In 2012, I walked across the stage at my university graduation and into my darkest season. You see, when I began working in full-time ministry at 21 years old, I was completely unprepared for the setbacks I was about to face. I quickly found myself in a battle for the health of my body, mind, and spirit. For months, I was filled with anxiety. And I couldn’t help but wonder, Why won’t Jesus help me?
Can you relate to that feeling? You feel stuck in your setbacks, so you cry out to Jesus for help. But He doesn’t answer exactly how you hoped He would.
You’re not alone on your journey toward healing. If you need prayer, click this link and you’ll be connected to someone who’d love to pray with you.
Finding Hope in the Darkness
The feelings of fear, worry, and depression were so real. They crept in slowly and amplified with each day. I could barely eat because of the daily nausea. I slept more than 12 hours every night, yet every morning it was a battle to even make myself get out of bed. I was so wrapped up in my own mind that most days I simply didn’t speak. I sought help from my family, a doctor, a counselor, pastors, and friends, but my dark season seemed to be never-ending.
And as a believer, I thought I was doing everything right: spending time in God’s Word, talking with Him in prayer, even serving in ministry. But Jesus didn’t promise that we wouldn’t walk through darkness in our lost and broken world. He didn’t promise we’d never be sick—including mental illness. But, He promised that we could have hope in the midst of that darkness because He is with us, and He has overcome this world.
We all experience dark days. And those dark days may last weeks. Or months. Or years. But if you know the story of Good Friday, you know there is good news, friends. Friday is dark, but Sunday is coming! We have a hope in the darkness, and our hope has a name. His name is Jesus.
On my darkest day, a Friday in July 2013, I finally did what the Lord had been prompting me to do for months. I fully directed my heart toward Him. With desperation and humility, I drew near to Him just as He had been drawing near to me.
I prayed this simple prayer, asking Jesus to help me:
Jesus, help me reject the lies of the evil one.
Jesus, help me overcome my anxious heart.
Jesus, help me trust that You are in control.
Jesus, help me believe that the Spirit that raised You from the dead dwells in me.
And two days later, on Sunday, I woke up without the intense burden of worry and doubt. And I felt some relief from the heaviness of depression. For the first time in far too long, I encountered peace. His peace. And I experienced a miraculous healing that can only be explained by the goodness of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Provides Hope
During my Friday, Jesus gave me hope. Even when I couldn’t feel Him, He was there. When I read the Bible, He spoke to me. When I cried out to Him, He heard me. When I was alone, He comforted me. And every single day that I felt far from Him, He was still pulling me closer to Himself.
Our entire lives may feel like Good Friday, the darkest day in history, the day that Jesus died. But we were not created to live in darkness! Now, I don’t know if you’ll experience the sudden, miraculous healing from your pain like I did. But I know for sure that God is with you in the pain. Jesus Himself was known as the Man of Sorrows. He understands human suffering inside and out. And He cares. He cared enough to leave Heaven and die for us to put an end to our darkness once and for all.
The Bible says: … His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:4-5 NLT
Through the death of Jesus Christ, we are made right with our heavenly Father. On Sunday, our risen Savior conquered sin, Hell, and the grave. One day, He will swallow up death forever! Then, we can celebrate His goodness together for all eternity. He will wipe away every tear, and we will live in the majestic glory of Easter Sunday forever.
So, you might be stuck on Friday. But take heart. You can still join in knowing, trusting God, and believing—that Sunday’s coming.