“The hurt that broke your heart,
And left you trembling in the dark,
Feeling lost, and alone
Will tell you hope’s a lie
But what if every tear you cry
Will seed the ground where joy will grow…”
Can sin cause heartbreak to the believer?
Do you know what AGONY is?
It is a constant struggle and wrestle with pain and suffering – specifically mental anguish.
Anguish is the reflection on evil that is already past, while agony is a struggle with evil at the time present.* Luke 22: 44 gives an example of the Savior Himself in such a situation.
“And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
Jesus is borne up in His hour of greatest need, when He must intercede not only for Himself but for His followers, who are about to leave Him in the lurch. The AGONY he endures reflects the intensity of His struggle not so much with death itself, but with His destiny to be made the sin-bearer for all mankind for all the ages. The punishment that had to be borne for our sins brings Jesus to His knees in anguish.
But Jesus was blameless.
Then what does the word mean in our lives – as sinners?
In Romans 11: 16, 17, Paul uses an allusion to talk about the promise to the Jews and Gentiles. The root of the tree, in this example, is the covenantal promise to Abraham, which anticipated blessing to Jew and Gentile. Israel’s essential nature is Holy (despite all the sins they commit) because they are set apart for God’s purpose. They are the chosen. The allegoric first fruit is Abraham and the branches refer to Israel individually. When some of the branches are broken off, Israel is set aside but there is a remnant. The Gentiles do not displace Israel; they merely partake of “the root and fatness of the olive tree”. When God is finished with the gentiles, He will reinstate Israel. Israel was set aside because of unbelief. The Gentiles have favor because of their belief. Therefore they should not be proud.
Israel was God’s first love, the apple of His eye. No matter what the Israelites did, how much ever they flouted God’s commandments, God still chooses Israel. National salvation will come to Israel. This is the ultimate fulfillment of the new covenant (Jeremiah 31: 31-34). And, this will be realized when Jesus returns to the Earth to set up His kingdom. God has set aside temporarily for the sake of the Gentiles, but He has not forgotten them because of the promise to the fathers, that He will deliver them from sin. That just shows the extent of God’s unconditional love. God has temporarily set aside Israel, so they are in constant “agony” (for the past couple decades).But God will never leave Israel.
For anyone who has accepted God as their Savior, He never forsakes us or lets us down. Even if we have backslidden in our faith or have sinned against God; if we repent, God is ever-willing to take us back into His loving embrace. But, He is a just God. Instead of leaving one to eternal damnation because of sin, He ensures that our punishment is fulfilled on our life in Earth. He gives us another chance at life, and best of all, we get to spend eternity with Him.
It is a difficult time to get over a sin even when we are committing ourselves to the Lord, begging for forgiveness. The guilt that we are overwhelmed with is easily misused by Satan into thoughts that God has forsaken us, and that Hope is an unachievable concept.
“When hope is more than you can bear,
And it’s too hard to believe it could be true.
And your strength fails you half way there
You can lean on me, and I’ll believe it too
And in time, you will believe it too…”
You need to remember that Jesus died on the Cross for your sins even before you were born – He died for your sins that you have already made and the sins that you are going to do. The reassurance of forgiveness does not encourage a lifestyle of sin. As Paul says in Romans 6: 1-3, “… Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?… so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” We are constantly encouraged to live blameless in the Lord and the Holy Spirit continues to convict us in our Spirit.
“I want you as you are, not as you ought to be
Won’t you lay down your guard and come to Me,
The shame that grips you now is crippling
It breaks my heart to see you suffering
‘Cuz I am for you
I’m not against you
If you wanna know how far My love can go
Just how deep, just how wide,
If you wanna see how much you mean to me
Look at my hands, look at my side
If you could count the times I’d say you are forgiven
It’s more than the drops in the ocean”
Don’t beat yourself up. Everyone makes mistakes. Some can be life-altering. But give yourself a chance. I know God did.
* – Taken from M. G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897.