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Worship in Tragedy and Pain?

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Can you....?

Is it possible? To worship God in pain and tragedy?
The problems of this life can be so overwhelming for us! The loss of health, a personal tragedy, a marriage, a job, etc. Any of these things can be so hard for us. So deeply painful. We can feel so "hopeless". And we can feel as if our lives are "over". And they can create such deep scars for us. Afterall, we're only "human". Are we not?
And it can so discourage our faith that we just stand and say, "God where are you?" "Where are you when I need you most?" "Ive tried to do what's right, follow you faithfully?" "Why?"
     .......And we cry out in awful pain.
You see I personally know what it is to have such a deep loss, hurt, that you wonder if God is still even there! Looking out for you. Your best interest! Or if He even cares? And you say, "Lord I have tried to follow you the best I can, why did this happen?" And we feel as if we have been "crushed". And it's an awful, deep pain, is not not?
And it is in this time that the only thing you can do is "hold on for dear life"! And as believers, we must ultimately know. The only one we can really hang onto? Is
But it is always easier said than done is it not? Afterall, when things seem to be "collapsing" around us it is so hard to see that there is any hope for us! Even as believers!!
But if we, "run after the world"? We wil only be sorely dissapointed in the end! Afterall, the world and it's ways?
....They only lead to "self-destruction":
 "There is a way that seems right to a man,
        But its end is the way of death."

                                      (Proverbs 14:12 NKJV)
And they are passing away:
 "And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever."
                                        (1 John 2:17 NKJV)
And the world will always betray us! It will promise us "happiness", "pleasure", "fulfillment". But what we receive in the end? What it deilvers? Will be nothing but sorrow! It's promies are empty!! They will mean nothing!!! But we have God's promise that He will never leave us:
 "And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

                                 (Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV)

And it is so hard to remember this when we are suffering awfully! And the evil one is taking oppurtunity to, "kick us when we are down". And he will lie to us however he can to destroy us, our hope, our faith! He tries to convince us that our "lives are over". But he is a LIAR! And the father of all lies:

  "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it."

                                             (John 8:44 NKJV)

But the question for us here, is this. Can we praise God in our tragedy and pain?

As strange and hard as it may sound. The answer is ...."yes"!

When we have lost all. Or feel we have? The pain is deep and it feels as if we have been "eaten alive", or are being "eaten"?

We still have Jesus!

             .....And no one can take us away from Him:

  "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”

                                      (John 10:28-30 NKJV)

And it is hard for us to remember this through our trials, tragedies and tribulations. But we have His promise! That we are His (Hosea 2:23) and NO ONE can ever change this!

.........NO ONE!!

And the problems of life just have a way of "sucking" the life out of us! Do you they not? Yes, of course they do!

But we have to remember something in this!!

And what is it?

That nothing is guaranteed! You see this life is all about gain and loss:

 "To everything there is a season,

      A time for every purpose under heaven
         A time to be born,
And a time to die;
      A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted
         A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
      A time to break down,
And a time to build up
         A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
      A time to mourn,
And a time to dance
         A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
      A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing
         A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
      A time to keep,
And a time to throw away
         A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
      A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak
        A time to love,
And a time to hate;
      A time of war,
And a time of peace."

                    (Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 NKJV)

And the gain is "awesome", wonderful! We can feel "elated" when things are going well! Or when we receive such a great blessing. And feel like we are on, "cloud nine"!

But the loss? It is tragic. And often times? It can be very painful! And it can make us just, "want to give up"!

But we have to remember, nothing is for sure in this life. Nothing is permanent. It is short! We can have happy times. Joyful times. Painful times. Sad times. It is all about gain and loss!

But ultimately when it is all over? All we will have is Jesus.

            .......And He is all we really need:

  "From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

                                         (John 6:66-68 NKJV)

You see we can try and "grasp onto" the things of this world. And, "hold on tight", for dear life. If we do? We put our hope in this world? We will be sadly dissappointed later!

So what do we do? Where do we turn? Who do we have? What is our permanency?


And Jesus will never leave us (Hebrews 13:5)!

Not only that, but He is always there with us!!

 "A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."

                                   (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)

And it is so hard for us to remember this! But we must!!

You see everything in this life is vanity:

  "I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind."

                                    (Ecclesiastes 1:14 NKJV)

We cannot control what happens around us! Not our losses. Our gain. Those who love us. Those that do not. Those who hurt and betray us! We cannot control any of it!! We cannot control our own lives, or those around us!!! Not one part! It is just a fact of life!!

Only God is in control:

  "The LORD shall reign forever
         Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
         Praise the LORD!

                     (Psalm 146:10 NKJV)

And thank God He is! Afterall, remember He is OUR Father:

  "Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’”

                                            (John 20:17 NKJV)

And we have to remember in the midst of our tragedy, that God does not desert us! He is still there watching over us:

 "Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows."

                                  (Matthew 10:29-31 NKJV)

But we have to medidtate on Him, His word, who He is:

  "God is our refuge and strength,
         A very present help in trouble.
   Therefore we will not fear,
         Even though the earth be removed,
         And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
   Though its waters roar and be troubled,
         Though the mountains shake with its swelling.  Selah  
   There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
         The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
   God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
         God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
   The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
         He uttered His voice, the earth melted. 
   The LORD of hosts is with us;
         The God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah  
   Come, behold the works of the LORD,
         Who has made desolations in the earth.
   He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
         He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
         He burns the chariot in the fire
    Be still, and know that I am God;
         I will be exalted among the nations,
         I will be exalted in the earth! 
    The LORD of hosts is with us;
         The God of Jacob is our refuge.  Selah" 

                                 (Psalm 46 NKJV)

You see even in the midst of our storms God has not ceased being who He is! His promises have not "ceased" being valid! Though we are hurt, betrayed, treated spitefully, awfully? We are still His children and He loves us just as much!

And that NEVER changes!! Even if those around us do not value us? God ALWAYS will!!!

And can we praise Him?

Yes, of course we can! Even when we feel we have nothing to praise Him about!!

You see Job for instance. He lost so much at the hand of the evil one. His property, family, children, his health, etc. was attacked! And attacked awfully!! His friends criticized him, intstead of comforting him!!! They even blamed him for his own misfortune! They were AWFUL comforters!!

Yet, in all this, Job was able top praise God:

 "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
        Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him."

                                             (Job 13:15 NKJV)

And can we do the same?

You see this life is uncertain. And even if we loose all we love, we have not lost Jesus! And He has not lost us (John 10:28-30)!!

You see people are, "fickle". It is the nature in all of us as humans! We hurt each other. Most often (but not always) not really meaning too. But we do. We make mistakes! But God is not "fickle". When He chooses to love us? He does just that! And for life, for eternity!!

  "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,"

                                          (Romans 8:16 NKJV)

 And He does not "waver" like we do as humans! His promise for us is "unending":

 “ For I am the LORD, I do not change;
       Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob."

                                           (Malachi 3:6 NKJV)

  "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away."

                                      (Matthew 24:35 NKJV)

And it is in these tragic, painful times, in our lives that we must remember that we still have God! He has not deserted us, nor has He forsaken us (Hebrews 13:5)!!

So we can worship God even in the times when the world just feels like it has, "fallen down" on us! And we feel as if we have "lost it all"!!

So what do we do? We keep pressing "into" Jesus!

We remember that no matter what we suffer through that God will bring us out! And for the better:

 "Those who sow in tears
         Shall reap in joy.
  "He who continually goes forth weeping,
         Bearing seed for sowing,
         Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
         Bringing his sheaves with him.

                                (Psalm 126:5-6 NKJV)

So we worship Him! We sing to Him, We praise Him!! For this life is uncertain!!! But the love of God and His concern for us? Is eternally certain!

I personally know the pain of tragedy. And that "empty" lonely feeling you have when you feel you have lost everything. Everything that you love!

By a great loss. By the hurt another has caused you. By betrayal. But it is in these awful times. Ones you would not even wish on your worst enemy! That God can do His best work in you!! In fact He can work out things in your own personal life. Issues, or problems you have never dealt with. And heal those in you! He can also use them to "refine" you:

  "Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
         I have tested you in the furnace of affliction."

                                       (Isaiah 48:10 NKJV)

 And make you more like the believer He would have you be! To make you, "whole". More like Christ (click here for more info: The "reality" of the real Christian life!)!

He takes things meant for evil and turns them for our own good! And for His purposes!!

  "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."

                                       (Romans 8:28 NKJV)

So I want to challenge you today. If you are going through an awful painful time? Do not give up on God!

He has not given up on you!!

"Fear not, for I am with you;
       Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
       I will strengthen you,
       Yes, I will help you,
       I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

                                      (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV)

"Press into" Jesus even more!

He is there to help us:

  "Have you not known?
      Have you not heard?
      The everlasting God, the LORD,
      The Creator of the ends of the earth,
      Neither faints nor is weary.
      His understanding is unsearchable
          He gives power to the weak,
      And to those who have no might He increases strength
          Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
      And the young men shall utterly fall
          But those who wait on the LORD
      Shall renew their strength;
      They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
      They shall run and not be weary,
      They shall walk and not faint."

                       (Isaiah 40:28-31 NKJV)

 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
      Because the LORD has anointed Me
      To preach good tidings to the poor;
      He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
      To proclaim liberty to the captives,
      And the opening of the prison to those who are bound
        To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
      And the day of vengeance of our God;
      To comfort all who mourn
        To console those who mourn in Zion,
      To give them beauty for ashes,
      The oil of joy for mourning,
      The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
      That they may be called trees of righteousness,
      The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” 

                                    (Isaiah 61:1-3 NKJV)

And think about that last verse! Verse 3. "The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness!" Does it not feel that way when we are in deep sorrow? We have such a "spirit of heaviness"? Of course! But when we can praise God it can help to take away some of that heaviness! In fact a good deal of it!! Enough that we can have joy in Him!!! Despite what we are going through!!!!

And remember! You ARE a child of the most high God!!

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him."

                                               (1 John 3:1 NKJV)

This is YOUR identity! You are a beloved child of your Father in heaven!!

And what does a child receive from such a blessing and honor?

His resources:

  "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."

                                     (1 John 4:4 NKJV)

And the battles we fight? God goes before us! He is our CHAMPION!!!

  "Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD’s, and He will give you into our hands.”

                                   (1 Samuel 17:47 NKJV)

But we must keep putting our trust in Him and ignoring the lies of the evil one!

  "And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You."

                                           (Psalm 9:10 NKJV)

Oftentimes as christians, we live as if we are defeated! But we are not!! God has already defeated Satan on the cross (1 Corinthians 15:57)!!! In turn? We as children of His are winners! Not loosers!! It is Satan who is always trying to convince us otherwise!!! He is the liar! God is not!!

.........Think about it!

So worship and praise Him!

  "I will worship toward Your holy temple,
           And praise Your name
           For Your lovingkindness and Your truth;
           For You have magnified Your word above all Your name."

                                         (Psalm 138:2 NKJV)

Get out your favorite worship music and just sing at the top of your lungs to Him! You may have suffered a great loss. Believe me I know the deep pain myself! It hurts!! And it can hurt very badly!!! Both mentally and physically! But life is all about gain and loss!!

But thank Him and praise Him, that you haven't lost Jesus! And He has not lost you!! His love, affection and salvation is ETERNAL for US!!!!



And here is some, "food" for thought:

 "Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!
         They walk, O LORD, in the light of Your countenance."

                                        (Psalm 89:15 NKJV)

  "To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises;
           For God is my defense,
           My God of mercy."

                                        (Psalm 59:17 NKJV)

 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
      And lean not on your own understanding
       In all your ways acknowledge Him,
      And He shall direct your paths."

                                        (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)


Rev. John Heintzman
Evangelist Non-Denominational
Any questions, comments, prayer requests?

POHOM Columbus, Ohio
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