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!

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 in our troubles, and to 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 distreses of any kind, there comes a certain kind of brokenness within us. If 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 His bottle (Psalms 34:18 and Psalms 56:8 and Isaiah 53:3-4).

The soft, tender-hearted-ness that results from our sorrows is like a magnet to the Holy Spirit. When we are 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 grace, 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 comfort 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 sin — either our own sin, or the sin of others. The darkness and confusion of sin is at the heart of what causes so much suffering and grief. Sins of selfishness, pride, resentment, hatred — these things lead us down paths of affliction, suffering, and heartache.

But the Scriptures reveal Yahuwah’s wonderful love for us, by showing us that He always answers our 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. It 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 a greater understanding, a better discernment, and, if necessary, a true repentance unto 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, then our sorrows ought to cause us to return to Yahuwah [the LORD] with sincere repentance.

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 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, for our instruction, because it is done by the loving, merciful Father. (See 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 Father’s chastisement or the troubles, praying for discernment to receive the lessons and benefits we can gain through distressing experiences.

If we are a Thirsty Soul, searching for Father’s ways, then sorrow and weeping are steps to help us grow — grow in His Grace, His Truth, and in the Fear of Yahuwah [the LORD].

Our sorrows help us to break up any hardness of heart, helps to 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 and 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, for His solution and hope!

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

The Perfect Work

The apostle James tells us to let our trials work in 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 faith.

The perfect work of patience strengthens our resolve to follow Yahuwah. It teaches us to patiently seek Father’s written Word for His solution to our troubles.

It is through sorrows, afflictions, and difficulties, that the endurance of our patience and faith are tested. These testings are times for us to admit our helplessness — admit our need for Yahuwah’s strength and His peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). These are moments when the Holy Spirit is closest to us!

Our sorrows and distresses are moments for us 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)

As we become spiritually-minded, we will begin to seriously consider our troubles, thinking about our ways, and begin to acknowledge our need. Often what is needed for finding Father’s peace and comfort, 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 thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy 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 the well-trodden pathway of sufferings, troubles, and sorrows, we may ask ourselves, “Are these troubles and sorrows really good for me?”

Yes they are:

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 is on the unseen dealings of Yahuwah, who is working on our behalf, for our good.

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

Oh Father, help us, Your children, who thirst for Your ways, to receive Your grace and humility, whenever we encounter any afflictions and corrections!

The Fool Refuses to Learn

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

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

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 written 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 the truth of 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 that You do! Help us Father, to look to You in the midst of our sorrows. 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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“There is a difficulty about disagreeing with God. He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes: you could not be right and He wrong any more than a stream can rise higher than its own source. When you are arguing against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.”
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