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cropped-rose-4.gifLuke 19:41, “He saw the city and wept over it”

John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus told us in John 16:33 that in this world, in this lifetime, we will have trouble. There will be pain, tribulation, and suffering, and in the wake of trouble comes heartache. Heartache is a common human experience. We all know what it is because we’ve all been through it. Sorrow, sadness, distress, anguish, despair, grief, despondency and misery are other words, which could be substituted for the word heartache. Thus, heartaches – the world is full of them! No matter how old, wise and mature we become, we will always have conflict in our relationships such as a:

(1) Little girl is mocked at her school because she has an underdeveloped arm;
(2) Widow vividly remembers the day her husband committed suicide;
(3) Parent grieving over a son or daughter who is rebelling;
(4) Pastor resigns because of vicious lies told about him,
(5) Wife anguishes over her husband’s unfaithfulness after 30 years of marriage,
(6) Man lovingly and patiently cares for his wife, who has Alzheimer’s disease and doesn’t even know him.

So, what can we do or say to someone who is hurting because of some unpleasant heartache they are experiencing? For starters we could say something like this: “I’m so sorry. I wish I had some answers for you.” Or, “I can’t imagine how hard it is for you to deal with this, but please know that I care and will be here if you need someone to just sit with you. No need to talk. No explanations needed. Just someone in the room.” Lastly, we can say, “I don’t know the confusion and betrayal you feel right now, but I will pray for you during this time.”

Closing illustration:

Abraham Lincoln was a backwoodsman who rose from humble beginnings to the heights of political power. During the dark days of the U. S. Civil War, he served as a compassionate and resolute president. Depression and mental pain were his frequent companions. Yet, the terrible emotional suffering he endured drove him to receive Jesus Christ by faith as his Savior.

Lincoln told a crowd in his hometown in Illinois: “When I left Springfield, I asked the people to pray for me; I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Jesus Christ. I do love Jesus.” My beloved, life’s most painful tragedies can bring us to a deeper understanding of the Savior.

When two individuals were walking the road to the village of Emmaus, they were dumbfounded by the senseless murder of Jesus of Nazareth. Then a stranger joined them and gave scriptural insight about the suffering Messiah (Luke 24:26-27). The stranger was Jesus Himself, and His ministry to them brought comfort. Heartache has a way of pointing us to the Lord Jesus, who has shared in our sufferings and can bring meaning to seemingly senseless pain.

Suffering can teach us what we can’t learn in any other way.