how it should be.” Feeling pain stinks. However, once we can breakdown that wall it becomes easier and healing can start.
James 1:12 talked about trials and how it is a testing of our faith. He said people were blessed once they persevered under the pressure. We need to have patience to be strong during hard times. Otherwise, you will want to give up and just go through the motions of life. However, if we want to see a victory in our column we need to hang in there. You may feel and look abandoned, but you are not. It is easy to become overwhelmed by circumstances and to kick patience to the curb. Take the attitude that you will get through this. You are more than an overcomer in Christ. Tell yourself this to help build patience when all you want to do is throw it out the window.
Talk to others.
Find people you can talk to about the pain. If it was a disappointment acknowledge that loss without minimizing the experience. This is a time you may want to isolate yourself, but reach out to people and be honest about your struggle. Talk with others who have gone through similar experiences. When you meet with others who share the same pain and concerns it helps heal wounds. We are not advocating for you to not take time for yourself, but the enemy loves it when we remain isolated. It prevents you from finding strength that comes from others. We are called to uplift one another.
If someone has sinned against you go to God and forgive the person. You have a right to be upset and need to sort through the situation. There will come a point when you have to make a choice. Don’t choose to remain stuck by holding onto bitterness. You can choose to be free from the person and to move forward by letting go. Dr. Linda Mintle is a family therapist and shared on Beliefnet that forgiveness is not based on merit for us or for others. “Forgiveness is not about what people deserve. None of us deserve to be forgiven yet God forgives us.” You are not condoning the behavior you are giving the power back to God to deal with it. Ask God for wisdom and He will not turn you down.
You can overcome fear by asking God to renew your mind and body every day. This can change your life. Start meditating on Scriptures on overcoming fear. By fixing you thoughts on Jesus we can replace our fears with His presence. We can see things from His perspective on life, love, relationships and many other areas. Do your part by taking no evil thought. Let just say there is a thought that you will never get through your pain. Fear usually accompanies thoughts like this and drives people into a panic. Take the negative thought and replace it with another one like a Scripture. Try this one from Timothy: “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." This will help cut off fear. Guard the mind and don’t fill it with garbage.
We know that life has many valleys. At times they may last longer than we want them and what makes it harder is the pain that accompanies it. We were never promised a fairy tale life as Christians. Understand what separates us from others is the hope we have in Christ Jesus. This does not mean that we don’t have raw emotions to deal with or can breeze through trauma. Be honest with yourself and pursue God despite the pain.