Turn to God When You Are in Pain

AUTHOR: Holy Scripture

READ:

Read or listen to Psalm 13 and Revelation 21.

For the choir director. A psalm of David.
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long will I store up anxious concerns within me,
agony in my mind every day?
How long will my enemy dominate me?

Consider me and answer, Lord my God.
Restore brightness to my eyes;
otherwise, I will sleep in death.
My enemy will say, “I have triumphed over him,”
and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

But I have trusted in your faithful love;
my heart will rejoice in your deliverance.
I will sing to the Lord
because he has treated me generously.

 

REVELATION 21

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.

Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things have passed away.

Then the one seated on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give to the thirsty from the spring of the water of life. The one who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God, and he will be my son. But the cowards, faithless, detestable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars—their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

Then one of the seven angels, who had held the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues, came and spoke with me: “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” He then carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, arrayed with God’s glory. Her radiance was like a precious jewel, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. The city had a massive high wall, with twelve gates. Twelve angels were at the gates; the names of the twelve tribes of Israel’s sons were inscribed on the gates. There were three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. The city wall had twelve foundations, and the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb were on the foundations.

The one who spoke with me had a golden measuring rod to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. The city is laid out in a square; its length and width are the same. He measured the city with the rod at 12,000 stadia. Its length, width, and height are equal. Then he measured its wall, cubits according to human measurement, which the angel used. The building material of its wall was jasper, and the city was pure gold clear as glass. The foundations of the city wall were adorned with every kind of jewel: the first foundation is jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates are twelve pearls; each individual gate was made of a single pearl. The main street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.

I did not see a temple in it, because the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never close by day because it will never be night there. They will bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. Nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those written in the Lamb’s book of life.

The written Scripture is CSB, however, the audio Scripture is ESV.

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Day 1 of 7 Holy Week Contemplation

FOCUS:

Turn to God When You Are in Pain

By Jonathan Neef

How do you typically respond when you experience deep pain and suffering? Do you run to Netflix and try to forget? Do you turn to a substance or coping mechanism to try and numb the pain? Do you turn inward and tell lies to yourself, trying to convince yourself or others that you are okay? 

This psalm offers a different place to go with pain. First, the psalm begins with “For the choir director.” Psalm 13 is written for a choirmaster to lead people in a corporate song of lament. It is instructional for where we are to go when we are in pain. Express your pain and lament, maybe even out loud or with others, to the one who made you.

Second, the psalm says, “How long Lord?” This phrase is repeated four times in the first two verses. Do you see who it’s addressed to? The Lord. We are to direct our pain to God. 

Perhaps this seems like an obvious place to start, but pause for a second to recognize how amazing this is. When in your deepest and darkest places of pain, the God of the universe invites you to bring your pain to him! Why? Because he cares. And because he has done something about it.

During Holy Week we see Jesus die on the cross for the brokenness of this world so that one day we can experience life with him where there is no more death, sorrow,  pain, or suffering (Revelation 21). This reality is not yet fully realized, so for now we still experience pain but one day things will be different. 

In light of this, direct your pain to God today. Bring him your tears, sorrows, pains, and suffering. Turn to God when you are in pain. 

PRAY:

Lord, I lament __________________. Grant me the courage to see your faithfulness and care for me even in the midst of my suffering. Speak stillness to my heart and heal me from anxiety. 

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