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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Three Ways God Shares Your Pain BY RICK WARREN — DECEMBER 24, Thursday

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34:18 NLT, second edition)
I don’t know what pain you’re in this Christmas. I certainly don’t know what caused the pain. But I know that God understands it.
God is not some distant force. Nor is he callous. The Bible teaches that God enters into our pain. And he doesn’t just care about your pain; he feels it, too. He shares your pain. The Bible says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed” (Psalm 34:18 NLT, second edition).
I can know this even though I don’t know anything about your pain. Why? Because I know God. And I know the Trinity — Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each part of the Trinity is active in your life as you experience pain.
First, your heavenly Father shares your pain.
God understands and shares your pain because he wired you. He’s the one who gave you the ability to experience pleasure and pain. The Bible says it like this: “He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do” (Psalm 33:15 NIV). He understands emotions because God is an emotional God. The only reason you have emotions is because you’re made in God’s image. If God didn’t have emotions, you wouldn’t have emotions.
Second, Jesus understands your pain.
Jesus understands your pain because he’s been there. He’s suffered, too. He’s been betrayed, abandoned, and fatigued — just like you. He came to Earth and lived a fully human life. He experienced everything we experience in human form. The Bible says of Jesus, “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do” (Hebrews 4:15a NLT, second edition).
Third, the Holy Spirit prays for you as you experience pain.
The Bible says, “The moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayers out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans”(Romans 8:26 MSG).
The Bible says when you’re in pain, the Holy Spirit makes prayers for you out of wordless sighs and aching groans. He understands your pain. He knows what you’re feeling. And he turns those feelings into prayers.
If you’re hurting, you don’t have to go through it alone. God understands your pain because he created your emotions. Jesus knows your pain from firsthand experience. And the Holy Spirit is praying for you.
Talk It Over
  • God never leaves you alone to deal with your pain. How do you respond to that?
  • What pain have you dealt with where you had difficulty believing God was right there with you? Why?
  • Who in your life needs to hear this message? How can you share it with that person?
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