Jesus’ Suffering Became Our Healing

“But He was hurt because of us; He suffered so.
Our wrongdoing wounded and crushed Him.
He endured the breaking that made us whole.
The injuries He suffered became our healing.”
Isaiah 53:5 Voice

Have you been hurt in your life? Is your pain so deep it takes your breath away? Do you feel like you’ll never climb out of the dungeon of darkness? Hopeless. Helpless. Alone.

Abuse of any kind can cause deep pain and devastation in our hearts and lives. We can even wonder where God was or is. It can take a lifetime of healing.

I was confused and distrustful of God for many years. But now I know and believe He would never, ever hurt us like that. He would never, ever abuse us in the name of love. He would never, ever steal our voices and grind the very essence of who we are into the dirt as if we are a good-for-nothing.

The older I get and the deeper He heals me, I see how He held me through it even when I didn’t see it at the time. The more He fills me with His love and grace, the more I see He values me. My identity is not in past abuse but in Jesus. And He alone practices the true meaning of love, because He is love Himself.

When people don’t believe us and slander us, God knows the truth and He will never, ever turn away from us. When people reject us and ostracize us, God will never, ever abandon us. When people judge and condemn us, God will never, ever condemn us.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation
for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:28

Who has hurt you in your life? Who has treated you with disrespect and disdain? Who has ground your voice and the essence of who you are into the dirt?

God knows. God cares. God understands.

There is no one who has been wronged more than Jesus. There is not one thing we have suffered in life that He hasn’t experienced Himself. Can you see Jesus suffering under the load of our sin and the sin of those who have hurt us? The staff hammering down and piercing the crown of thorns into His head, the whip slashing open his skin, the slander, the mocking, the desertion of those He loves, the stripping and nakedness for all to see, the stretching of His body against the nails pounded into His hands and feet, forsaken by His Father, descended into hell. And oh, so much more than we can ever put in words. We can’t begin to describe the pain He endured. If we put the suffering of all mankind together, it would not even be a drop in the bottomless ocean of suffering He endured. And He did it for us!

He was broken so we could be healed. Isn’t that amazing?! If He didn’t count us as valuable treasures, He wouldn’t have done this for us. If He hadn’t done this, there would be no love. No grace. No hope. Ever.

It takes a fathomless love to suffer unspeakable agony like He endured. Not for Himself, but for us. Because of Him and what He suffered, there will always be hope for the hopeless. Healing for the broken. Strength for the helpless.

The Lord
who made you
knows just what you need.
The Lord
who heals you
knows just where you hurt.
The Lord
who loves you
knows just what to do.

(From the front of a greeting card)

“When Life Gets Broken”
by Sandi Patty

God Remembers and Cares About Our Tears

“You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
You have recorded each one in Your book.
Then my enemies will retreat on the day when I call.
This I know: God is for me.”
Psalm 56:8-9

Sad and alone. Sitting on a step with my arms crossed and leaning on my knees and my head hanging, I felt a lick of sympathy on my face. Someone had noticed my pain. Our dog had wriggled his way underneath my arms.

He comforted me like no one else did or could do at the time. As a kid growing up on a farm, dogs often were my best friends. They sat with me. They didn’t have to say a word. They just soaked in my sorrows as if they were crying with me.

Yes, dogs have the amazing God-given ability to sense when something is wrong and to comfort us. To be our faithful and devoted companions. It can never compare with the comfort God is ready to give us, but in hindsight I now believe that it was His way of caring for me even when I didn’t know He cared.

Every single tear we shed has meaning to Him. Whether they run from our eyes or make pools in our hearts. From birth to the present and on into the future. Every. Single. Tear.

God remembers our every sorrow as if He kept each tear in a bottle. He records each and every one in His book of remembrance. And I believe God adds His own tears right alongside ours. He cares that deeply.

God may not have a literal bottle or book, but He remembers every single thing that happens in our lives, including our suffering. He is a tender-hearted Father to us, a God who feels with us and weeps with us (Exodus 3:7John 11:33–35).

We are not alone, even when it feels like it. Many times in my life, I wondered where God was when I needed Him. But looking back, I now realize He was with me all along. Crying with me. Yes, He could have stopped bad things from happening to me. But He knew I would learn a deeper compassion and empathy if I personally experienced suffering myself.

God is for us. Always. He knows each of us better than we know ourselves. He knows what we need to experience in order to better empathize with others who suffer.

I wasn’t always aware of this. There have been more fist-raised or curl-up-in-a-ball moments than I can count. I could see no purpose whatsoever in people violating me. But God is helping me to realize that if I hadn’t experienced the pain, I could not cry with others like He cries with me.

Do you feel sad and alone? Like no one cares? It may feel like it, and surely, the devil wants us to believe that. But it’s not true. I know it’s a rough road to recovery. When our trust is so shattered, it’s not easy to believe anyone cares, even that God does. We may become terrified to open our hearts to anyone, out of fear of being hurt again. But there are those who do care. If you are hurting, please know I care.

Above all, there is One who has unconditional love and endless compassion towards us. He yearns for us to run to Him and freely confide in Him. He will never, ever hurt us, condemn us, or reject us. He will lovingly apply His healing balm to all the hurts in our hearts. He never misses a tear we shed but cares and collects every single one in His bottle of remembrance, adding His own with them.

“He Knows My Name”
by Maranatha Singers

“He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
and He hears me when I call.”

New This Month: Links, Quotes, Books & More

whatsnew

“My Prayer For You”
by Alisa Turner

“For anyone who’s prayed a thousand prayers
And still can’t find the answer anywhere
Fighting off the lie that no one cares
For anyone who’s out there losing hope
Feeling you’re forsaken and alone
Clinging to the last strands of your rope

May God give you eyes to see, He’s still greater
Courage to rise and believe He’s able
May God be your peace in the fire you’re walking through
This is my prayer now
This is my prayer for you…”

Thank you
to all of you who share songs, links, books, or quotes
that point to hope, healing, and freedom in Jesus.
I appreciate it so much!
cutecolorsbutterflylineccjesusloves

ABCs of Jesus’ Love

Visit this page anytime and let me know if you’d like to add to the words describing Jesus’ love along with a verse supporting it. Remember, there is also a print-out of the original list.

 This month I have added an “L” Word:

❤︎ Light-Leading Love ❤︎
“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said,
“I am the Light of the world.
If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness,
because you will have the Light that leads to life.”
John 8:12 NLT
bearreadingbook

Books

I am not always able to keep up with the abundance of books that promote hope, healing, and freedom, so I haven’t always read every one I post here and on the Books Page. Though many are on my long wish list. 🙂  Many will be from recommendations of online friends. If you ever know of a book that is not listed and that supports this website’s mission, please let me know. 🙂

Life After Breath:
After Her Husband Takes His Last Breath,
and After She Tries to Catch Hers
 

by Susan VandePol

I have not yet read this book, but a friend highly recommends it. Here is a review from Susan’s site:

“LIFE AFTER BREATH is a faithful friend and companion to a widow’s grief that will enable her to look into grief and heal when others want to look away. It gives resolve without insisting on an answer and prepares a widow to champion her own Biblical cause in a way that no other book or resource on the market offers. There are countless millions of widows crippled without a voice; LIFE AFTER BREATH breathes life back into a grieving woman and prepares her apart for a set-apart calling.” 

 

cutecolorsj7

Hope Harbor

💞  Links That Inspire Hope and Healing 💞

💞  Daring to Hope When It’s Not Happy Endings: How to Sing in the Dark  by Katie Majors – “Our pain does not minimize His goodness to us but, in fact, allows us to experience it in a whole new way…. It’s not light yet, but I know Him, the One who is the Light. And so in the dark, I will sing.”

💞  Breaking Free of the Cycle of Abuse – “This article is for anyone who is in or might get in a relationship that is abusive. It is full of helpful information because knowledge is power — especially when it includes knowledge of God’s love for you and his power to help you. Survivors of domestic violence need to be empowered in order to break free and learn to move from just surviving to thriving in a life of love, joy, and peace. If you’re stuck in an abusive relationship you can break free!”

💞  Having Mental Health Issues Doesn’t Mean You’re a Bad Christian by Bonnie Gray – “It is tough enough combatting the stigma of mental health in a culture that prides itself on entrepreneurship, self-reliance and curating Instagram-perfect lifestyles. But as a Christian, it was even worse. Speaking up about the emotional pain I once survived or was enduring, I ran into a lie often perpetuated in our church culture about mental health and spiritual fitness: If you’re feeling emotionally broken, your faith is weak or broken.”

Nature Retreat

“Just when the caterpillar thought
‘I am incapable of moving,’
it became a butterfly.”

~ Annette Thomas

My brother in Arizona captured the life cycle of a Queen Butterfly,
except for the eggs. Aren’t his photos awesome?!

🐾 Butterfly Photographs on Pinterest – At least 463 breathtaking photos of a variety of butterflies

🐾 19 Before and After Photos of Butterfly and Moth Transformations – “The animal kingdom is full of beautiful and mysterious processes, but there are few that are more captivating and wonderful than the metamorphoses that caterpillars undergo to become moths or butterflies.”

🐾 Monarch Butterfly Metamorphosis  A time-lapse video of the life cycle of a Monarch Butterfly

cutecolorsplant1c

Quotes

❤︎ Darkness comes. In the middle of it, the future looks blank. The temptation to quit is huge. Don’t. You are in good company…You will argue with yourself that there is no way forward. But with God, nothing is impossible. He has more ropes and ladders and tunnels out of pits than you can conceive. Wait. Pray without ceasing. Hope.– John Piper

❤︎ When tragedy makes its unwelcome appearance and we are deaf to everything but the shriek of our own agony—when courage flies out the window and the world seems to be a hostile, menacing place—it is the hour of our Gethsemane. No word, however sincere, offers any comfort or consolation… and yet it may happen in these most desperate trials of our human existence that beyond any rational explanation, we may feel a nail-scarred hand clutching ours.– Brennan Manning

❤︎ God brings fullness of joy not just despite but through suffering, just as Jesus saved us not in spite of but because of what He suffered on the cross.– Timothy Keller

cutecolorsbutterflyline

signature3