It’s the beginning of a new day, and my heart whispers a song of worship to our God. A song I have not sung in a long time. As I look out of the window at a world preparing to face the day, my mind drifts far away to a time when waking up every morning was not as easy as it is today.
For about a year, every day, I battled with an overwhelming sense of feeling low all the time. Fears, doubts, insecurities and regrets would sweep over me like a flood, and I was not able to lift my downcast spirit no matter how hard I tried. There were no happy songs to sing. Unrequited love can be crushing.
It was during this time that my heart became alive to the suffering around me. I looked to precious truths in God’s Word for strength, comfort and joy.
I wanted to share here some of what I learned, with a prayer that if you are in your darkest hour, Jesus Christ will be your hope. And your song.
First, you have to remember there is always hope. Much hope.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
For those who want life to be over, or think that the doors to hope and joy are closed forever, Paul is saying don’t give up. These words are not vain comfort. In addition to being an apostle of Jesus Christ who has the right to speak with God’s authority, Paul has credibility to say the things he does because he suffered much.
In Corinthians, the contrast between momentary and eternal, and between light affliction and weight of glory shines hope into despondent hearts. While our affliction feels neither light nor momentary, Paul is encouraging us to look to the unseen, the glorious, the eternal – there lies the promise of something that we cannot comprehend. Compared to the weight and wonder of glory, our pain, loss, shame, humiliation, rejection, devastation, persecution is… light.
And, if our suffering should last a lifetime, we can be confident of this: compared to endless ages, it is as nothing. We are but a moment away from eternity. When we want to scream in despair, “This can’t possibly be meaningful!” we must strive to quieten our hearts and remember that every single moment of suffering is producing something. Our God does not allow things without reason. The glory to come is beyond our imagination (1 Corinthians 2:9). And more.
This was not meant to be.
Seasons of darkness are normal. Like the ebb and flow to almost everything in life. Everyone suffers. Even those who seem to have it all. I am learning that often time it is a person’s deepest longings that remain unfulfilled in this lifetime. But, God is sovereign and good. If the Giver of good and perfect things allows suffering, He will give the grace to rejoice in the sorrow (2 Corinthians 6:10).
We should guard against self-absorption.
However broken, weak or exhausted we may feel, we must fight hard against self-pity, pride and calloused hearts. We cannot allow ourselves to be oblivious and uncaring towards the pain and suffering of those around us. Jesus Christ and the cause of the Gospel for which we live are greater than our deepest sorrow.
If we pour ourselves out for the sake of those who are afflicted, we can become like a watered garden and a spring whose waters do not fail (Isaiah 58:10-11). When we are spent for those in need, we receive refreshment and joy.
It may feel like you’re in a deep and dark well. Rest in Christ – He is there. He is all you need. And you will sing. A new song. I did.
I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:1-3
Have you ever experienced anything similar in your life where you needed to sing a new song in your heart?
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