(Adapted from Jimmy’s newest book, When Life Hurts)
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
Some may read this and think Jesus is saying that sadness is a blessing. But that’s simply not true. It hurts to mourn. It is painful. Mourning for the sake of mourning is not a blessing. What Jesus really meant is, “When life gets hard, bring your pain to me and I will comfort you.”
The blessing is that we have a savior to lean on in times of pain—and we all have pain. That pain impacts our actions, and our actions reveal its depth.
When I see a young wife in my office in tears because she can’t open up sexually to her new husband, I don’t assume it’s because she doesn’t love him. It’s not her heart, but her pain that causes her to hold back.
She may have experienced sexual or physical abuse as a child. Perhaps she grew up with the message that sex was dirty or wrong. The pain holds her heart hostage.
When I see a man struggling with alcoholism, I never assume it’s because he has a wicked heart. The bottle is simply his way of soothing a deep-seated pain.
To deal with his emotional wounds, he began drowning his sorrows in alcohol—until the addiction took over. He doesn’t drink because he’s evil, but because he hurts.Pain has to be dealt with, one way or another. Left to our own devices, we always deal with it in the wrong way. We medicate ourselves with food, drugs, alcohol or sex. We motivate ourselves with unhealthy ambition or busyness. Some of us deal with our pain by meditating on it: becoming obsessed with it and wallowing in our misery.
Right or wrong, we all deal with pain in some way, utilizing the above coping mechanisms to get by. But we will never find true healing until we stop struggling to overcome our pain on our own and instead give our wounded hearts to God.
1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you.”
In Jesus, we have a place to go to find healing. He can bring supernatural healing to even the most devastating wounds—the ones found deep within the hurt pocket of our spirits.
There is no wound God cannot heal, no pain He cannot remove, no sorrow so deep He can’t resolve it. But first we must give the pain to Him.
We must take the first step and let Him in. We must find the strength to open our hearts and surrender the deepest, darkest, most wounded regions of our spirits to God. We must say, “I’m in such pain, Lord. I need your blessing.” That’s not an easy thing to do.
If you’ve never acknowledged your pain to God, I encourage you to do that today. Cast your anxieties upon Him. Own the depth of your sorrow, and give God access to the most painful parts of your heart.
Only then will true healing begin.