Letting Go of Pain, Holding On to Faith

I want to invite you on a journey of faith, one that reveals the love of God and how He can help you overcome private pain. What is private pain? It is severe emotional and mental distress that, for one reason or another, you keep to yourself. Many things in life can cause private pain. We all experience it at one time or another, especially when we lose someone or something that’s very important to us.

Of course, losses happen for a variety of reasons. It could be that someone close to you has passed away. Maybe you’ve gone through a painful divorce and have been separated from your children. Perhaps you’ve lost your job or business. The list goes on and on.

Private pain from suffering a loss leads to experiencing grief, which often results in going through a common psychological process called the grief cycle. During this process, you go through different stages of mourning until you come through on the other side. It’s important for you to understand how this process works, so you can fully release your pain and keep moving forward with your life.

It’s also essential for you to understand how, especially when you’re hurting, you can still trust God and have hope for the future. Something happens to us psychologically when we love God, yet we are hit with hardships and trials we can’t make sense of or have long-term needs that go unfulfilled. We ask ourselves why we have to go through these things at all. Why does God allow them?

I encourage you: No matter what it takes, hold on to your faith in God. Moving out of faith can be a subtle process. Staying in faith is a vital part of releasing your pain, coming all the way through the grief process, and fulfilling your God-given destiny. Now, if by chance you’re not certain you’ve received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, then it’s vital for you to receive Him so you can be fully restored. Jesus cares for you more than you know.

We all have issues. We have all been challenged, yet we’re all different. Everyone has his or her own fingerprints, even identical twins. But private pain is like a bullet. It has no gender, ethnic group, or race. Pain doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you’re wealthy or poor, young or old, male or female. Pain is pain. So we must remember: though each of us experiences and handles private pain in different ways, we must all come through the grief process.

If you feel trapped and isolated in your pain, then let me encourage you. You’re not alone. There is hope and help for you.

Exposing Private Pain: The Light Shines in Darkness

...as I pondered what had happened to my son, I became angry . . . first of all, with God. I said to the Lord, “Now, how can I serve You and minister to so many people, and have something like this happen to me? This was my son. I’ve been ministering Your Word and pushing people to their next level; helping their children and prophesying into their lives. I’ve been pouring out my heart for ministry, and my son, my flesh and blood, my namesake, Larry Lawrence Brandon, III, has been ripped out of my life.”

I had to admit: Not only was I angry at God, I was livid with anyone who had had anything at all to do with my son’s untimely death. I even had thoughts of avenging his death.

I thank God for His tender mercies and for the light of Jesus in my soul. As I continued to cry out before Him, He spoke to my spirit. A scripture passage came to my heart . . . Psalm 61:1-4, which is on the first page of this chapter. As I remembered these words, God strengthened me:

O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer!
From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my
heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter
of your wings!

The Lord is a refuge of hope, strength, and peace in our time of need. He is a “safe place” for us to hide when we’re broken and at the end of ourselves. Have you experienced His tender, healing touch in your darkest hour? I certainly hope so. Nothing in this world can compare to it. When God reminds you of His Word and comforts you, it goes to the depths of your soul. It soothes your pain and gives you indescribable peace. It gives you hope when everything around you tells you that all hope is gone.

That psalm was so calming to me. Not only did it confirm the cry of my heart, it also reminded me that God understood my pain. He would keep me safe under the shelter of His wings as I walked through this painful process. That night I went home comforted by the Lord. I said, “All right, Lord. You’ve helped me all these years; You can help me through this as well.”

Faith Check

Let me close this chapter with a word of advice: When you hold on to your pain, you’re letting go of your faith in that area. I have learned this lesson well. But as you hold on to your faith in God, you let go of the pain that holds you in darkness. You have eternal treasure, the light of life, within you. Sometimes letting it shine in the dark can be very different than you think . . . but it is powerfully productive.

The American writer, Washington Irving, once said: “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief . . . and unspeakable love.”1 When you cry out to the Lord, His strength is made perfect in your weakness. So don’t be afraid of the dark. And don’t try to escape your tears. They can release light and life to everyone around you.

What is your private pain? Have you been holding it in, not wanting to expose it to others? If so, why? Don’t answer too quickly. Let’s pause and bow our hearts before the Lord in prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, we come into Your presence with thanksgiving. Thank You for giving us life and light. You are our “safe refuge” when our hearts are overwhelmed, an everpresent help in our time of need. Hide us under the shelter of Your wings and expose our private pain. Bring everything to mind that we need to let go of so the healing process can begin. We submit ourselves to You, Lord. Thank You for the treasure You have placed within us, because Your light overcomes darkness. In Your name we pray. Amen.

Now take some time to reflect, and then answer the questions as openly and honestly as you can. Write your thoughts in a journal if you’d like. Then submit your private pain to the Lord. Settle it in your heart that when God calls upon you to shine in the darkness you will trust Him and obey.

 excerpt from: Treasures in the Darkness: Letting Go of Pain, Hold on to Faith by L. Lawrence Brandon. Copyright ©2013 by Abingdon Press. Used with permission. Order information below.

comments powered by Disqus