We all need comfort when bad things happen in life.
Yesterday was such a day for me. We all know that some days are harder to get through in life than others!
After hearing about the rioting in Atlanta and the death of a childhood friend, my heart was heavy. I felt like I was suffocating.
So I went outside, raised my hands to heaven and took several deep breaths. As I looked at the blue sky, the bright sun, trees swaying in the breeze, I talked to the Lord in prayer to ask for His intervention, for reconciliation and restoration for our country.
And I asked the Lord for justice according to His character of Justice. Justice for the lives taken because of evil; justice for the business owners who lost their property and livelihood.
In times past, I would have sought comfort in food to manage my emotions.
Now however, I seek comfort differently.
In the following article, I share where and how I sought comfort in the midst of emotional turmoil.
Beware of Lying thoughts
When your emotions are in turmoil, watch out! The enemy will bring thoughts that can drive you deep into depression and despair.
Whenever a thought comes up, I like to consider a question Joshua asked during a time of war in the Bible:
"And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” - Joshua 5:13
We need to check to see where our thoughts are leading us:
- Will the thought lead us towards God’s purpose and plan for our lives?
- Or will the thought lead us into the enemy’s snare – to steal, kill or destroy (see John 10:10)?
The enemy’s primary mission is to separate us from God. His strategy has always been ”divide and conquer” and it hasn’t changed.
“Where are you, Lord?”
A common thought we can have in the midst of trial is to ask the question: “Where are you, Lord?”
One of the worst feelings you can have during times of emotional distress is to feel as if you are all alone in it.
The enemy knows that. He wants you to feel as if the Lord has abandoned you and is not hearing your prayers.
However, the answer God gives us to the ”Where are you, Lord?” question is ”I’m right here.”
During emotional turmoil, it is important to remember that we don’t rely on just our natural eyes, but our Spiritual eyes as Believers in Jesus.
We look at life through the lens of scripture. The scriptures remind of us God’s presence and God’s promises to help us cope with trials.
The Lord promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
His promise is not contingent upon our feelings; it is contingent upon God’s character. Although our thoughts can often lie, God never does!
Consider scripture’s role in our lives:
"For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." - Romans 15:4-6
This scripture shows that our patience and comfort to get through trials comes from God, not worldly circumstances.
We walk by faith and not by sight.
When we are experiencing present distress, the Lord challenges us to find patience and comfort in Him as we:
- Glorify the Lord in mind: Take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ. Bring the Lord glory through the Spiritual fruit we bear (see Galatians 5:22-25) and the good works He created us to do (Matthew 5:16).
- Glorify the Lord with your mouth: Your mouth was not only created to eat and as an alternative route to breathe; it was created to exhort others and praise the Lord! Psalm 71:8 says, ”Let my mouth be filled with Your praise And with Your glory all the day.”
Check to ensure the words you speak are words that agree with what God’s word says. Confession means: ”to say the same.”
Ask the Lord for Spiritual discernment so that you can recognize if your words aren’t in agreement with God’s word – and make the adjustment accordingly.
May these words bring you patience and comfort as you put them into practice in the midst of emotional distress!