We live in a world that encourages us to pretend. We don’t want people to think we’re a mess so we keep things hidden. We fear what our friends and family might think if they knew what’s really going on so we paste on a smile. “I’m fine, OK, great. How are you?”

But Jesus frees us to be ourselves. He accepts us, warts and all. He doesn't keep his distance as we struggle along helplessly. He’s got his loving arms wrapped around us tightly each step, or misstep, along the way. That’s incredibly freeing, especially since we all have issues.

When we’ve walked with Jesus for a while, we have a story to tell. Even if we don’t feel 100% better, our weakness has continued to drive us into the arms of Christ — where we’re forgiven and have our wounds dressed and our hope renewed. We’ve learned how weak we are without him. He’s become our refuge and that’s made all the difference.

The God who comes alongside us asks us to come alongside others.

When you open up your heart to hurting people and share how God has been helping you face your own issues, something beautiful happens. You become the arms of Christ. Your words become his. Your compassion becomes the fragrance of Jesus that draws people into his embrace.

You don’t have to fix anybody. That’s God’s job. And you don’t have to minister to everyone — just the people God puts in your life. But the important thing is that you're making yourself available, trusting the Spirit to guide you.

Issues I Face is an exciting way to reach people with the hope of Jesus. It’s a place where Christians tell the raw and real story of an issue they’ve faced or are facing and invite readers to connect one-on-one with a mentor. We'd love you to start using this tool too. Help us get the word out today!

updated September 2019

Photo Credit: Julia Caesar