Hope in the Hurt

By Wayne Johnston

Psalm 62.8
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.

God changed a woman’s life through Psalm 62.8. He used this Scripture to define his own love to a soul in need of love, promoted a closer relationship with her, and provided life-changing hope in Him as her refuge. Trusting in God’s love and promises can be the key to walking with God during a severe season of life.

Susan, a Christian, cried a lot during her first meetings with Megan, one of our biblical counselors, and myself. Susan’s unsaved husband had committed adultery, divorced Susan, and then married another woman. Susan feared that her seven-year-old son would choose the ways of her ex-husband and his new wife rather than life with God. The couple was rich, beautiful, permissive, fun, and opposed to the Gospel, she said. Susan was, in her view, none of these. So, in regard to her son, she had no hope.

“Trust in him at all times, O people”

[considering John 10, Psalm 23, Romans 8.28-39, 1 Corinthians10.13, Ephesians 2.10, and Hebrews 4.12-16]

We encouraged Susan to trust in God at all times. We were thankful for the opportunity to walk with her through a very hard season of life. Together, we considered a few of the tremendous truths from Scripture that give us courage to trust him and assure us of his faithfulness, promises, and commitment to love us:

Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd. He will keep us safe and our souls fed. The Lord is trustworthy and he has promised to provide all we need. God will faithfully cause all things to work together for our good. He will never let anything separate us from his love. The Lord will always be with us. He will never let us be tempted beyond what we are able to bear. In this environment, God prepares good things for us to do. With his Word, our Lord will prepare us for every situation we will ever face. As Christians, we can choose to trust God with each aspect of our lives, even in the darkest hours.

These truths related to Susan’s heart. Megan and I encouraged Susan to believe God’s love for her and to trust his promises. (As biblical counselors, we also chose to do so ourselves as we served and loved Susan and her son.) God worked in each of our hearts. Susan found such hope in God’s promises that she reviewed them many times each day, thinking specifically about how they addressed her fears. God served Susan as her refuge. There, he changed her mindset from fearing what may happen to her son to trust in her faithful God. She believed that God’s grace would be enough no matter what happened next. The Lord walked with her and comforted her. Susan was at peace.

“Pour out your heart before him”

A key component in this glorious change that God caused in Susan was the deep unguarded communication that developed between the two of them.

Susan poured out her heart to her God. She told him everything. At first this consisted of telling God her fears. Then it was asking for help to believe the promises of his Word. She also emptied her heart to the Lord as she requested God’s care for and redemption of her son. Susan also grew to plead with God for the salvation of her ex-husband and his new wife.

As Susan interpreted her earthly circumstances and relationship with God based on the love of the Almighty and glorious, comforting truths in his Word, she grew in God’s comfort and love.

“God is a refuge for us”

In the midst of the hard circumstances, God was with Susan. He also kept his promises: he caused adversity to become a vehicle for transition from dominating fears to growing faith. God’s presence and active use of Scripture comforted Susan. She came to view hard days as great days to trust her God. Because of God’s sustaining Word and grace, she grew in confidence in her Lord. This lack of fear led to the ability to love, forgiving those who sinned against her and her son. She became a strong and exemplary Christian woman who led by love and immovable faith in her God. Our Lord also became a refuge for Susan’s son, who became a Christian at age 9 and continues to walk with him today.

God was also the refuge for us who served Susan in counseling. We needed his sustaining grace to emulate his love in serving these souls. It was a privilege to walk with them through such a season of life. God equipped us through his Word and answered our prayers. God’s grace was personal.

Our Lord gave hope to Susan, comforted her, strengthened her, and loved her. He changed her by using Psalm 62.8. God did what only he can do. How great is our God!

From the ACBC website here.

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