Sorrow and grief are frequent words found in the Bible. Along with sorrow, we find words like affliction, trouble, pain, and distress. These are sad words indeed!
Everyone would like 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 Yahuwah [the heavenly Father] by being born-again, then the Holy Spirit becomes our “very present help” in our times of trouble and distress. The Holy Spirit is available to help us in all our troubles and difficulties, and to remind us of Father’s love for us (Psalms 46:1 and 2Corinthians 1:3-4 and Romans 5:5).
When we experience sorrow, grief, or distress of any kind, there is a certain kind of brokenness within us at that moment. If we are troubled, and filled with grief, despair, and sighing, then we are as a “broken vessel” (see Psalms 31), just as King David described.
Our sorrows, distresses, and troubles are moments when we are tender-hearted and vulnerable. This brokenness, though agonizing and perhaps humiliating, does a beneficial work, deep in our hearts.
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, our thoughts will often go right to a prayer — a prayer 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! They 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, sorrow, and grief. Sins of selfishness, pride, resentment, hatred — these things lead us down pathways of afflictions, sufferings, 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, and sorrows, weeping with tearful prayers, then there is something to learn. Do not fight it or resent it. Instead, let us 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 (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).
A 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 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 and agonizing over our troubles and difficulties, will we be angry and bitter? Or, will we be teachable, and cry out for understanding from the heavenly Father, understanding 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?
Our afflictions and sorrows humble us, with the purpose of bringing us back — back to obedience and/or washing away our 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 a loving, merciful Father. (See also Psalms 119:67,71; Job 5:17; Prov 3:11-12; 1Cor 11:32; Heb 12:5-11; Rev 3:19.)
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 the discernment to see the lessons and the benefits that 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 sorrow and weeping helps to break up any hardness of our heart, helps to soften our heart. Our brokenness helps to make us 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!
So many times I have heard some sort of saying about ‘troubles’ — that troubles and problems are not impossible obstacles, but they are new and hopeful opportunities!
Yes, it is true! Troubles can become an avenue to maturity and more discernment. But how much better it would be! – if we would first turn to Yahuwah, the Creator of all things, and call out to Him [in the Name of His Son], calling out for His help, for His solution and hope?
I believe it would be far, far better for us if we would first look to Yahuwah Elohim in the midst of our sorrows, troubles, and difficulties!
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, and teaches us to seek patiently Father’s 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, and our need for Yahuwah’s strength and His peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). They are the 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 to find Father’s peace and comfort, is a return to walking in Father’s truth, walking according to His Word.
See what King David did:
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)
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, and afflictions 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 our good, then we miss out on the glory resulting from these valuable lessons.
- Oh Father, help us, Your Thirsty Souls, to receive afflictions and corrections with Your grace!!
The Fool Refuses to Learn
Let us not be among those who refuse to heed the lessons from our sorrows — those who deny the troubles, and turn to resentment and bitterness, or turn to merriment and foolishness (Ecclesiastes 7:4-5; see also Proverbs 1:7,24).
Our troubles can be painful, agonizing, and even humiliating at times. But we must love the truth regardless of the pain, and not reason ourselves away from the Holy Spirit’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 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
May we all remember the lessons:
1.) to allow our trials to work in us the perfect work of patience, and trust the truth of Yahuwah’s Word, even through weeping with agony, sorrow, and hopelessness.
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 — on Father’s promise to work in us an eternal weight of glory, in the midst of our affliction.
4.) to treasure a soft heart, and remain open to hear and obey the whispers of Yahuwah’s precious Holy Spirit, who is our Comforter in the midst of trouble and sorrow!
- The Holy Spirit Will Guide You Into All Truth
- 4 Keys to Discerning the Guidance of the Holy Spirit
- Acquiring a Teachable Heart
- No Discipline Seems Pleasant
- Fight the Good Fight of Faith
- In the School of Learning to Endure
- The Holy Spirit: Our Amazing Comforter