Sorrows and the Holy Spirit

Sorrows and grief are frequent happenings in the Bible. Along with sorrows, we find afflictions, troubles, pains, and distresses. These are sad events indeed!

Everyone likes to avoid situations that create troubles and sorrows. But alas, sorrow is a part of life. There is no getting around it, no escaping it! Sorrow and pain are not going away!

But Yahuwah Elohim [the Hebrew name for the LORD God], He offers the gift of His Holy Spirit to His children as the Comforter (John 14:16,26). The Holy Spirit is especially close to comfort us whenever we experience sorrow.

When we become a child of the heavenly Father by being born-again, then the Holy Spirit becomes our “very present help” in times of trouble and distress. The Holy Spirit is available to help us and remind us of Father’s love for us (Psalms 46:1 and 2Corinthians 1:3-4 and Romans 5:5).

B&W Tears in Your Bottle-1When we experience sorrows or distresses of any kind, there comes a certain kind of brokenness within us. When we are troubled, filled with grief and despair, then we are as a “broken vessel” (see Psalms 31), just as King David described.

Our sorrows and distresses are unique moments when we become more tender-hearted and vulnerable. This brokenness, though agonizing, and perhaps humiliating, does a heaven-sent work, deep in our hearts.

The heavenly Father is near to the broken-hearted! He understands our grief. He sees our tears of sorrow, and He gathers them into (carries them in) His bottle (Psalms 34:18 and Psalms 56:8 and Isaiah 53:3-4).

The tender-hearted-ness that results from sorrows is like a magnet to the Holy Spirit. When in sorrowful situations, that is the moment when the Holy Spirit is very near to us; that is the moment when we most need the Comforter! It is the moment when we should acknowledge our helplessness, and be open and willing to receive the Holy Spirit’s whispers of comfort and guidance.

An Impression to Pray

Many of us, whenever we experience a deep, distressing sorrow, the first thought we have is to pray — praying for help and mercy! This impression to pray is from the Holy Spirit!

In the midst of our sorrows, the Holy Spirit moves upon us, urging us to seek Father’s mercy and comfort, to seek to learn what Father is trying to teach us. This is a very valuable moment! It is a moment when our brokenness and sorrow should lead us into God’s grace and guidance, as well as work in us any necessary changes and repentance (2Corinthians 7:9-10).

Throughout the Scriptures, we can see that those who were in trouble or distress always cried out for help:

  • Asaph: In the day of my trouble I sought Yahuwah [the Lord] (Psalms 77:2).
  • David: Have mercy upon me, Yahuwah [the LORD], for I am in trouble (Psalms 31:9; see also Psalms 18:6; 9:13; 69:29; 86:7).
  • Hannah: And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto Yahuwah [the LORD], and wept sore. (1Samuel 1:10)
  • Jacob: Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed:… And Jacob said, O God … Yahuwah [the LORD] … Deliver me, I beg You… (Genesis 32:7-11)
  • Jonah: I called out to Yahuwah [the LORD], out of my distress, and He answered me (Jonah 2:2)
  • Moses: Moses cried unto Yahuwah [the LORD], saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me (Exodus 17:4)
  • The Saints: They cried unto Yahuwah [the LORD] in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses (Psalms 107).

These few examples teach us that sorrowful, ‘broken vessels’ are moved upon by the Holy Spirit to seek Father’s help. They pour out their heart in prayer, desperate for help from God! They know that God alone is their only hope in the midst of their trouble! ‘Broken vessels’ humble themselves under the moving of the Holy Spirit, groaning in their distress, weeping in their prayers for Father’s help (Romans 8:26).

When we experience sorrow and despair, who else but the Holy Spirit is moving upon us to pray for help? The devil would never urge us to pray for help!

Whatever the reason for our trouble and sorrow, it is usually the result of a great loss or else the result of sin — either our own sin, or the sin of others. The darkness and confusion of a great loss or someone’s sin is at the heart of what causes so much suffering and grief. Espcieally if sin is involved – sins of selfishness, pride, resentment, hatred — these things lead downward, leading to affliction, suffering, and heartache.

But the Scriptures reveal Yahuwah’s wonderful love for us, by showing us that He always answers desperate and sincere prayers for help. And that is the lesson for us, dear Thirsty Souls.

Lessons to Learn

When we are in the midst of troubles, difficulties, sorrows — weeping with tearful prayers, then there is something to learn. Do not fight it or resent it. Instead, recognize our vulnerability, for it is highly precious! It is a moment to earnestly seek Father’s help! It is a moment to quiet ourselves, and seek to learn the lesson Yahuwah wants to teach us or to receive the comfort He wants to give us. Brokenness is the time for reading the Scriptures for insight and guidance and comfort (see Psalms 119:18, 169; Romans 15:4).

If we will cry out to God for help, then little by little, we will discover that our sorrows are working in us – working a greater understanding, a better discernment, and, if necessary, true repentance and reconciliation into a rescue and salvation:

Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance, the heart is made better. (Ecclesiastes 7:3; see also 2Corinthians 7:10).

The major benefit of our sorrows is that we would humble ourselves and cry out to Yahuwah for help so that we can discern and receive His guidance!

If we have strayed from Father; if we have been living according to our ‘own’ ways; if we feel as though we have been ‘cut off’ from Him, then our sorrows are a means for calling us closer to Yahuwah [the LORD] with sincerity.

Will our sorrows make us soft-hearted to the Holy Spirit’s whispers? Or, will we be self-sufficient, trusting in our ‘own’ understanding?

If we are weeping, agonizing over our troubles, will we be angry and bitter? Or, will we be teachable, and cry out for understanding from the heavenly Father, understanding that is according to His Word (Psalms 119:169)?

Will we learn the lessons and benefits that come from our sorrows?

Will we recognize and admit it, if we have somehow contributed to the problem?

Blessed Chastening

Our afflictions and sorrows humble us, with the purpose of bringing us back — back to fellowship with Father, back to obedience and/or washing away our own pride and rebellion:

Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O Yahuwah, and teach him out of Your law [Torah; instruction] (Psalms 94:12).

This verse teaches us that trouble, which is often the chastening of the Father, is a blessing in disguise!

Father’s chastening is always for our good and for our instruction, because it is done by the loving, merciful Father. He is in the midst of our struggles and pain, as He has told us: ‘though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me‘ (Psalms 23: 4; see also Psalms 119:67,71; Job 5:17; Prov 3:11-12; 1Cor 11:32; Heb 12:5-11; Rev 3:19.)

“Sorrow opens the door to many blessings.” — Thomas a Kempis

Father wants us to see our grief and sorrow in the light of His Word and His love!

By His grace, let us seek to accept chastisement or troubles, praying for discernment to receive the lessons and benefits we can gain through distressing experiences. If we are a Thirsty Soul, seeking Father’s Ways, then sorrow and weeping are one of His Ways of helping us to grow — grow in His Grace, His Truth, and in the Fear of Yahuwah [the LORD].

Our sorrows help break up any hardness of heart and soften our heart. Our brokenness helps us be more able to accept the Holy Spirit’s guidance, more able to accept the direction of His Word. Let us therefore seek to embrace our moments of brokenness with humility, openess, forgiveness, and not resist them or resent them!

Many times I have heard a ‘saying’ that troubles and problems are not impossible obstacles, but rather they are new and hopeful opportunities!

This is so true! Troubles can become an avenue to maturity and greater discernment. But we must turn to Yahuwah [the LORD] in our difficulties, and call out to Him [in the Name of His Son], calling for His help, His solution and hope!

It is far, far better for us to look to Yahuwah Elohim continuously in the midst of sorrows and troubles, than to wallow in defeat, resentment, and self-pity!

The Perfect Work

The apostle James tells us to let our trials work for us the ‘perfect work’ of patience (see James 1:2-4).

The perfect work of patience establishes our heart in endurance and steadfastness, as we pursue Yahuwah’s truth and comfort.

The perfect work of patience strengthens our resolve to follow Yahuwah and patiently seek Him for His solution to our pain.

It is through sorrows and difficulties that our patience and faith are tested! These testings are times for us to admit our helplessness – admit our need for Yahuwah’s strength and peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). These are moments when the Holy Spirit is closest to us, though we may not be aware of Him!

Our sorrows and distresses are also moments to heed the prophet Jeremiah’s exhortation:

Let us search and try [test; examine] our ways, and turn again [return] to Yahuwah. (Lamentations 3:40)

The more we become spiritually-minded, the more we begin to seriously consider our troubles – the more we will think about our ways and acknowledge our great need for Yahuwah! Often what is needed for finding Father’s peace and comfort, is a return to believing Yah’s Word with all our heart, and placing our faith in His plans and purposes. Or, what is needed is a return to walking in Father’s truth, living according to His written Word:

man prayer shadow

I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto Your testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep Your commandments. It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Your statutes. (Psalms 119:59-60;71)

Do you see what King David did? David heeded the whispers of the Holy Spirit. David learned the benefit of his afflictions — he received Father’s comforting guidance, and he returned to the loving arms of the heavenly Father; he returned to following Yahuwah’s Word.

Are Troubles and Sorrows Good For Us?

When we find ourselves stuck in sufferings, troubles, or sorrows, we may ask ourselves, “Are these troubles and sorrows really good for me?”

Yes they are! They are working FOR us:

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look … at the things which are not seen…. (2Corinthians 4:17-18).

Surprising as it may seem, the apostle Paul tells us that our troubles, difficulties, afflictions — these are very minor, in comparison to the good they are doing for us! That is, as long as our focus, our hope is on the unseen dealings of Yahuwah, Who is working on our behalf, for our good.

If however, we see our troubles as bad, and not as the hand of Yahuwah working for our good, then we miss out on the glory resulting from these valuable lessons.

“How beautiful is God’s love for us! He has infinite intelligence and perfect knowledge of what is truly best for all. God always acts in the highest interest of His creatures, working earnestly for our good!” — Charles Finney

The Fool Refuses to Learn

Let us not be among the foolish who refuse to heed the lessons from sorrows! Some deny their troubles, becoming resentful and bitter. Some even turn to merriment and foolishness whenever they encounter troubles (Proverbs 1:7b,22b; Ecclesiastes 7:4b).

Our troubles can be painful, agonizing, humiliating. But we must love the truth regardless of the pain, and not reason, rationalize, or justify ourselves away from Father’s guidance.

As agonizing as it can be, let us seek to learn from our sufferings, by following Messiah’s example: Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience, by the things which He suffered… (Hebrews 5:8)!

Though we may never understand the ‘why’ of our grief and suffering, let us hold tightly to Father’s awesome Words of promise: all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28; see also Romans 8:35-39; Exodus 20:6; Deut 8:2-3; 1Cor 2:9; 1Pet 1:7-8; 5:10).

Remembering the Lessons

Let us remember the lessons:

  1. to allow our trials to work in us the perfect work of patience, and trust Yahuwah’s written Word, even through weeping with agony and hope-less-ness.
  2. to cry out to our loving, heavenly Father for His help and mercy, in the time of our troubles.
  3. to keep our eyes on the things which are not seen — Father’s promises to work in us the eternal ‘weight of glory’, in the midst of affliction.
  4. to treasure a soft heart, remaining open to hear and obey the whispers of the Comforter, whenever troubles and sorrows come our way!
Thank You Father, for Your Holy Spirit that is always seeking to comfort and guide us. Thank You for Your lovingkindness in all You do! Help us Father, to look to You in the midst of our sorrows. Help us receive Your grace and humility whenever we encounter afflictions and corrections! Help us Father, to always trust Your Word, even when there seems to be no hope! We pray in Messiah Yahushua’s name. Amen.

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