Dear Dr. B,
Life has just been so hard lately. It has left me feeling spent, and left my emotions raw. Have you ever felt that way? What do you do in times like that?
Real and Raw

Dear Real and Raw,
I’m so sorry for your pain. I have great compassion because yes, I have been there. It’s in times like that when we really want our friends to understand and to be able to help and comfort us. But that’s often when, try as they might, if they haven’t walked through similar trials, they might not be able to understand.

As I prayed about my response, I felt like God reminded me that even when our friends and family members may not understand this depth of emotion, He does. He has been in that position.

On the night that Jesus was betrayed, He was in the garden praying. He was overcome by such emotion, and praying that if there was any way possible, that God would spare Him from having to die. Scripture says that Jesus was in such agony, His emotions were so raw, that He sweat drops of blood.

“He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.” (Luke 22: 44)

Yet, Jesus was the perfect example for us. He didn’t run from His emotions. He didn’t try to bury them. He didn’t busy Himself in work, or overeat or oversleep. Scripture says that when He was in such emotional turmoil, “He prayed more fervently.”

That’s what we too need to do when our emotions are raw, when we are so spent from the difficult circumstances we face. We need to pray all the more fervently.

Who better to take these raw emotions to? Who better to take our difficult circumstances to than the One who faced the most difficult of life circumstances and gained the victory over them so that we could have the victory?

We are promised that, “The fervent prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)

That should bring a great deal of comfort. I could relate to your question as I, too, have been going through a difficult time lately, and I have several friends who are going through difficult times that just leave them emotionally raw. But when we are in those situations, we are encouraged by Jesus’s example to pray all the more fervently.

When we pray in agreement with the promises God has made to us in His word, they become more embedded in our hearts. The more we pray it (fervent prayer), the more we come to believe it and expect it. It shifts your focus off the circumstance and onto God and His timing.

I don’t know what situations you are facing. I don’t know what circumstances you find yourself in. But I know who goes before you, and I know that He knows the plans He has for you. Those plans are good, they are to prosper you and not to harm you. They include a future and a hope. And He promises to work all things together for our good when we love Him and are called for His purpose.

Because of Him, #HopePrevails!


Exciting News!

The Hope Prevails Bible study is now available!

Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor's Personal Journey Through Depression Bible Study release date October 25, 2017

Are you or is someone you love experiencing depression? This book offers tangible help, hope, and healing from someone who’s been there and has come out on the other side.

In this Bible study companion to Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression, Dr. Bengtson, a neuropsychologist with over 25 years of experience, shares both her clinical expertise and her own personal journey through depression.

Dr. Bengtson’s personal experience is interwoven with questions for reflection, key thoughts, music playlist suggestions, resources, plus a leader’s guide.

This Bible study can be used as a companion to Hope Prevails or independent study by an individual or is perfect in a small or larger group study. Useful for churches and counseling practices.

“Authentic connections, raw insights, and powerful truths. A great resource for individuals that would be highly beneficial to both church and counseling groups.” ~ Pastor Debbie Kitterman, Founder, Dare 2 Hear Ministry


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When life is hard, it can leave us feeling spent and our emotions turned upside down. What do you do when your emotions are raw? Who do you turn to when your friends don’t understand the circumstances you’re facing?

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