Have you ever experienced a time when it felt like life was falling apart? Or when you hurt so bad and your emotions felt so raw that you weren’t sure you could handle anymore?

I don’t know about you, but I have experienced times when the agony in my spirit seemed more than I could bear.

When emotions are raw and it feels like life is falling apart

Over the past weeks, I’ve grieved for several friends who have lost loved ones, whose emotions were real and raw, and whose hearts were broken. I watched as one friend received word that her older friend/mentor/sister in the Lord passed away from cancer into the arms of Jesus. A couple of days later, I learned that another friend’s sister died from cancer, and I would miss the services because I couldn’t get home in time. Just yesterday, I learned that another friend’s young adult son and two others who were helping with disaster relief in Florida in the wake of Hurricane Michael, were hit by a drunk driver and all three were killed. Then just a couple of minutes ago I learned that another friend’s mother died suddenly in the night.

Trying to make sense of such tragedies left my heart in agony for them and my emotions raw. I have lost several friends and family members to death. I grieve for each one of these friends in their losses. My heart hurts for the pain they endure. And it stirs up old grief that I had “put away” because it was so painful to endure.

I had a conversation with one of these friends who honestly admitted, “My emotions are just raw.” I knew what she meant. I prayed with her and promised to continue praying.

God hears us when we call. He is near to the brokenhearted.

I was reminded of Psalm 34:17-18, “The righteous cry out and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart.”

God hears when we cry out to Him. He promises to be near to those whose hearts are broken. Psalm 34 Read more for a Biblical perspective for facing tough challenges. #Bible #faith

That verse comforted me first because I know God hears me and my friends when we cry out to Him in such agonizing times. But it also comforts me because God promises to be near those whose hearts are broken, like each one of my friends and their families.

When I took my friends and their circumstances before the Lord, I sensed Him answering, “I understand. I too have been in that place. I’ve been at the place where my emotions were so raw that I sweat drops of blood!”

That made such an impression upon my heart because it was just one more confirmation to me that Jesus understands. Jesus understands when our emotions are raw, when we are in great pain, and when it feels like our world is falling apart.

That brought me so much comfort. I was on my daily walk at the time that God and I conversed about this. I came home and I turned to that passage in Luke. I was looking for comfort because life has been a little difficult for me lately, and difficult for these friends I mentioned, and for so many friends who are going through challenging times lately.

Biblical perspective for facing challenges: what would Jesus do?

I was looking for some Biblical perspective for what do we do when we are faced with challenges, our hearts hurt, and our emotions are raw.

Frequently, we look to our friends to comfort us. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they can. But other times, they can’t understand. Perhaps they haven’t been through similar situations and haven’t walked the same journey.

It’s so important, however, that we maintain a Biblical perspective. God’s perspective is the one we need. How would Jesus handle such situations which grieve our hearts? What would Jesus do?

Jesus prayed more fervently

I turned to the passage to which God had referred:

“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 NLT).

What struck me about this passage was two-fold:
First, Jesus can relate to our suffering. He agonized so greatly that he sweat drops of blood. He understands when our heart feels like its breaking. He can relate when we feel like we can’t endure anymore. He knows what it’s like when we hurt so badly we feel like we could die. Our friends and family may not be able to relate, but Jesus can.

Second, when Jesus was in the most agonizing situation imaginable, He prayed more fervently. Jesus was the perfect example for what we need to do when our hearts feel like they are breaking, when our emotions are so raw, when we are so emotionally spent from life’s difficult circumstances, and when our friends and family can’t relate. We need to follow Jesus’s example and pray more fervently.

Who better to take those emotions to? Who better to share our cares and our needs and our heart with than the one who was in such agony that He sweat blood? Jesus can relate to our suffering. He won’t laugh. He won’t shame or condemn you. He won’t tell you to get over it or pull up your bootstraps. He will love you and Jesus himself will pray for you.

Trusting God when we don’t understand

As I continued to pray and to process the pain I felt for my friends, I was reminded of Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

In times like this, we don’t understand. I don’t understand why a young missionary died when she was still involved in a great ministry to others. I don’t understand why my friend’s young sister died in the prime of her ministry. I certainly don’t understand why God would allow a young man really just beginning his life to be killed by a drunk driver when he was serving others. I don’t understand. I don’t get any of it. I just cannot fathom the answers to “why?”

It is in times like that when we must trust God. Not just a little, but with our whole heart. He knows the beginning to the ending for each of us and He is perfect in all of His ways. We must trust Him.

I don’t know what you are facing today. I don’t know what needs you have, or what emotions you are struggling with. You, like my friend, may be going through something so catastrophic that you don’t know what to do. Let me encourage you, when you don’t know what to do, pray more fervently. Pray to the One who has all the answers and knows what to do.

God will restore your soul

I promise: He’ll answer. God already knows what to do. Your circumstance, your heartache, your emotions do not take God by surprise. He’ll show you what to do, and He’ll bring you comfort. He promises as much in Psalm 23:3, “He restores my soul, He leads me in the paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake.” It may take time, but He will restore your soul.

Your circumstance, your heartache, your emotions do not take God by surprise. He’ll show you what to do, and He’ll bring you comfort. Psalm 23 Read more for a Biblical perspective for facing tough challenges. #Bible #faith #encouragement

Keep trusting Him with all your heart and pray all the more fervently.

A prayer when it feels like life is falling apart

May I Pray For You?
Father, I lift up the one who is reading these words right now. I don’t know what they face, or how they are feeling. But you do, Lord. And you have the perfect answer to meet their need. Help us Father, when we are uncertain what to do, and our heart is hurting, and our emotions are raw, to follow Jesus’s example and to pray more fervently. I thank you that you bend down your ear to listen to us. I thank you that you promise that if we ask for wisdom, you will lavishly supply it. I thank you that you never leave us or forsake us, and go with us through the

A prayer for God to be near when it feels like life is falling apart. #prayer #Christianity #faith

Because of Him, #HopePrevails

Hope-Filled Perspective : What to do when your heart hurts and world feels like its falling apart

When it feels like life is falling apart, our hearts hurt, and our emotions are raw. Read more for a Biblical perspective so you can face challenges. #Bible #faith


Hope Prevails Book and Hope Prevails Bible Study {hope for overcoming depression} ~ Find out more about What God Says About You in Hope Prevails.

Depression resources: Hope Prevails and Hope Prevails Bible Study

Available through book retailers!

Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression and the companion Hope Prevails Bible Study help the reader understand how depression comes to be, recover their joy, reclaim their peace, and re-establish their true identity, while knowing their worth, remembering their secure destiny, and being confident that nothing separates them from God’s love.

“I often see the long-term and devastating effects of the hard to define, hard to leave behind, ravages of depression. It seeks to wear down and wear out our hope. When longing to help another caught in despair, I’m acutely aware of how inadequate I am to help them, realizing that Christian platitudes and casual verses only serve to make them feel more alone or misunderstood. In Hope Prevails, Dr. Michelle Bengtson provides some profound wisdom for us all. By sharing her own transparent journey of recovery, Michelle offers a break-through approach that focuses on the spiritual component of recovery as a means to overcome. This book finds the cross roads between treatment and faith. What you hold in your hand is a rare gift. It’s hard to find a person who will be so honest about his or her own struggle in order to help you with yours. It’s a double blessing when that person also possesses the expertise, experience and grace to meet your needs. I recommend this book, and this woman, to those caught in the trap of depression. There is hope and it does prevail.”

Jan Greenwood Pastor of Pink, Gateway Women ~ Gateway Church, Southlake Texas
Author of Women at War

Related Reading on Handling Hard Times:

How Testimonies in the Bible Bolster Your Faith During Hard Times

In hard times, I turn to Scripture to bolster my faith. If you need encouragement or comfort, turn to the word and read testimonies. #faith #Bible #scripture


7 Things Learned From Hard Times

In the midst of hard times, instead of asking why, ask “Lord, what do you want me to learn from this?” It’s during the hardest times of life that we experience the greatest growth. These 7 things are lessons we learn from hard times.


5 Tips to Cope with the Hard Times