Peace through the pain

Brokenness is everywhere. It touches us all. Directly or indirectly, we have all felt its impact. People are betrayed by friends, abused by loved ones and belittled acquaintances in the classroom, dorm room and workplace all the time. Not only does it make us feel hurt, angry, vulnerable, lonely, confused and a host of other negative emotions, but it messes with our mental state as well. The question is, what do we do about all that? How do we find peace through the pain?

Read Psalm 4; it gives us an answer. There we find a man (it was King David) who has been betrayed and beleaguered, who yearns for divine intervention, but who is still intent not on vengeance, but on restoration. Most scholars think he’s referring to the time when his son Absalom stole the throne from him. In spite of this ultimate betrayal and the vile behavior that followed, David is heartbroken when he learns of Absalom’s death and mourns so thoroughly that he is accused of “loving his enemies.” His appeal in the Psalm is for his enemies to get right with God (Psalm 4:5-6) Scandalous, right?!

Maybe not. There are plenty of examples in the Bible of Jesus forgiving those who persecuted him, and He Himself even calls for his followers to do the exact same thing that David is accused–love your enemies (Luke 6:27-36). That may be easier said than done, but it isn’t a request, so how do we get there? How do we get to that place where we can move past the damage done to us enough to follow that one simple command?

Trust God.

British pastor Charles H. Spurgeon once wrote, “The sovereignty of God is a pillow upon which the child of God rests his head at night, giving perfect peace.” He was right. When we turn our hearts to God, we find peace. Regardless of how we feel about our situation (or that of a friend), and regardless of how things seem from our limited perspective, God is still there, still working things out, still with us in the dark and still on His throne. That doesn’t mean everything will magically return to normal or that tomorrow you’ll wake up in a world without hurt or frustration, but it does mean that healing will happen.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

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