Being a follower of Jesus comes with a certain level of bravery. We have to be brave when we're under attack, brave when we're afraid, and brave when we're hurting.
These are only three of countless circumstances where we can be reluctant to speak of God's sovereignty or holiness. We know God is merciful and gracious, but sometimes it's hard to even say those words when we're being attacked.
Some would say that the strongest people suffer in silence. That isn't true. Being quiet and alone is exactly where the devil wants us when we're hurting. It's where he can do the most damage.
We are our own worst critic. The devil knows this and getting us alone with our thoughts is one of his favorite playgrounds. It's also one of his most effective.
Seclusion is where we start to convince ourselves that the worst-case scenarios are actually playing out in our lives:
"I'll never amount to anything."
"God could never love me."
"They will never forgive me."
"I try my best to help others but I always end up alone and empty-handed."
"My past will forever dictate my future."
These thoughts cause us to instinctively isolate ourselves. We tell ourselves that no one wants to be with us while we're feeling down anyway. We'll fight through this on our own and then come out of solitude when we're feeling better. Right?
It's when we start to seclude ourselves that we most need to surround ourselves with other like-minded, Christ-pursuing people. In the same way, we need to be intentional about making sure we aren't allowing people to seclude themselves when they are hurting.
In Genesis 2:18, just before creating the first woman (Eve), God says "It is not good that the man should be alone."
Human beings are not meant to be alone. That's not how the human mind is hardwired. Human psychology has told us that throughout history.
Pursue one another and love on one another. Christ made the church His body so that we can all function as one unit made of many different parts.
When one of the parts of the body is struggling, it's the responsibility of the rest of the body to compensate to make the body fully functional again.
When you're hurting, praise God. Reach out to others that will encourage you and keep your faith steadfast. But never stop praising God. Even in the dead middle of the storm, praise God.