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10 Assurances to Re-Remember When All You See is Despair

  • Jessica Van Roekel
10 Assurances to Re-Remember When All You See is Despair

The morning sun rose that Easter morning, and sunrise services celebrating Christ’s resurrection took place in churches throughout our little farming community. But I lay in bed. Mourning death. My eyes told my mind it was light, but my heart screamed that it was dark. The prior day found me curled in a fetal position hoping to stop the loss of my pregnancy. It didn’t. And I plunged into a dark pit of depression and despair.

What do you do when your world lies in ashes? What do you do when the very thing you prayed for doesn’t happen? Do you doubt God’s goodness to you in these moments? Do you stand with your fist shaking at the sky, demanding answers and hearing nothing?

Oh, my heart, yes, yes, and yes. We need to give voice to the whole spectrum of our hurt, anguish, and despair and then re-remember the following truths.

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God Is Faithful

God Is Faithful

Lamentations 3:19-26 starts out with detailed descriptions of the writer’s emotional pain then ends with reminders that the Lord’s steadfast love never ceases, his mercies never end, and his faithfulness is unfailing. In your despair, re-remember that God is your portion and your hope. Soothe your heartache by whispering this truth to yourself: God is faithful and merciful.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.’Lamentations 3:22-24 ESV

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God Is Your Salvation

God Is Your Salvation

The salvation Isaiah refers to in these verses echoes Exodus 15:2, which commemorates the defeat of the Egyptians at the Red Sea. After centuries of slavery and mere days of freedom, the Israelites found themselves trapped once more. It was death by sea or death by slavers. But God provided passage through the waters and protection from vengeful people. You might feel trapped like the Israelites did between two seemingly impossible situations. Trust God. Do not give way to fear. And wait for God to save you.

“‘Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.’ With joy you will draw wells of salvation.” Isaiah 12:2-3 ESV

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God Tenderly Leads You

God Tenderly Leads You

To tend indicates care, concern, and leaning in. God leans into our hurt and pain to gather us close to his heart. Quiet your soul; this might require leaning into your hurt. It’s distressing because we want to protect ourselves from pain. We wear our seatbelts, we’re careful around hot stoves, and we keep a well-stocked first aid kit. But when it comes to despair and emotional ache, God’s there in the midst of it, tenderly waiting for you to lean into him so he can lead you through it.

“He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead that are with young.Isaiah 40:11 ESV

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God Comforts You

God Comforts You

It’s easy to feel alone and that our sufferings don’t have purpose. It’s difficult to embrace the reality of our struggles when others around us don’t have the same problems as we do. But there is a bigger purpose in your suffering, and it’s this: God comforts you so you can comfort others. Receive the solace God gives you so that you can encourage others. God redeems our emotional pain by giving us opportunities to comfort others.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 ESV

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God Provides Rest

God Provides Rest

It’s okay to admit your fatigue and to slow down long enough to feel your exhaustion. You don’t have to keep striving to make a way up and over, around and through. You can rest in the arms of Jesus even in the midst of the struggle to deal with the grief, despair, or disappointment you feel. Resting in Christ isn’t a circumstantial-driven rest, but it’s a heart at rest because it’s trusting in the One who knows all, sees all, and is all.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

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God Loves You

God Loves You

God’s love for you is not dependent on answered prayers or unanswered prayers, on good circumstances or bad circumstances, on healed relationships or broken relationships. His love is dependent on himself. He loves you with an everlasting love that is given to us through our belief that Jesus is our Risen Lord and Savior. Yes, it will feel as though our lives are falling apart, that trouble seems to be around every bend in the road, or that we can’t quite get this living for God thing down. But God loves you through it all. He’s there to catch the broken pieces of your life, guide you through the trouble, and give you strength to say “yes” to righteous living.

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 ESV

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God Is Your Strength

God Is Your Strength

At times our lives will feel desolate. No flower. No fruit. No harvest. Whether we experience intense desert times or a time of severe pruning, we will look at the landscape of our lives and see nothing except barrenness. But because God is our strength, our rock, and our way, we can rejoice. Take joy not in the things that happen or don’t happen, but in God himself. He is our strength in all seasons.

“Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.Habakkuk 3:17-19 ESV

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God Is Your Light

God Is Your Light

It might be dark, and you might be afflicted, but you won’t be crushed. You might be confused, but you don’t have to despair. You might be persecuted, but God is with you. You might be down for the count, but you’re not destroyed. Why? Because you have the power that raised Jesus from the dead living in you. That’s your treasure. God in you, working through you, and enabling you to walk into unimaginable circumstances with grace and confidence because he is your light.

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” 2 Corinthians 4:6-10 ESV

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God Has A Purpose

God Has A Purpose

Do not lose heart, dear one. Hold fast to your faith. God has a purpose and he compels you to look beyond your circumstances to the glory that awaits you. Where you see a valley of dry bones, God sees an army. Where you see desolation, God sees new seeds being sown. Fields of corn and soybeans surround me, and the death and resurrection that each seed holds are marvelous. And then when it grows it produces a hundredfold more. Your struggles produce life when you allow God to use them.

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV

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God Is With You

God Is With You

You are not alone. Even when you feel at your most desperate, cling to the truth that God doesn’t leave you nor forsake you. In your darkest hours, hold fast. He will never, never, never abandon or forsake you. Be still. Be strong. Be courageous. And believe.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV

I felt more alone in my grief that Easter morning than I ever imagined I could feel. But God met me. He didn’t change my circumstances or the days leading up to the miscarriage. But he changed my heart by showing me his. These are the assurances that I re-remember when the way seems long and treacherous and I’ve lost my way. Cling to them, friend, and let them breathe hope into your weary heart.

Jessica Van Roekel is a woman on the journey to wholeness through brokenness. She believes that through Christ your personal histories don’t have to define your present or determine your future. Her greatest desire is to see you live this “God-life” with all the power and grace that God provides. Jessica lives in a rural community with her husband and four children. She leads worship on Sundays, but seeks to be a worshiper every day. You can connect with her at www.welcomegrace.com and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/yourJessicaVanRoekel

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