We tend to live sheltered lives, nestled in normalcy, protected in the cocoon of our comfort zone. We're inclined to go to the same places and do the same things … and we like it that way.
But in this life there are times when smooth sailing can become shipwrecked by the violent storms of life. Tragic situations can toss us into the harsh winds of reality, leaving us with a heart pounding out its own distress signal.
Can I ask you to consider with me some sobering scenarios? Some experiences ache for a reason why. Maybe you've been there. …
The test results are conclusive. The doctor enters the sterile exam room to deliver the long‑awaited diagnosis. He takes a seat on the stool. He folds his hands in his lap and locks eyes with the husband. What begins with, "I wish I had better news" ends with, "there's nothing more we can do." And just like that, as if the work shift was over, hope hung up its lab coat and clocked out while despair reported for duty.
The boardroom is unreasonably cold and the silence is audible except for the hands of the clock pounding out each second. Four women sit quietly at the end of the table, fidgeting in overstuffed chairs, afraid to venture into conversation. Idle chitchat seems inappropriate as their minds rehearse their summons … I need to see you in the boardroom. Eventually, the heavy door opens and the suited CEO enters and takes a seat. "Ladies, we've made the difficult decision to eliminate your department. Today is your last day with the company."
The first grandbaby on both sides of the family is about to arrive, and the waiting room is abuzz with anticipation! Labor intensifies with each passing hour, and soon the new father‑to‑be steps into blue paper scrubs and prepares to assist. The excitement in the waiting room is contagious. Family members reposition themselves at the end of the hallway, straining to hear. Soon a hearty newborn cry emits from the delivery room followed closely by, "It's a boy!" But when a rush of hospital personnel dash into the delivery room, silence falls. After what seems an eternity, the obstetrician makes his way to the anxious family to deliver some ominous news: "Your grandson looks healthy, but he has a very serious heart defect and will require immediate surgery to survive."
What is our response when the unthinkable becomes reality? How can we process the breaking news that leaves us heartbroken? What words of wisdom will satisfy those who are frantic for hope?
As cliché as it may sound, God's Word truly contains instructive wisdom about those things that weigh heavily on our minds and hearts. When we spend time in His Word, the Holy Spirit — our Comforter — redirects our thinking with the assurance that God's got this. Open your Bible to discover the truths you may need to be reminded of today.
The concern of the burdened heart: "I know God can do anything, but I'm really worried that if I lost my job or if I got sick or had an accident, there wouldn't be anyone to take care of me."
The hope of God in Scripture: "My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
The concern of the burdened heart: "I feel so lonely and isolated. I feel cut off from everyone … even from God."
The hope of God in Scripture: "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged" (Deuteronomy 31:8).
The concern of the burdened heart: "I feel like I commit the same sin over and over. I don't think God forgives me."
The hope of God in Scripture: "If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness" (Psalm 130:3-4).
The concern of the burdened heart: "It seems like every day on the news there's something bad going on in the world. Where is God in all this?"
The hope of God in Scripture: "God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne" (Psalm 47.8).
The concern of the burdened heart: "I've prayed for years for the salvation of my friend, and she is still an unbeliever."
The hope of God in Scripture: "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
The concern of the burdened heart: "I live with pain every day. I wonder sometimes, does God even care?"
The hope of God in Scripture: "I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul" (Psalm 31:7).
Whatever your burden, there is hope. And the God of hope wants you to give your burden to Him. …
"Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved." (Psalm 55:22 ESV)