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Is This All For Nothing? Encouragement For Your Heart Through Hardship

Did I purify my heart
and wash my hands in innocence for nothing?
For I am afflicted all day long
and punished every morning.
If I had decided to say these things aloud,
I would have betrayed your people.
-Psalm 73:13-15 CSB

Have you ever felt like Asaph in this Psalm? Sometimes as we follow Christ it feels like we are getting the short end of the stick. You live a set apart life, which is not easy, and still receive an immense amount of suffering. Maybe you feel like Asaph in that even when you do open up about the suffering you are facing, other Christian’s accuse you of hidden sin, slap a scripture on it rather than having compassion, or suddenly vanish when you needed them most. Well, my friend, you are not only in the company of Asaph when it comes to this, I understand too. But most importantly, God understands deeper than anyone ever could.

Let’s keep reading, shall we?

When I tried to understand all this,
it seemed hopeless
until I entered God’s sanctuary.
Then I understood their destiny.
-Psalm 73:16-17 CSB

In times of suffering and hardship, many times we don’t get the answers we are searching for. And if we are being honest, some of the things we face do not seem fair do they? Suffering can have a tendency to make us feel hopeless as we observe the wicked that seem to be prospering.

UNTIL…

Like Aspah, we have the understanding that this earth is not our home. That our story does not end here. In fact there will be a day where there is no more pain, no more sorrow, and no more suffering (See Revelation 21:4). The prospering of the wicked will soon come to an end and they will wish that they repented and sought the Lord’s heart. I have a feeling many will have wish they endured trials here when they see the joy and gift of heaven.

Our perfect heavenly Father can handle our hard questions. He will never leave us even if people do. And He isn’t ashamed of our feelings. So many times people can dismiss what you are feeling, but God doesn’t do that. Sorrow and grief can coexist with faith. In fact, we can see this right here in the middle of Psalm 73.

My friend, I know times may be hard but you are not alone. This suffering won’t last forever. But you know what does last forever and will carry you through? God’s Love. His Grace. His Mercy. Him.

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Soul Rest (Devotional)

When so much is happening around us or even to us, it can be easy to fall out of the place of rest found in Abba.

Let us think upon the goodness of God.
Remembering that our soul can be at rest with our heavenly Father who is with us every step of the way.
He is not surprised or taken off guard.
He is never weak nor tired.
He is trustworthy & abounding in faithful love.
His track record will never change. He is forever reliable.
Our souls can return to rest because of who He is💕

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.
Psalms 116:7 CSB

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Learning To Lament: The Example Of David

Some situations require us to lament. To lament is also known as grieving with passion. God hurts when we hurt and our hearts should grieve when we sin against him.

David was a prime example of this. In fact, most of the Psalms he wrote were laments. Another example of this you can study in 2 Samuel 11 & 12.

David sinned against God through adultery, drunkenness, and murder. His response when confronted with the weight of his sin was to acknowledge it. As David acknowledged what He had done and the consequences that would follow because of it, he lamented. He weeped on the floor and did not move  and refused to eat.
After David’s son had passed away, he then changed his clothes and went to the house of the Lord to Worship.

God doesn’t expect us to not grieve or mourn. In fact, he desires us to invite Him into the places that hurt the most. He does not stand in a corner while we weep but mourns with us. He bandages up the wounds of the brokenhearted.

Come before Him today with your laments. Grieve with him and welcome in the great comforter in the midst of suffering. There will soon be a day where it will be time to rejoice and dance. But there is also a biblical season of weeping and mourning.

••Then David got up from the ground. He washed, anointed himself, changed his clothes, went to the Lord ’s house, and worshiped. Then he went home and requested something to eat. So they served him food, and he ate.  His servants asked him, “Why have you done this? While the baby was alive, you fasted and wept, but when he died, you got up and ate food.”  He answered, “While the baby was alive, I fasted and wept because I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let him live.’  But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I’ll go to him, but he will never return to me.”
2 Samuel 12:20‭-‬23 CSB