(Part 2 of 4)
Deuteronomy 2:25… “This day will I begin to put the dread of thee and the fear of thee upon the nations that are under the whole heaven, who shall hear report of thee, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of thee” (KJV). The Lord was telling Moses that the Canaanite nations would tremble and have anguish because of the Lord’s power in Israel. When the Lord comes, He comes in power.
Job 7:11… “Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul” (KJV). Job hurt so much that even his talking added to the pain he already had.
Psalm 119:143-144… “Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights. The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live” (KJV). King David was saying, “I have anguish in my soul. Yet in my anguish, God’s rules of conduct have taken hold in my soul. In my anguish, Your testimonies give me understanding, and I live by them.”
Romans 8:35-39 declares that there is nothing that can stop God’s love from reaching you in times of your anguished spirit. Verse 35 reads, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (KJV). The word “separate” refers to a communication breach. In other words, there is nothing that can stop Jesus from reaching you when you hurt. There is nothing that can stop the love of Christ from coming to help when your spirit and body are going through a hard time. No matter how hard your grief is, Jesus can reach you. The early church faced extreme hardships because of persecution by the Romans. God’s grace was there, yet many saints lived in anguish of spirit. Paul comforts them with God’s plan for them–the overcoming life. Paul says, “What shall we say to these things? That God is for us.” There are forces that war against you in order to break your spirit and to cause a separation between you and the Lord.
Paul lists seventeen things in Romans 8:35-39 that can cause anguish of heart. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (KJV).
Proverbs 3:25-26 reads, “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken” (KJV). All of the things that Paul lists can bring on sudden fear and anguish of heart.
Tribulation… Pressures of life, tight spots, burdens, hardships, afflictions, trial by fire… There is no pressure or hardship that can stop Jesus’ love from reaching you when you hurt. Just because you experience anguish of heart does not mean that the Lord has stopped talking to you.
Distress… Mental pain, misery, torment, standing alone as if you were stranded, a narrow place, hemmed in… Jesus’ love is a bridge over troubled waters. If you feel that you are alone, build bridges, not walls. Distress can bring anguish of spirit, but there is no distress big enough to keep God from talking to you.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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