We move from the liberty to express hurt, understanding that the saints often feel the absence of God. But now we must draw close to God himself.
3. Christ is with us in our darkest places.
When we start to be honest with God, we realize that God is with us through the pain. We know this because of what he showed us in Christ.
God, the God of the universe, came and dwelt in Christ, Immanuel, God with us. He died on a roman execution cross. On the cross he cried out, “My God my God why have you forsaken me?” Which is the lament of the Psalms. Jesus is God with us in our darkness moments.
The cross is a rare kind of anguish. It is the slow death by bleeding out from the torture and nails. Hanging on the nails meant one’s diaphragm would be stressed, causing the person to gasp for air. The subject would hang there starving to death, slowing hallucinating in a delirium of despair as people stand there and mock. Nailed there, few pictures of the atonement render it accurately: few picture the victims unclothed and naked, exposed to desert sun that would blister exposed skin. (Ironically, no crucifix renders Jesus naked – an accurate depiction of the cross is still too scandalous, even Christians!) And the nakedness of exposure was more than physical: hanging there naked, the victim was exposed to the scoffers, jeering, removing whatever dignity remained. Jesus had the added pain and humiliation of a thorn crown pressing into his head and a sign above, mocking his claim to the throne of David.
He did that to show that God is with us even in our darkest moments. When we feel abandoned by God, Christ is actually closer to us all the more.
So we have beautiful Scriptures like Romans 8:
If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So, this is important. Christians can get depressed. Christians can feel terrible anguish in their lives. That does not mean they don’t believe enough or anything like that.
But if you do find yourself in that sense of sadness and you wonder if God actually loves you. Whatever power your mind has, turn it to the cross. Our brains can trick us into feeling extreme worry or sadness. That is clinical, and we need to get ourselves looked at by a doctor when that is the case. But the truth is no matter what we feel, Christ will never ever let us go. He died for us. He feels our sadness with us. He loves us too much to leaves alone.
He gave his life to tell you that you mean the world to him.
Do you think he would give someone up that he paid for with his very life?