(November 18, 2022) S. Sam Selva Raj encourages troubled hearts…

During times of adversity, when we ask friends or doctors for counsel, they may console us by saying, ‘Don’t worry, everything will be all right.’  Comforting words… but we can receive even greater comfort from God!

But, when we experience times of sorrow, pain and affliction, and our problems multiply, we can lose hope.

  • We shouldn’t… but it can happen.
  • If we’re not clear about God’s leading in our lives, we can worry much.
  • Contemplating some sorrowful event, we could wrongly think, ‘Has this happened without God’s knowledge?’ 

We must remember that nothing happens in our lives without God knowing! If we trust Him, our present sorrow will surely be turned into joy!

So don’t be afraid!
Jesus spoke about sorrow and weeping in John 16, adding in verse 20, ‘… your sorrow will be turned into joy.’ He also promised in Matthew 5:4, ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.’

We might think that blessed people are those who enjoy all sorts of material comforts. But the Lord says that even those who mourn are blessed! He who knows everything, knows that He can turn our mourning into joy!

Sorrows may arise due to unemployment, sickness, lack of money, problems at work or in the family, worries about the future, and so on. Whatever our sorrow, the Lord says that all of us who pass through such difficult times are blessed and that we shall be comforted, difficult situations being turn into joyful ones.

Although promised this a long time ago, this is still relevant today! Henceforth be happy and rejoice. ‘Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time’ declares 1 Peter 5:6.

As we look to God during our weakness, sickness, poverty, discouragement, sorrow or whatever is troubling us, we can hear Him speaking to us and sense His touch. That is why the Lord says, ‘Blessed are those who mourn.’

Trusting God
The apostle Paul experienced something painful and prayed for it to be removed. But God said, ‘My grace is sufficient for you: for My strength is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12:9). Despite troubles that came his way, Paul could have lead a happy and contented  life, knowing the Lord’s touch and hearing His voice. He joyously added, ‘Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me… I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.’ 

When we are in deep trouble, we wish to wriggle out of it. But, instead of depending on our own strength, if we lean on God, we can surely feel the Lord’s touch. If we can handle such times with care and patience, we can be gifted with enormous changes and blessings.

Take David, the psalmist… he would go into the presence of God and plead before Him whenever he was surrounded by troubles, even when he had committed mistakes and found himself in deep trouble. And the Lord delivered him from all his problems, blessing and comforting him, and turning all his sorrows into joy.

Are you walking in the path of adversity? Don’t look for ways outside of God to come out of your problems! The consequence of following worldly ways could lead you into greater dangers, troubles and failures. Trust the Lord regarding all your problems, and He would fulfill your desires.

Here’s some of life’s troubles God can help with…

1. Soul melting from heaviness
When heaviness hurts deeply, it can be difficult to avoid worrying. A psalmists wrote this – ‘My soul melts from heaviness’ (Psalm 119:28NKJV).

David had his own numerous times of heaviness – first through his father-in-law, King Saul, then with his son, Absalom, and many times through the people and kings of other countries.

But because he leaned on God, all his afflictions and troubles were turned into great joy! In Psalm 30:3, David declared, ‘Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.’ And in Psalm 63:8, ‘My soul clings to you; Your right hand takes hold of me.’

Many of us also have to walk through difficult times. Hearts are broken and, sadly, some Christians attempt to commit suicide; even sadder, some have! If we turn to mere men or women to get advice, they may mislead us. But if we wholly rely on and keep faith in God in the midst of worries and shedding of tears, He will definitely comfort us and lead us through them.

When  troubles multiply, we should spend more time in reading the Bible, and expect a wonderful deliverance from God. Just like He delivered those mentioned in scripture who also underwent sufferings, God will do greater things than what you expect in your life.

I would share personally here: During my own various hardships I have depended only on God in full faith, and by reading His word loudly and meditating on His promises. I marked some verses in my Bible, the dates on which I heard God’s voice within, and obtained unbelievable great victories! If you also do the same, victory is sure!

2. Eyes wasting away
‘My eye wastes away because of affliction’ (Psalm 88:9NKJV). ‘Waste’… that’s dâ’ab  mourning, sorrowful. If one is very sad, one can feel a change in our vision. NASB reads, ‘My eye grows dim from misery.’ Sadness reduces the thinking capacity, causes sleeplessness, and endangers one to lose all hope about the future. What can we do to come out of this? To deal with discouragement, pray to God, centring on Him by lifting your hands in worship!

That psalm above goes on: ‘Lord, every day I call to you and lift my hands to you in prayer’(GNB). We can spend so much time on own matters, giving preference to worldly benefits, entertainment and television and neglect talking to God who can bring about great victories.

Lifting hands in worship means your attention, thoughts and trust are centred on God when praying. This is how David worshipped when calling out to God: ‘… hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to you! Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice! (Psalm 141:1b-2).

Where is your attention today? From whom do you expect help?

3.  Spirit within broken
The writer of Proverbs points out that ‘A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken’ (15:13).

Often broken objects can be reconstruted. But a broken spirit, no doctor or psychiatrist can easily mend. Problems we face in this world can cause broken hearts. There is only one way to overcome these setbacks and that is by going to God. Psalm 122:1 is good advice: ‘I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord.

It is very important to be in a good church with people who truly praise and worship the Lord. There you can sense the Holy Spirit as you too worship the Lord, clapping your hands, lifting them high above your head, kneeling if so led, in a church where Jesus is being worshipped in spirit and truth. Then as you call on God you will be filled with joy and happiness; there is potential for miracles and healings, your sickness to disappear, even any witchcraft done against you will become powerless and you can believe to be permanently delivered from all bondages.

We experience this kind of worship in our Echo of His Call Multilingual Church. What great joy and how happy we are! What peace we enjoy! And we pray earnestly for troubled souls, believing for answers, even miraculous ones! In this connection –

  • Pastors, lead your church in this kind of worship and help people get released from bondages!
  • Readers, church is a place where the Lord gives hope to the hopeless and happiness to the unhappy and you can be blessed. ‘Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God’ says Psalm 92:13.

4.  Depression
Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression.’(Proverbs 12:25).

Troubles can lead to depression which can cause other troubles such as heart attack. When people are depressed they cannot think freely, and some problems can lead to making some extreme decisions!

Some have left home and searched for a place where they can get some peace. Some try many ways to solve their problems and when they fail, they  take extreme steps! Some, sadly, have committed suicide.

Though David met with numerous  problems, he had a strong faith in the Lord. ‘… greatly distressed, … David strengthened himself in the Lord his God’ (1 Samuel  30:6).

David’s response to troubles
Afflictions and troubles come about in different ways.
David certainly experienced his: ‘My adversaries pursue me all day long (Psalm 56:2).

Sometimes we lose confidence in ourselves, ending up with a very dangerous disposition. Fear and doubts will make even a powerful man like David feel useless… but his redeeming attitude was to call on God: ‘When I am afraid, I put my trust in you’(v3).

Proving his God, David was able to further declare, ‘… my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me’ (v9) and ‘in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?’(v11). And he joyfully ended this psalm with ‘For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life’ (v13)! 

Stand strong with Jesus!
Fear is a spirit of darkness that can keep us away from God. Therefore resist it, obliterate that evil spirit from your life! Paul declared, ‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind’ (2 Timothy 1:7).

Take an aggressive stand against the spirit of fear! The greatest weapon a believer has against the enemy is the blood of Jesus. Every time you use it, the enemy is stalled frozen in his tracks. Let the devil tremble, not you!

Though unexpected situations may arise in our lives daily, we should never forget that our God is always with us. Psalms 34:19NKJV declares: ‘Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.’

When we walk through difficult times, we should not think it is the end. Understand that though even upright Christians may face troubles, God will deliver us from every situation and we can live happily! But… are you a righteous person? Have you genuinely asked Jesus to forgive your sins?

God is powerful enough to compensate all that we have lost and bless us with long life and happiness. The Lord can work wonders for you. But there are some things that you must do…
a) Fear not, don’t be discouraged!
b) Trust the Lord!
c) Believe in His power to perform miracles!
d) Although you have friends, lean primarily on Him!

Surely miracles will happen… ‘Your mourning will turn into joy!’ (Psalm 30:11).

Dr S Sam Selva Raj founded Echo of His Call church and ministries, Chennai. For over 50 years he has established and overseen many community outreaches blessing thousands, including Nehemiah Bible College, St  Paul’s Matriculation School, postal and online Bible correspondence/theological courses, and Echo of His Call – India’s National Spiritual Newspaper printed monthly in 16 languages (believing for additional readership this November). Links:

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