Finding Comfort In A Simultaneously Beautiful And Painful World

Finding Comfort In A Simultaneously Beautiful And Painful World

How are we supposed to deal with all this?
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This beautiful world is so full of pain.

As I walk beneath blooming spring trees, feel the soft breeze, and hear birds singing joyfully, I reflect that, in the midst of the sublime beauty of life, we are all struggling to overcome terrible heartache.

Sometimes I feel silly for minding things so much. So many people live in far worse conditions than I do, without political, civil, or basic human rights. I am rich compared to so much of this world. I am healthy when people all around me suffer unfathomable physical, psychological, and spiritual pain.

But despite these differences, the truth is that each of us is hurting to one degree or another, and just because it is less obvious does not mean that it affects us any less powerfully.

Thinking about my interactions just yesterday, I am reminded of friends facing uncertainty and the fear of unknown challenges ahead. Friends of mine, both young and old, are dealing with health conditions over which they have little control. My own family is grieving losses of loved ones from death and separation.

And while I recognize the many ways I have been blessed, I still ache for my family, my friends, and the things in my own life which leave me feeling overwhelmed and alone.

These emotions can be forgotten for a moment. We can distract ourselves with work, school, people, activities. But when we stop and blink and breathe, we remember our pain, and even though we seem like we're functioning normally we realize that everything is not actually okay.

So what is the answer? We hope and pray to be delivered. But this life will never be pain-free. In the face of this seemingly futile struggle, what can we do?

The answer, for me, is sometimes less than admirable. I check my email, text messages, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube. I send off a couple quick messages, hoping friends will somehow realize what I'm feeling and offer some encouragement. But even when I obtain momentary pleasure or gratification from these things, the relief remains exactly that: momentary, fleeting, and ultimately unsatisfying.

The only true peace in my life comes from the God of Peace.

As I struggle in my own life and helplessly look on as loved ones struggle in theirs, I sometimes feel I can do nothing else but open my Bible. I don't always find a clear answer or directive for my situation, but I consistently find assurance of who God is, how he loves me, how he has forgiven and redeemed me, how I will be with him in Heaven someday soon.

Here are some verses I have been reading over and over again lately:

"My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins." (Psalm 25:15-18)
"You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways...
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me...
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you...
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!" (Psalm 139:1-17)


Pain and struggles are here to stay, at least for now. But the God of all comfort is also here, offering peace in the midst of life's storms, and also hope for perfect peace in the future.

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Corso

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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We Have Chains, But Jesus Can Break Them

Jesus came to call and love the sinners, not the righteous.

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After viewing the music video "Chain Breaker" by Zach Williams yesterday, I began to think about the meaning behind the words being sung. I suppose we all do that subconsciously, for when we like the message of a song, then we can fully appreciate the song in its entirety. We hear a song, we like it and we find our identity behind a song. In the music video, Zach Williams is playing "Chain Breaker" to a whole room full of prison inmates.

Seeing Zach play to this room of inmates made me have a deeper meaning with our faith in God.

No, we are not convicted felons, but each and every person has their struggles, their "chains" so to speak. These chains can be different things like depression or even drug and alcohol addiction.

Because we have these chains, we are as bound and hopeless like people who are in prison, unless we turn to God for hope and strength.

While I have never been to prison, I know people who are or were in prison. They have described it to be a terrible place. Things happen in prison that are hard to take in, like "shivving" (stabbing someone with a shiv, a knife made from things like toothbrushes), solitary confinement (being thrown into a dark padded room for days and weeks at a time, with no one to talk to) and sometimes even group fights (people taking turns beating you up).

Prison inmates need God's love and mercy like we need it.

No sin is too severe for the Lord to forgive. In God's eyes, we are no better than people who are in prison. God loves us all the same. In the music video, I saw prison inmates shouting and worshipping the Lord, hands extended up in the air in worship.

In the Bible, Jesus Christ Our Lord called Matthew to be a disciple of Him. When the Pharisees (people who were steadfast and unwavering in the Mosaic law) saw that Jesus called Matthew, a tax collector (tax collectors were highly despised at the time and was known to forcibly take money from people) and was accepting of Matthew eating with Him, they criticized Jesus for it. Jesus heard this and replied "Those who are well, have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." (Mark 2:17)

Jesus came to heal and love the broken, the people without hope, the people who were looked down upon by the Pharisees.

Reading about Jesus healing and loving people who were sinners (like prostitutes) gives me hope that He can love me. I view myself as no better than people who are in prison or people who like to do evil. We all are sinners. We all will have to answer to God for what we have done in this life. My answer will be "I entrust my heart and my soul to Jesus Christ, My Lord."

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