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Where was Jesus in your worst moment?

How do I get what is in my heart into words? I have been pondering a question that I have heard posed by many for decades, believers and skeptics alike, and somewhere inside of me, the Lord is turning the tables on a huge lie that has derailed many a faith-walk. The question in question: Where was God?

Where was Jesus REMIX (Sunday Special)

When I was hurting, where was God?
When I was abused, where was God?
When all my friends left me, where was God?
When my heart was breaking, where was God?

Have you ever thought any of these things? You are not alone! Are you one of the many who read the “Footprints” poem and think ‘Yeah, Right?’ Hey, don’t get me wrong, I love that, but I am not sure that everyone who has walked through the worst of circumstances felt ‘carried’ through those times when there was only one set of footprints. Sometimes you just feel alone!

I am not sure that my words here will be any better. But there are a few red letters that come to mind as I ponder those ‘one set of footstep moments.’ There are a couple things that Jesus said that I want you to consider next time you are wondering where God was in your darkest moment.

Imagine Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, going around doing amazing things, looking a lot like Jesus. He stands up to preach, and just when he is about to give an altar call, the first rock hits him. One after another, the men he was trying to persuade are hurling fist size stones in his direction. Where is Jesus? (Acts 7)

Imagine James, out there preaching on the street corner with one of his best friends and old fishing buddy Peter. They get arrested, thrown in prison, and Herod has a great idea. Let me make an example of this guy. Where was Jesus? (Acts 12:1-2)

The answer lies in what Jesus said to Paul on the road to Damascus and what He said to the multitudes in Matthew 25. Jesus asked Paul (whose Hebrew name was Saul) “Why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:4) Jesus takes the abuse we suffer very seriously. In fact as He said in Matthew 25 “whatever you did (or did not do) for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matt 25:40 & 45) Paul thought he was killing people who hated God, and Jesus reveals Himself and lets Paul know he was actually persecuting the Lord Himself.

I think we read, “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt 28:20) and think that He will always come between me and trouble when His point is actually that He is suffering right there with you. He promised us trouble in this life. He tells us in John 16:2 people will think they're doing God a favor when the kill you.

So understand this, when you were betrayed or abused, He was betrayed and abused with you. He may not have been carrying you like the poem said – He may have been left bleeding and dying on the Jericho road with you as He watched the good folks walk by BOTH of you. [Tweet This]

My hope is that these red letters will dispel a lie that is keeping you stuck. If it helps, let me know. If it doesn’t, you can tell me that too. I certainly don’t want to make things worse.

Ben NelsonThanks for taking a few minutes to ponder this with me.

Ben

20 thoughts on “Where was Jesus in your worst moment?

  1. Deborah

    It is also a great reminder when we're tempted to be on the other side of the coin too- too busy to listen, too focused on our stuff not to notice someone who is hurting, too fearful to give to those in need because we have bills to pay too etc. etc. Great soul- opening teaching today! thanks:)

    Reply
  2. Martha L Shaw

    It is so comforting to be assured of His loving presence with us in our abuse and pain and loneliness, which I've felt recently, but also in those times we push Him away as we foolishly think we do not need Him because "I've got this" under control. Such love and patience! Thank you!

    Reply
  3. bennetta faire

    This is certainly one of those tender, touchy spots, and I think that a lot of folks just won't get it--at the times when it would be most helpful/useful. I didn't--and it's only by God's grace that I hung in there, struggling with my minimal faith, till I reached my day of revelation. It requires maturity, wisdom, faith and grace to absorb the hard stuff--and blessed are they who have human folks around them to help out, be a buffer, till the Lord reveals Himself in His dual nature of majestic Sovereignty, and rejected, beaten humanity.

    Frankly, I don't know how best to teach those scriptures so that folks aren't deluded into thinking that following Christ will make life easy-peasy. When we're hurting so bad, and someone offers Jesus as the answer--they're reluctant to give us the bad news side of the "good news", that Christianity isn't a magic show: "presto, change-o, life will now be perfect!" The truth--that with Jesus we're never alone--doesn't always match up with our feelings--that sometimes we're in the dark, not even an echo for comfort. Perhaps we can persuade folks that if they'll just hold steady, something supernatural will happen--and Jesus will meet them there, really truly.

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      For sure - that is why i am such a lover of the Word. It shows us tough men and women living in tough circumstances and holding onto faith through the storms.

      it's why we must make disciples not converts so we can walk though stuff with folks who have been there before.

      This particular post came as a mini revelation while walking with a brother through a tough spot.

      thanks much kiddo
      see you again soon.

      Reply
  4. mtsweat

    A very tangible approach you offer us Ben. Very good... your love for the Word. The most difficult time to share these truths is in the midst of the crisis. But if we live in the Word, as you say, we are prepared before trials come. Love your take: we need to make disciples rather than mere converts, for no doubt a storm is brewing for each and everyone of us. Encouraged by your words today good friend. Blessings

    Reply
  5. mtsweat

    Oh yeah, I keep trying to lay this nickel on your website, but when I leave the page, the nickel stays on my Kindle... what's up with that?

    Reply
  6. noordinaryjoy61

    I especially like what you said about the importance of making disciples, not converts. I'm transparent about my struggles and bad/worst moments because I want others to know the reality of how God works all things together for good as we walk by faith with Him. I often recognize God in the details but, especially with the tough stuff, I find that by focusing on the bigger picture, I can see His hand in my life/on my circumstances much easier. I often regularly remind myself that feelings are not always facts...

    Reply
  7. Heather Mertens @ 40YearWanderer

    Ben,
    This is so wonderful. I have had the blessing of being able to look back and see where God was with me even when it didn't seem so at the time. I realized later it was all in my choice - to look for Him in a way that I hadn't been. He was always there. That's His promise.
    I'd like to share my story and the story of what happened with my husband. They are both at this link below. VERY huge "bad" in our lives, but a much bigger God was there.
    Blessings my friend,
    Heather
    40YearWanderer.com

    http://40yearwanderer.com/our-story/

    Reply
  8. JONATHAN BRENNEMAN

    When I read stories like "The Hiding Place" and "Tortured for Christ", I am convinced that it is possible to experience the love and presence of God no matter what happens. Ps. 139-"Where can I flee from Your presence?"

    Reply
    1. Ben

      Amen - those are striking stories. We American Christians have no idea (in most cases) what faith can withstand in the presence of God.

      Reply

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