First Harvey, now Irma pounding, lashing, and flooding, leaving many homeless. Further west, wildfires raging, leaving behind smoldering ruins and crackling cinders. It’s as Jesus said the end time wound be, like the days of Noah and Lot all at once. In between, we have an ongoing resurgence of wanton murders, mayhem, violence, racism, oppression, wickedness, and a dizzying array of madness. Take your pick. Whether natural or man-made, trouble is on the rise, and with it all kinds of hurt for our hearts.
I have certainly experienced worlds of untold trouble in my life. I feel like I have had enough trouble for several lifetimes. Whatever trouble you may now be facing, I am extremely sorry. My heart and prayers go out to you. I know the feeling. There’s an old Negro spiritual entitled, “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.” Truth!!! But to name just a few…
• I went to jail (I was eventually acquitted, but thanks to sluggishness and unrighteousness in the system, it was for a good while — almost six  years).
• I was committed to the mental hospital – for a good long stay.
• I had an extended encounter with homelessness.
• I got rejected by most of my old friends.
• I had some serious marital conflicts, with many periods of prolonged separation – even an intermediate time of divorce.
• I went into a period of prolonged depression.
Can you say, “Why, God,” with me? Still the half has not been told. My heart has been broken to pieces countless times, especially over some of the heartlessness, cruelty, and abandonment of those that I love. So, if you are going through trouble today, I hope you can believe that there is someone on earth who understands how you feel.
Let me say this to you. I have learned a pathway to healing and restoration of heart. I want to recommend it to you.
#1) Weep Yourself Sufficiently
There’s an old song entitled, “Cry Me a River.” The “Why’s?” of life are really only rhetorical and emotional. They are the soul’s way of saying, “Ouch, God! That hurt!!!” Our hearts are really not expecting God to give us a detail account of what He is doing in our life at the time. Crying freely is the heart’s way of staying open and honest before God. The tears that follow, let them flow. I cried for a week when my baby daughter was fatally injured, and the Devil had framed me for that. Tears do release certain biochemicals from the body. The expulsion of those is vital for the our emotional stability and balance. So, if you have been really hurt by whatever, first, just cry yourself a river.
#2) Trust God Infinitely
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Believe this wholeheartedly. Confess that continually, but especially when life deals you it’s cruel blows. This is the most supreme show of faith and confidence in God. GOD IS indeed sovereign over all things. Everything moves by His power. All things work together for our good, because that’s how God is working them. There’s absolutely nothing in the recipe of life that not for our good — NOTHING!!!
God is cooking up a PERFECT HEART — yours. We are a bunch of tough nuts. My wife likes to say, “There’s not a nut too hard for God to crack.” Please understand, when we joyfully talk about going to the next level, what we are really talking about is God conditioning our hearts to experience a whole new depth and dimension of His righteousness and glory. Going to another level, then, is “a heart thing.” And getting there requires God to put our hearts through the paces that Christ’s heart lives at. And, the word says that He was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief… despised and rejected” (Isaiah 53:3). I am sorry if this knowledge disappoints you, but this is pure, unvarnished truth. If we are to mature to become like Jesus, our hearts MUST be softened, being made to know some of the emotional wounds of our Lord.
#3) Praise God Unconditionally
Hebrews 13:15 says, “Let us therefore offer to God CONTINUALLY the sacrifice of praise; that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.” A great evangelist, RW Shambach, used to say, “Shout Hallelujah anyhow!!!” God is worthy! He has shed Christ’s blood so that we may have a very happy ending, no matter what this chapter of life holds. So, the gospel song says, “Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well. It is well, with my soul.'”
Now then, my friend, if you will do these three things in the midst of your trouble, you will pass the test. And, in time your trouble will pass too, leaving you with a heart that is more like Christ’s than ever before. You will then find that you can see God’s glory more clearly, hear His voice more distinctly, and feel His Spirit more tangibly than before. God will have turned up the volume on His Word another notch. His presence will be sweeter, at least, until He takes you up another rung.