I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Yodit Kifle Smith
For many people, they believe that Christianity is a religion that forces you to only deal with “happy and hopeful” thoughts. Guilt comes over them if they feel anxiety, deep sadness, grief or depression as if those things aren’t found in Scripture. Often times, it’s either they have not been in the Word to know the range of human emotions that exist there or they have been taught that those kinds of feelings can’t exist in this faith. Both do great damage to the way we come to know and see God.
The beautiful thing about the Bible is that it’s not a book that has been neatly packaged with “prim and proper” stories. What makes it a book unlike any other outside of the incredible truth that it’s God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16) is that it shows the humanity of mankind in a way that sometimes makes me question if this could really be the Holy Bible. The drama of murder, deception, rebellion, envy, pain, depression, suffering, anger and so much more that is revealed while at the same time undeniably showing the glorious majesty of God Almighty is quite astounding.
From the very first pages of Scripture, we see how the depth of mankind’s heart through every emotion, sin, pain, and tragedy reveal that the people in scripture were truly human—not some type of super human who were holier and closer to God that we are or can be.
More importantly, we see a Holy God who didn’t distance Himself from them but One who actually pursued them in their sin and rebellion and even while in that—sent His son to die for them (Romans 5:8). We see a Holy God who was grieved at the rebellion of His people yet in His mercy, still protected them on their path. He comforted them in their grief and gave them hope in their suffering, doubts and depression. His plans for them never wavered (Jeremiah 29:11) even though they did. And this is the same God we know and get to continue knowing today.
God’s Word speaks to every part of our humanity. Hiding our humanity when we think that what we’ve done, what we feel or are going through could not be understood by God is not biblical. In fact, Satan—the father of lies--throws a party whenever we fall into that trap. He would want nothing more than for us to feel distant when we are in a state of grief, depression, anxiety and especially sin.
Why? Because he knows that truth and clarity of those places that we find ourselves in are revealed through God and in His Word. He knows that for the one who has repented and placed their trust in Jesus, forgiveness is given through His blood and they are in the righteousness of Christ (Ephesians 1:7). He knows for the one whose anxiety is great, God brings consolation (Psalm 9:19) and in and through prayer, God’s peace that surpasses all understanding covers them (Philippians 4:7). He knows that for the one whose soul is downcast and is in turmoil, hope in God is not far off as they remember the faithfulness of God (Psalm 42:11). He knows for the one who is in pain, God’s comfort is real (2 Corinthians 1:4). He knows for the one who is suffering, that it’s not in vain (Romans 5:3-4) and God’s grace is with them.
Satan knows and so he seeks to isolate us so that the deceitfulness of sin would harden our hearts (Hebrews 3:13) towards the truth and love of God. Don’t fall for it. Rather, let us fall into the arms of God when we are confronted with the reality of our humanity because a price has been paid for us through Christ—not so we can walk in our own strength or be guided by our own emotions but so the Holy Spirit can lead us into all truth (John 6:13).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional, along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/memorize/meditate:
Romans 5:3-4, 8Questions to Reflect on: