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Tip No. 4: Instead of Throwing a Pity Party, Share the Pain

By: Arnie Cole, Pamela Ovwigho, and Michael Ross

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

Faith Quest

What helps you cope with life's troubles and challenges?

Faith Trek

“Does a wild donkey bray when it has grass, or an ox bellow when it has fodder? Is tasteless food eaten without salt, or is there flavor in the sap of the mallow?” (Job 6:5–6).

Job claimed the right to bray and bellow, since he had been wounded by God and offered “tasteless food”—in other words, poor advice—from his so-called friends.1 All was gone in his life, and he considered his circumstances utterly hopeless. But instead of giving up or throwing a pity party, he sought the counsel of his friends. Job was genuinely searching for truth. And that’s exactly why he was pleading with them to stop being so cruel.

“Do you mean to correct what I say, and treat my desperate words as wind? You would even cast lots for the fatherless and barter away your friend. But now be so kind as to look at me. Would I lie to your face? Relent, do not be unjust; reconsider, for my integrity is at stake. Is there any wickedness on my lips? Can my mouth not discern malice?” (Job 6:26–30).

Job set an example for us all by taking three vital steps during trying times:

1. Finding trustworthy counsel

2. Seeking truth

3. Expressing emotions

As sadness and despair takes hold in our lives, we have a tendency to sink deeper and deeper into a pit—causing us to wonder what we’ve ever done to deserve any of this, questioning why God has abandoned us.

But here’s what we must remember: Our emotions are highly cyclical and can bounce from extremes. So when the storms of life strike, we usually feel more frustration than faith. If we’ve had a fight or have been rejected, we’re often more consumed with anger—not the comfort of the Almighty.

What brings on the blahs in your life? And when loneliness or depression strikes, do you stay in the pit, starving your soul, or—like Job—do you search for solutions?

Faith Tools

•Remember that emotions rise and fall like a wild ride on a roller coaster. When you’re lonely and depressed today, when everything seems to be going wrong and life doesn’t seem to be worth living, you need to ride it out. It may not feel very good for a while, but if you ride out these emotions, you’ll discover that your circumstances will change tomorrow. Your world will seem much better. Happiness will return and the depression will disappear.

•Take comfort in this truth: Jesus shares our pain. He puts Himself in your shoes and feels everything that you feel. He is the Father of “suffering with,” and the God of all comfort! And when He comes beside you and offers the strength to take your next step, you learn to walk with fellow sufferers—to let their pain become your pain.

PRAY: “Lord, help me not to suffer alone. Give me the strength to seek the counsel of a trustworthy friend.” Ask God to bring individuals in your life who will be a “safe harbor” for you.

Notes for Growth

A Key Point I Learned Today:

How I Want to Grow:

My Prayer List:

© 2015 by Back to the Bible



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