Blog Writings

Joy Doesn’t Discount Your Struggle

The tears you cry, sweet friend, are no less important if you embrace the fullness of joy available in Christ. It doesn’t make your pain invalid, but rather provides an unshakable peace on which you can rely. Giving you the freedom to forgive, God’s love affirms the impact of the pain-causing event without leaving you gripped by the aftermath. God sees, He knows, and He wants to give you something better. He doesn’t want it covered up. When you allow it, He takes that hurt from you and will use it. God is eternal; pain, suffering, and offense are not. 


God Sees

Hebrews 4:13 reminds us that God sees everything. It states, “No creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Looking beyond actions, He sees the heart and intent of each person. There is no hiding behind passive-aggressive acts, no cleverly disguising motives with rhetoric, nor distorting sins through verbal, emotional, or mental abuses. His eyes see the truth behind any facade, no matter how cleverly someone tries to hide. Whether or not anyone else recognizes the circumstances surrounding our injury, God does. Proverbs 15:3 says, “the eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” When we are distressed, we can take comfort in that truth. We have not been overlooked. 


God Knows

It can be difficult to see all aspects of our own issues. Why do things hurt us the way they do? Why is it difficult to let something go? Why are we more prone to certain negative coping mechanisms than others? There are psychologists and psychiatrists that spend their careers trying to answer these questions on emotional and biological levels. They try to understand as best as they can, but they are limited. “Know that the Lord, He is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are his people, and the sheep of His pasture,” says the psalmist David in Psalm 100:3. God comprehends us on an entirely different level than anyone else could even attempt to because He is our creator. He knows how to help us process through offenses and pains that come. More than that, He is willing to do so. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds,” says Psalm 147:3. It is important that we rely on God’s knowledge of us, rather than our own or others. We can easily get distracted by whether or not others care when we have been hurt. A lack of empathy or effort to sympathize with those around us can in itself cause further wounding. Even the best intentions can fail us in the midst of our pain because only God is qualified to work in our hearts. He many times will choose to use people such as family, friends, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, or others, but true healing will never exclude Him.


God Gives

Wounding, whether in the form of an offense or deep trauma, can become embedded in our hearts like a thorn. The site of the injury can quickly become inflamed and sensitive to the touch. These wounds cause us to act out of character to compensate for and avoid further hurt. Our reactions vary greatly, but God doesn’t weigh out the offenses. He doesn’t see one as more worthy of attention. Nor does He rebuke us for feeling the sting of an injury. He simply beckons us to allow Him to pull out the thorns and give us better things in their place. Revelation 21:4 gives a look at God’s ultimate plan for His people. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” That’s a promise from God for our future. We are given that hope to look forward to, but it doesn’t mean we are left in despair right now. When our hearts are heavy God’s arms are open. He takes our pain and constructs a story of redemption from it. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” We are given hope for the future, comfort for the present and ongoing purpose. On top of that, we are given grace and mercy to sustain us. In Lamentations 3:22-23 we are told, “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end and they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” God gives us all we need as we wait for the time to come when the pain will be no more.


I struggle to allow God to take away the hurt that has come into my life. I hold it close, like a wounded animal fearing more damage will come from its removal. But, I can have confidence that God sees the injury that has occurred, He knows how to heal my hurt, and He has given me mercy and comfort to sustain me while He does so. I have a hope and promise that those who don’t know Christ are without. For that, I have set it in my heart to practice rejoicing when discouragement comes. I have not perfected it, but in John 16:33 I am provided with the assurance that despite any tribulation I experience I can have peace in the fact that Christ has overcome the world.


Pain has come in our lives and more pain will come. We can’t predict where it will come from or when. Right now, you could be trying to sort through offenses from a long time ago or wrestling with more recent hurts. Let’s choose not to wait to experience God’s comfort and joy. To know of God’s beauty in juxtaposition to the brokenness of the world is a priceless gift.

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