The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; Psalm 34:17-19 NIV
The world is full of pain.
Psalms 23 talks of the shadow of death and the presence of my enemies. But in both verses GOD is there. He is with us. Eight years ago my father was killed in a car crash. It was a few days before father’s day. As I was grieving I found something that others had commented about in tough times, God’s Grace. He was there supporting me and my family in our brokenhearted time. His Grace was sufficient. People would often say ” I would not be able to bear death of loved ones”. Yes you can because GOD is also there. His presence in the trouble adds support, strength, presence, and healing.
In my grieving I wrote an article called “nevertheless”. I have sent this to many people facing death of loved ones. I believe this truth placed a lightnside their “shadow of death”.
Father’s day is just a few weeks away. This will be a more difficult day for me and many others. My father died two months ago in a car accident. He was a great father and good Christian man. While meditating on things that bring healing and hope I came across a powerful and unusual word in the Bible that has helped me greatly to process the loss and gave me comfort.
The word was spoken by Christ at a time of His greatest challenge.
It was in the Garden of Gethsemane when He was only hours away from death on the cross. During this time the humanity of Christ was in total agony. In His mind and imagination came the visions of what was going to physically happen soon. He had seen other people crucified. Not only the physical death but He was to die for all man’s sins. The stress of the situation is recorded in Matthew 26:38 “My soul is sorrowful, even to death…” The Bible records His physical, mental and spiritual condition was so stressed that even His sweat was mingled with blood. The rock He cried out to God on was red with Jesus struggle. Jesus spoke to His father in prayer and said “Father, if there be any other way…please let this cup pass from me.”
Then Jesus spoke a powerful word. “Nevertheless”
You will not think of this word as one of the great words like faith, hope or love. It’s not recorded in the Ten Commandments or the Beatitudes. The great word Jesus spoke was “nevertheless”. What an odd word to find comfort in! It is a word of transition. It means although the topic before the word is true, the topic after this word is more true. Jesus said to his Father “nevertheless, not my will but Yours”. Everything changed! Jesus rose up a conqueror of death and brought hope to all of us through His death on the cross.
The word is used in 2 Cor. 3:14-16 where the Bible talks about those without Christ living in a darkness of Spiritual realities. Many are living day to day trying to find peace and direction without God. All their efforts lead eventually to emptiness. Peace and purpose in life is fulfilled only through Christ. The Bible says there is a veil covering their hearts and minds keeping them in a state of darkness. Even as Christians share their experiences it seems unclear or even foolishness to them. However, in verse 16 the word “nevertheless” is used to say as they turn to Christ the veil is taken away. Peace, hope and direction in life have come to them through a relationship with Christ.
As I answered the life changing phone call…
As I answered the life changing phone call letting me know my dad had died the world turned upside down for me and my family. Although many people are experiencing death each week the permanent emptiness settled on our family. In the last few weeks this word kept coming back to me…nevertheless. Dad is gone; nevertheless I will one day see him again. His advice can no longer be received; nevertheless he has raised me with a life of examples and wisdom. The death was instant and without warning, nevertheless he was a righteous man ready to meet God.
The word nevertheless helps us deal with life.
The word nevertheless helps us deal with the realities of life that are hard, painful and frustrating by reminding ourselves of the truths in Christ that are promised in God’s word. It helps us deal with life by claiming God’s promises. You might be in a difficult place today. With Christ you can say…nevertheless the promises of God are true. It may seem a silly word to focus on but it can replace fear with faith, stress with confidence, and sadness with joy. God has a “nevertheless” promise for you.
Simon Peter fished all night with no luck. Jesus asked him to simply place the net on the other side of the boat! His response changed his life for ever in Luke 5:5 he said to Jesus “Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.’’ His net was full and so can your heart as we apply a God’s words to our situations.