As humans we have all experienced some sort of hurt, pain, grief, suffering, and distress. Otherwise known as anguish. Anguish comes and goes. For some of us, anguish lasts longer than what we anticipated. But what do you do when anguish does not leave you as quickly as you hoped?
There are two ways in which we can deal with the anguish in our lives. We can either choose to dwell in the negativity of it. Or we can choose to endure it.
To dwell means to live in a given condition or to continue in a given state.
To endure means to hold out against, to sustain without impairment or yielding; to undergo.
There is a woman in the Bible who experienced anguish herself. She teaches us how to endure it in five practical ways. Her name is Hannah. I highly encourage you to read her story in 1 Samuel 1.
Hannah could not have children. She was infertile. Due to her circumstance, there was a woman by the name of Peninnah who is described as Hannah’s rival. Peninnah intentionally and constantly would provoke Hannah for the sole purpose of irritating her.
For years, Peninnah was mean to Hannah and teased her about her infertility. As a result, Hannah would not eat and would oftentimes cry. In other words, Hannah was depressed. However, Hannah’s depression and situation did not stop her from praying. In her deep anguish, Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly (1 Samuel 1:10).
There are going to be times in which you will not be well. Maybe you’re not doing well now. Whatever your circumstance is, it’s not bad enough, crazy enough, or impossible for God. Rather than waiting around listening to the lies of the devil, rise up and fight through prayer!
Hannah did not allow Peninnah’s words to define her. Instead, Hannah prayed despite how she was feeling. Friend, don’t allow the lies, negativity of others, and your current circumstance to define you.
- Pour Your Heart Out To God
Hannah was not ashamed of her depression. She openly prayed before others about her bitterness and most importantly entrusted God with it. People won’t always understand your anguish. But God does. Hannah understood this, which is why she poured her heart out to God (1 Samuel 1:15).
Have you felt ashamed for feeling a certain way?
Unfortunately, a lot of us feel ashamed about feeling depressed. A lot of it has to do with the negative stigma that comes with it and how others view it. However, depression is simply a natural feeling and at times a severe medical condition that people experience as a result of their circumstances.
Feeling depressed is not a bad thing. It’s not a sin either. Depression is part of being human. However, God desires for us to endure our depression and not dwell in it. Pouring our heart out to Him about what we’re going through is considered enduring depression.
Friend, feeling shame about your depression is not God’s desire for you. The devil will want you to feel ashamed so you don’t go to God and pray about it. The devil knows that when you do, God can and will give you a grace and strength to get through it.
- Express How You Are Feeling To Trustworthy Friends
Hannah did not only express how she felt to God. She also expressed how she felt to Eli the priest (1 Samuel 1:15-16). In doing so, Hannah was allowing peace and comfort to come into her life. After Hannah had poured out her heart to God and expressed her sorrow to Eli, she started to eat again and was no longer sad (1 Samuel 1:18).
There is power in our willingness to open up with God and with each other! Last week I wrote a blog titled, Do You Have Friends In Your Life? In this blog, I write about the importance of having friends. This is exactly why. Because having trustworthy friends to share our deepest sorrows with help alleviate the stress and anguish from our lives.
Do you honestly express yourself to others when you’re going through a bad season? Or are you ashamed to do so?
The Bible tells us in James 5:16 to confess our sins to each other and to pray for one another so we can be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful! Similarly, in Galatians 6:2, we are told to carry each other’s burdens.
Friend, you were created for companionship, first with God then with each other. Isolation is not the solution as we’ve already read in James 5:16 and Galatians 6:2.
- Choose To Worship No Matter What
While Hannah continued to pray and wait on God for her miracle, she worshiped before the Lord. After she had made a promise to God, and time passed, Hannah did not become impatient. She continued to pray and worship God through her anguish. Not knowing whether God would answer her prayer or not. Eventually, God did answer Hannah’s prayer of wanting a son (1 Samuel 1:20).
Like Hannah, we too should worship God no matter the outcome. God is worthy of our worship no matter our circumstances.
- Keep The Faith In God’s Promises
Hannah’s faith kept her steady. She endured her anguish mostly through prayer. She placed her faith above her condition of infertility. What about you? Do you still have faith when you’re in a season of suffering? Or do you allow your circumstances to affect your faith in God?
If you find yourself in a season of anguish, what are you doing to endure it?
The devil’s plan is for you to dwell in your depression rather than endure it. God’s plan is for you to endure it just like Hannah did. If she got through it by applying these 5 practical ways, you can too!
Friend, you are not alone in your anguish. God is there and He is more than willing to help you endure it if you simply allow Him in.
Which of the 5 practical ways mentioned above do you need to implement more in your life? How can you start implementing them?