Pains of the Heart – Part 2

When pain lasts longer than expected, a constructive attitude is paramount. Attitude greatly determines how we apply tools to master and recover from pain. Attitude also determines our willingness to receive help and strength from others, particularly help from God and His Word.
Pains of the Heart – Part 2As believers, Paul tells us that, regarding sanctification, we are to be made new in the attitude of your minds (Ephesians 4:23). Some pains come as the result of still living a pre-salvation lifestyle. The old-life sinful patterns of attitude and behaviour need replacing (Eph 4:22, 23) with righteous Christlike attitudes and behaviour for recovery to initiate. Therefore, a Christ-centred, Bible grounded attitude of mind is critical.

Sometimes the pains which are not directly resulting from sin can be more difficult to understand and navigate. Medical issues, accidents, the death of loved ones, governmental and societal issues, educational, employment, business, and freakish (grossly unconventional) events in life can all send believers into a downward spiral of inner heart pain. These events, or similar, can cause compounding emotional and spiritual trauma we never thought possible.

It can be especially difficult when tragedy follows a period of comfort and ease. The human heart often tells itself that you are entitled to permanent comfort and ease, but life is simply not like that for any of us. Speaking as someone who was inflicted with almost indescribable pain of every kind, Job 5:7 assures us that man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward. In this sin-cursed world, pain is inescapable, and we may never learn of a conclusive reason for it this side of heaven.

So, with these realities in our thinking, what are we to do? While you may have many questions, we shall consider just a few of the components. Instinctively we want a quick fix, a rapid escape plan, a reset that takes us back to a better time. But those types of miracles come very rarely and usually do not allow for heart recovery. Rather, the Lord makes His resources available to us through a humble and patient attitude that seeks God’s input, which usually comes through the assistance of other believers. Here, a humbly dependant attitude latches onto God’s Word, clinging tightly as the primary source of spiritual nourishment for recovery and maintenance. Even when outside medical or counselling help is needed, God’s Word remains both the primary and supplementary source of spiritual support.

Hope in God begins with belief and trust in the unfailing promises of His Word. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). God’s Word offers solid and affirmative truth from which we draw. Psalm 130:5-7 expresses an attitude of patient dependency well. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning… 7 For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is full redemption. With our expectation focused on God and resourced by God’s Word, let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23). Hope in God focuses our attention on God and His promises instead of being focused only on our circumstances, no matter now difficult they may be.

Pains of the heart typically amplify self-attention, while God’s Word amplifies God’s presence in your suffering. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me (Psalm 23:4).

To be continued…

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