Dissipating the Dark Cloud of Sadness

“The human spirit can endure a sick body,
but who can bear a crushed spirit?”
Proverbs 18:14 (NLT)

Anyone who has taken steps to heal wounds left from the trauma of domestic violence and abuse can speak to the residual emotional pain it causes. A person can move past the situations and conditions where they were exposed to abuse. We can put it long behind us, but this doesn’t mean that we’re healed and delivered from the effects of it. You can be doing your own thing, going about your humdeedumdum business, and all of a sudden, “WHAMMM!!!” It hits you like a ton of bricks. It’s an avalanche of heaviness that looms over your life like a dark cloud, and it just knocks you for a loop. You can’t shake it, and you can’t explain why you feel so bad.

It is almost unheard of to expect a child, 4 or 5 years of age, to lead a company of soldiers into combat or to go to work every day and support an entire family. Most mature and intelligent individuals understand these are unreasonable expectations for a person so young. It is, however, conceivable that a child could have the mental prowess for extraordinary accomplishments, but he or she wouldn’t have the emotional or physical development to carry out such things. Most of us can certainly fathom the absurdity in placing overwhelming burdens on a young one, but when it comes to the overburdening that we have experienced ourselves, some of us are not nearly as compassionate as we should be.

In Matthew 11:28-30, Our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” One of the reasons that millions fall madly in love with Jesus Christ is because the record of him in the bible testifies of his goodness. He walked upon this earth being both fully human and fully God. He’s our High Priest, and Hebrews 4:15 says that he was tempted in every way that a human can be, but never sinned. This verse tells us that he understands what we go through. He has intimate knowledge of our weaknesses and shortcomings.

Jesus Christ is brilliant and supremely intelligent. He would not tell us to do something unless it is absolutely necessary for us to get it done. He knows that we’re going to go through things in life that will completely overwhelm our mental and emotional resources. He also knows that the burden of those experiences is too much for us to carry. As a way of preserving ourselves, many of us buried those feelings long ago. We pressed them down deep and may not have realized we did this. The thing is, nothing stays buried unless it’s dead. Residual pain and sadness from traumatic experiences doesn’t die. It must be released, and this is a process that our Lord and Savior will help us walk through.

For years too many to number, believers have suffered sadness in silence. Many were too ashamed to speak their own personal truth about what they’ve endured, and for some, pain is buried so deep that they’re unable to call a spade a spade. Like me, they wake up one morning not wanting to face the day and not knowing why. If you’ve suffered prior abuse or any traumatic event and you’re experiencing overwhelming sadness, it is very important that you know it’s possible to dissipate the dark cloud over your life. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. My prayer is that you will ask the Lord Jesus Christ for help and trust him to divinely connect you with people, relationships, and resources that will bring you into the light and help you stay there.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Dissipating the Dark Cloud of Sadness”  
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

How many times do we tell ourselves that things are going to get better? But day after day, we end up with the same set of disappointing circumstances. You think to yourself, “Hey, I may not be perfect, but I’m a pretty nice person. I treat others with kindness and try not to hurt anyone. When is my time coming? When am I going to catch a break?” I think we would be absolutely amazed to know how many people are feeling the same way. You do your best to run the race that is before you, but you’re feeling like your tank is running a little low. When it’s filled, you don’t want regular, you want high-test. You want the premium stuff. Life is short, and it’s about time for you to experience a little bit of high-octane living.

One of the most quintessential questions asked by anyone inquisitive about the way in which the universe works is “Do bad things happen to good people?” The answer to this question is a resounding “YES!” Indeed, bad things do happen to good people. But how does this square with what we’ve been taught about the moral compass of religious discipline? How does it line up with John 10:10, where Jesus Christ tells us that he came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly? If we are to access what he came to earth to provide, how is it that we can’t access it by being the good people he wants us to be?

It is baked into most people’s psyche that good people are supposed to win. There are many cases, some very public, where the appearance of this belief doesn’t seem to pan out. I don’t know about you, but I can think of many instances where folks that are compassionate, caring, supportive, and sensitive are stepped on. Their kindness is taken for weakness, and they seem to always get the raw end of the deal. It may seem this way sometimes, but God is the One with the final say, and He tells us that if we patiently endure, we will reap the reward.

In order that you and I can have a springboard from which to jumpstart a true understanding of why we’re here and more than that, how to live authentically through Christ, we must make new room in our brain cells for a reality of existence that exceeds the realm of what we call ‘good’. To be frank, according to the truth spoken by Christ in Matthew 19:17(NLT), “There is only One who is good.” And this ‘One’ is God the Father. Our good works and His goodness are nowhere in the same vicinity. As students of Christ, we are learning on earth to become more like him with each passing day, and whether our level of goodness will pass the heavenly sniff test remains to be seen. Our motives are not always pure. But despite our flaws and weaknesses, the reality is that even with our shortcomings, we are sons and daughters of God, and brothers and sisters of Christ. How we come to grips with this awesome privilege and honor, as well as the level of our gratitude for it, will measure the degree to which we live completely, fully, and wholly in the bliss of his glory.

The reality is that just being what we call ‘good’ and sincere is to not going to provide access to the kind of life we want. Something more than being a good person is required of us. After Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist, he was led in the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, and there he fasted 40 days and nights. Afterwards, he was very hungry, and it’s not too much of a stretch to say that his strength was not at full capacity. It was in this very vulnerable state that our Lord and Savior was tempted by the devil.

No greater kindness, compassion, love, and humility exists than that of Jesus Christ. If there was anyone who deserved to be exempt from the darkness of evil and bad things, it was him. Yet, we find him facing this extreme evil at a very challenging time. The devil tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread, but Jesus would not acquiesce to the devil’s level. How did he face it? Matthew 4:4(NLT) tells us exactly how he handled the temptation. He said, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

God tells us in Galatians 6:9-10 that we should never get tired of performing good deeds, and we should do them as often as we have opportunity. He tells us to do good to everyone, especially our brothers and sisters in Christ, but we should be clear that our goodness and sincerity doesn’t exempt us from challenges in life. The issue isn’t what we face, but HOW we face it! We are to lean upon the strength of God. Isaiah 40:29(NLT) tells us, He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” Just like our Master Jesus, we must know that true goodness is every word that comes from the mouth of God. His Word is life to us, and if we place our trust in it, He tells us that in due season we will reap a harvest of blessings.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!