Archive for the ‘pain’ Tag

THE FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATER

I suffer as the rest of humankind
Tainted by sin
Now, a constant eruption of misery
Calamity, persecution, pain
Relieved only when we give Jesus our hands
To infuse our wills with strength
And give Him our hearts
To teach us compassion
Our lives, torn and shattered as they feel
Pose a threat to our meaningful existence

There is an avenue to strength
To light
It is a knowledge of God’s love for us
Keeping us uplifted
Amid disabling disasters
Leading us to the fountain
For to those who believe in Him
Jesus offers living water
The Holy Spirit
Allowing our hearts to overflow with love
Granting us power
To assist Him in mission
Bringing other hurting hearts to the Healer
Forgotten souls to the Father
Lost sheep to the Shepherd
Join Jesus now
As we walk through the valley of the shadow of death
He is our hope and salvation

LOOK TO JESUS

Why is there so little compassion shown today in a United States so full of hurting people? Is it because we all have our own agendas? Let’s explore that notion.

Most people today care primarily about themselves. We all have our own little hurts to nurse, perceiving them as larger, more painful, and less manageable than someone else’s burdens. Therefore, most people don’t express genuine compassion for someone who’s having difficulty, unless it involves a response to a local or national tragedy. They don’t act to help when confronted with another’s pain. Not even a kind word do they utter. Exceptions, of course, include people involved in service organizations and true Christians.

Understanded, people may not comprehend another’s plight. For example, who of us understands the difficulties of someone suffering from a mental illness? Professionals who treat them understand to a greater degree. Family members are baffled by symptoms, reacting with surprise or anger to the person’s inappropriate words and bizarre actions.

However, family members often feel the pain of the afflicted one, wishing they could take the pain away. The best they can do is get their loved one to a psychiatrist who can begin the difficult search for an effective drug therapy. A social worker can assist by sifting through issues to affect successful coping mechanisms for the patient and bring healing to the family.

But what about society as a whole? We’ve been derailed by the media who has further stigmatized mental illness. The media has led us to believe that any severely violent act is the work of someone with a typical mental illness and that mentally ill people are dangerous unless properly medicated.

Reliable studies and statistics have shown that a much smaller percentage of the mentally ill have violent tendencies than people without the illness. These nonviolent people languished away in mental hospitals years ago when effective treatments did not exist. Now that most people with mental illness live within our communities, they are either treated with indifference, shunned, degraded, or feared. Few people treat them with respect.

How can we develop compassion? I think most of us need an adjustment only God can offer, for only God can change a heart. We need to learn to value each person equally as God does. And we need to consider other’s needs to be as important as our own needs. Only then can genuine compassion exist. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34) and “‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself'” (Mat 19:19).

The next time you see someone struggling with any type of illness, offer a kind word with an air of friendliness. Step out of your comfort zone. Show interest in what they do or introduce them to a new hobby that may help them heal. We all need a friend. Jesus was this friend and healer to the downtrodden He encountered during His earthly ministry. Follow Jesus’ example.

None of us should live with only our own agenda in mind. God will reward you for your acts of compassion. You will be richly blessed.

—Scripture Quotations from NKJV—

OVERCOMING SATAN’S GRAND SCHEME

Why do we hurt? Is it because we have done something wrong and God wants to punish us? Or is it because we are weak, unable to overcome adversity? Perhaps we’ve drifted away from healthy living habits and incurred needless suffering upon ourselves.

After studying the Scriptures, I don’t believe God wants to punish us for erring. He does admonish and correct us through His Word or through a wise, caring person who points us in the right direction. God only wants the best for us because He loves us. He allows us to grow in character, that we may desire to maintain a love relationship with Him. We were created to commune with Him and were commissioned to help others obtain eternal life with Him. The people who will, on the final Day of Judgement, be punished by God are those who rejected Him and His everlasting love. Their destruction will be on their own heads.

Now, back to the present day. God has given us an invitation to join Him in this life. Jesus says: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Therefore, being weak and unable to overcome adversity will be our lot at times, if we refuse to join with, or abide in Him. The pain we suffer here can be alleviated by stretching out our arms and wrapping them around Jesus, our Good Shepherd, who protects His sheep from the harm Satan strives to inflict upon them.

Pain and suffering, to a large extent, have their root in the animosity Satan holds for Jesus and His creation. When Satan was in heaven, he was God’s honored covering angel, Lucifer. Still, Lucifer felt God was being unfair to him because God exalted Jesus above him. So God cast the long defiant, non-repentant Lucifer out of heaven. God warns us. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan would have all of us perish with him in the lake of fire after the Last Judgement.

But we have a savior, Jesus Christ who loves us. If we’ve drifted toward unhealthy habits causing us pain, Jesus is at hand to join with us in helping us overcome anything. We can claim Jesus’ promise for ourselves: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).

—Scripture quotations taken from the NKJV.—

HEALING THE PAIN

What do you do when you’re in despair? Some turn to drinking or illicit drugs, which is understandable, considering the lack of moderation and void of common sense prevalent in segments of our American society. All too many people have been afflicted with these evils. But does numbing of our senses, experiencing a temporary high, or escaping from a reality we find unacceptable, what we need?

Handling our physical, mental, or emotional pain is never easy. Finding answers to financial problems can seem impossible. Suicide may seem, to some, the only answer to a multitude of gripping situations. The loss of a loved one can be crushing. Nothing seems to diminish the resulting loneliness and pain we experience even while in the supportive company of friends.

A multitude of experiences can result in despair. So what’s a person to do? The best way to start healing is to turn to Jesus. Only He fully understands despair. His nature is not only divine, but human. Jesus prevented from despairing by turning to His Father in heaven during prayer each morning. He dealt with accusations from the Pharisees many days. He came in contact with people in deplorable conditions daily. The demon-possessed man of the Gadarenes, the man at the pool of Bethesda, the woman who’d hemorrhaged for twelve years and hadn’t found a doctor to help her, are examples. He could have despaired in not knowing if He had the reserves of strength needed to heal these. Jesus’ strength came from daily communing with His Father.

Late in His ministry in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus experienced such anguish when He faced the Cross alone, after His Father hid His face from Him, that Jesus sweat drops of blood. An angel came to Jesus to strengthen Him, allowing Him to press forward with His mission to save the world by sacrificing His life for our sins.

Our having a close relationship with Jesus allows Him to raise us from the depths of despair when we call on Him. King David in the Bible called on God often when his enemies sought to ruin him or to take his life. David praised God regularly in his psalms, thereby preventing despair. We can avert falling into a pit by remembering to talk to God every morning. He’s our faithful friend even when others fail us.

For those struggling with financial problems, getting credit counselling is smart. But ultimately, tithing — giving that ten percent of our income back to God — usually ensures God’s faithful protection of our finances.

God can guide our lives if we’d only let Him. Only He knows what we need. He has a glorious path laid out for us. While in prayer and meditation, listen to His voice. He will lead each of us and won’t disappoint. He loves us.

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