WHEN YOUR HEART HURTS Andy Hollifield 1-16-19
2 Kings 20:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amos came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.
Have you ever had things on your mind that just make your heart hurt? I don’t really know any other way to say it but that way. It may be something you’ve been told or something you have seen or read or maybe something you have faced yourself. It’s not that it makes you mad or puts you on a pity party, but it just hurts down deep into your soul and you just can’t seem to let it go. Let it go. I would like to see someone show me how to do that. I have heard well-intentioned folks say, “Just take it to the Lord in prayer.” That sounds real easy and it is good advice but you stop praying at some point and then your mind is right back where it was. What I have found out is that those same well-intentioned folks have the same struggle I do when it lands on their doorstep. None of us are super-spiritual and we are only fooling ourselves if we think we are.
I am not writing this to bring anyone down but more so to let you know that you aren’t the only one that has ever been there. Satan likes to use it against us when we get broadsided by life so to speak. When we get disappointed in a big way by family or friends that we thought would always be there for us, it takes a lot out of you. Even when you just are disappointed maybe with the choices someone is making that you have seen the outcome of but they won’t heed your advice. Sometimes it is even brought on by the death of a loved one that you can’t imagine living without. It is hard to describe but it is a breath-taking kind of hurt literally. You find yourself gasping and you sob uncontrollably and just groaning inside and just can’t find relief. It is not your average kind of hurt but the kind that affects everything from your mood, concentration, and even your eating and sleep patterns. I am talking about the kind of hurt that if you do sleep, when you wake up, it starts all over again and it’s not any better.
I am sure by now each of you have thought about those places in your life when your heart hurt beyond what you thought you were able to bear. Can you imagine how Hezekiah must have felt when Isaiah brought word from the Lord concerning his death? Hezekiah had followed the Lord and tried to live pleasing to him but had now fallen sick. He was near death when Isaiah came and told him that he would not be healed. When you are sick, you don’t feel well and sure don’t take tragic news very well. Do you think maybe he wondered why, after all he had done and been faithful, why did he have to die? In 1 Kings 20:3 he makes his appeal to the Lord and then it says, “Hezekiah wept sore.” Sore is defined as suffering mental pain or being grieved, distressed, or sorrowful. Aren’t you glad in those times that God is “…the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3).
“Mercies” is plural in that verse meaning more than one. Also he is “the God of ALL comfort.” I am thankful that in those times when my heart hurts, God has got all I need. There are verses I could give you to encourage you but the problem is when you get to that place, just knowing or being told scripture seems empty and unable to help you. One of those times in my life was when we lost our first child due to miscarriage. I am a preacher and fairly well read in the scriptures. To put it plain; I knew all of the scriptures that my dad kept quoting trying to help me. They just seemed to ring hollow in my ears that day. I had quoted them many times to other people, but when you get in a place where your heart hurts, only a touch from God will do. Psalms 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” The psalmist uses the word “refuge” 18 times throughout the book. It is used 16 times speaking of the Lord being his refuge. “Refuge” is defined as anything to which one has recourse for aid, relief, or escape. We may not always be able to escape our troubles but we can sure run to the Lord for relief. By the way, when Hezekiah prayed; God heard and healed him and added fifteen years to his life.
So if you are in that place where your heart hurts, don’t give up on the Lord. Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Wait on him. Remember he said, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” When your heart hurts, wait on him. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!