Pain is a large part of everyone’s life. It comes in many forms – grief, depression, stress, anxiety, loss, trauma, sexual molestation, abuse (both physical and emotional), physical pain . . . the list goes on and on. Pain became a part of our world as soon as sin entered in. The question is how do we as Christians deal with it? This is an issue I (Rebecca) struggled with early in my walk with the Lord. In fact, almost immediately after I made the decision to make Jesus Christ the total Master over every area of my life. Psalm 91 was quickly pointed out to me as the solution.
“He who dwells in the secret places of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.’
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge . . .” Psalm 91:1-4
This particular Psalm used to be a source of great frustration and even anger for me. I mean, come on, have you ever seen any feathers? I certainly haven’t! How can we “shelter under His wings” when we can’t even see any wings? I used to cry out, “Lord, this doesn’t help me at all. How can I shelter under your wings when I can’t even see them, and I most certainly don’t see any feathers! I need a pair of strong arms to hold me that I can feel and see!” Absolute silence was the only answer I ever received to my cries. Have you felt this way? I think most people have.
In His perfect timing, the Lord taught me an important lesson about sheltering under His wings. It was during my third year in medical school. I suffered a devastating loss of someone whom I loved deeply. I was overwhelmed with grief! Suddenly my whole future was black. Depression, the twin of grief, swept in and I was hurting so badly that I could barely function. I was at that time, in the midst of a very strenuous schedule, working at the hospital and studying. Sleep was impossible. As soon as I closed my eyes the pain and loss swamped me. The weeks dragged by, and suddenly, one day I realized that I couldn’t wait to get home from the hospital because the first thing I did was run to my Bible and immerse myself in it. When I couldn’t sleep, I went to my Bible. To be honest, I wasn’t praying much, because I could not understand why God had allowed this disaster to come into my life. I felt estranged from the Lord. But one day, as I was reading my Bible the Lord broke through and spoke to me very clearly: “Tell me, child, why are you spending so much time reading My Word? Why is that the first thing you run to as soon as you get home?”
I was startled by the question, and had to stop and think about it. Suddenly I realized that the reason why I couldn’t wait to get home to bury myself in the Bible was because during the time I was reading God’s Word I didn’t hurt! In fact, that was the only time that I didn’t hurt so badly with grief that I could hardly cope with it. Hesitantly I responded to God’s question. “I just realized Lord that the only time I have any relief from the pain and loss is while I am reading Your Word.”
“Exactly!” He said. “As you read and think about My Word, you are sheltering under my wings, even though you don’t see any feathers!” This is what the Apostle Paul was talking about when He wrote:
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning that wethrough the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” Romans 15:5
We receive God’s comfort through His Word. David learned this lesson:
“Remember the word to Your servant,
Upon which You have caused me to hope.
This is my comfort in my affliction.
For Your word has given me life.” Psalm 119:49-50
We receive God’s grace through His word. It is the pouring of God’s grace into our lives that gives us the strength and comfort to keep going in the middle of the most terrible trials of our lives.
“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” Acts 20:32
I cannot begin to count the times I have run to God’s Word for comfort and help during times of unbearable pain and grief. Always, it has given me a brief break from the pain, and somehow strengthened me and enabled me to keep going.
Those of you who have read Unbroken Curses or Standing On The Rock, know that Daniel was forced to watch the murder of his first wife. In the first four years of our marriage he was tormented with nightmares of that terrible event. He would wake up screaming and be in so much stress that he would be soaked in sweat. Sleep was nearly impossible. For four years I sought the Lord for the solution to this terrible problem. The solution came only as I learned about going before God’s throne as Judge of the universe.
Are you being tormented with nightmares and flashbacks? Do you find that every time you close your eyes to try to go to sleep, the tape starts playing of the terrible event in your life? You don’t have to put up with this sort of torment! These nightmares and flashbacks are coming from demons. Satan uses them as a source of great torment in people’s lives. Get down on your knees and go before God’s throne as Judge of the universe. Ask Him to render judgment between you and Satan’s kingdom. Does Satan have the legal right to continue to torment you in this way? The answer is “No, he does not!” Then ask God to put a restraining order on Satan and all of his demons and bring an immediate and complete halt to all such nightmares and flashbacks. Pray something like this:
Father, in the name of Jesus I humbly ask to come before your throne as Judge of the universe. I come only under the covering of the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Lord, I am asking you to judge between me and Satan and his kingdom. Does Satan have the legal right to torment me with nightmares and flash backs of _______________________? If you render judgment that he does not, then I am asking that You put a restraining order on Satan and all of his demons and force them to stop giving me these nightmares and flashbacks immediately and forever! Please put a guard over my mind to stop all such demonic thoughts from tormenting me. I thank you for it in the name of Jesus.
As tormenting thoughts and memories come into your mind, immediately command the demons putting those thoughts into you to be gone at once in the name of Jesus! Then turn your mind onto scripture.
Sometimes Satan will rebel and break through and start putting the nightmares and flashbacks into your mind again at some future date. If this happens, immediately go before God’s throne and ask Him to discipline Satan for violating His command and put a halt to all such activities. God is always faithful to do so. This provided the solution to the terrible torment in Daniel’s life, and it has also been a great help to me during periods of great grief and loss.