Remember the time when you gave your life over to the Lord. It was a time of conviction and repentance, a time of joy, love, peace, and of major transformation. You said “use me Lord for Your glory, I am your servant” and you meant it with all your heart. You even said you’d die for Him.
Remember how you would hug His Holy Word and kept it very close to you as you slept feeling safe in His presence. Your days were filled with worship and praise. He filled that hole were you carried that awful emptiness, and He filled your days with hope and anticipation. This was your first love, a love like you’ve never experienced before or ever will again. You were on fire for Him.
Suddenly life takes an unexpected turn and places you in a dark and lonely valley. Sickness, broken relations, and loneliness move in. You begin to question that very love that used to sustain you; you begin to ask “where are you God?” Your situation worsens as time passes with no relief in sight. Each agonizing day steals your joy and peace, and fills you with bitterness and pessimism.
The Bible no longer brings you comfort and hope. You do not hear God anymore, and you feel as if God has left you or doesn’t want you anymore. You begin to have doubts, and disbelief creeps in. You begin to believe there is no God and if there is no God, then there is no Satan. That first love is no longer living in your heart, and the emptiness has slipped back into your soul as you find yourself falling back into your old ways, that old sinful life. You have slowly and gradually committed spiritual suicide.
When I say spiritual suicide, I’m not referring to putting your old self to death as the Apostle Paul calls us to do or living a life devoid of meaning because you did not accomplish your dreams in life. I am talking about the spiritual suicide that many commit and fall away from grace. Unlike physical suicide, spiritual suicide doesn’t happen quickly, it can take a long time to completely sever our communion with God. It is a death worse than that of the physical body. Others cannot see it right away. When we open that forbidden door of sin and allow doubt and disbelief to enter our spirit, the heart hardens and we stop hearing from God. Not because He has turned His back on His children but because we chose to ignore the prompting and call of the Holy Spirit. We no longer feel convicted for doing the things we know are wrong.
Some think they have a good reason to leave their faith. Some have had sickness and tragic events affect their lives and feel God was not there for them. Many have been hurt and are disappointed with the people they love and trust. Many have been betrayed and rejected by brothers and sisters in Christ. Then there are those who begin to doubt and question the inerrant Word of God because they've allowed worldly wisdom and knowledge to cloud and dampen their faith. However, tribulations in life are not reasons to leave the faith and commit spiritual suicide, yet many do. The truth is, in our walk with Christ some will come to experience disastrous events that can shake the foundation of their faith. This is why a child of God should never stop growing and maturing in the faith otherwise at the first sign of trouble or doubt they will begin to slip away.
During our spiritual growth, a willing and obedient child of God can learn many lessons. We can learn to prepare for the battles in our lives, and we can learn to trust that He will enable and deliver us. We have to learn to rely on His promises so that when the time comes to face our storms and challenges in life, we can persevere. There is hope in His promises and we need to learn to look for them in our Bible. In Isaiah 40:29-31, God promises power and strength to the weak and the powerless, and to those who put their trust in Him. God does not desert us in our time of need. When we seek God out and put our trust in Him, He will equip us with what we need to conquer this battle we call life.
Unfortunately, suffering is a part of life and it is not something anyone is impervious to, including Christians. We can have a season of pain that can lead to disbelief and doubt but when we stop and listen and submit to the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit will comfort us and help guide us back to God. At the same time, God will teach us to help others who are in trouble. In 2 Cor 1:3, 4, Paul calls God “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. “ (KJV) There’s hope and comfort in God’s words.Just to know that our Lord is the God of all comfort is a soothing and healing balm to an injured and troubled soul.
So yes, trouble will always be there. There are no promises in the Bible that says we will have a trouble-free life and be shielded from problems once we give our lives to the Lord. To the contrary, in the New Testament Jesus tells His disciples that we will have trouble in this world (Jn 16:33). In the Gospels of Matthew and John, Jesus tells us repeatedly we will be persecuted, rejected and hated because of Him.
Our heroes from the Bible suffered immeasurably. In the New Testament, the apostles endured horrible treatment and agonizing deaths, yet they persevered till the end. And who can forget the affliction and suffering of Job and Joseph in the Old Testament? In Acts 7:9, 10, Stephen retells the story of Joseph from the Old Testament and of how Joseph was sold by his envious brothers into slavery. We know that Joseph suffered; however, Stephen emphasizes that God never left Joseph. God “was with him and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt…”(NIV).
What God does promise is a crown of Life to those who persevere. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him” (NIV). And in Rev 2:10, God promises (eternal) life as a victor’s crown for being faithful even until death.
On a final note, God knows our sorrows, our weakness and feels our pain, that is why He promises us rest if we place our burdens on Him (Mat 11:28, 29). Therefore, before you come to that lonely dark place, that valley of despair and hopelessness, and attempt to commit spiritual suicide, turn back and listen to His voice. If you truly walked with Jesus at one time, you WILL know His voice but you have to listen. In John 10:27, 28, Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand” (NIV).There is no greater comfort than to know we have a shepherd that knows His sheep and will not allow them to perish. He will not allow anyone to snatch them from Him, NO ONE!
Therefore, remember we have a promise of eternal life in Christ Jesus, and you can overcome and rise above your situation because the power of the resurrection of Christ is in you. You are not alone and you cannot do it alone. Victory is not achieved by our own physical and inner strength but by His Spirit. And if you think you’ve come too far to turn back to God, then you need to know that with God all things are possible, and it all starts with acknowledging your sins and with repentance. God wants to forgive you and hold you back in His arms. Do not kill your spirit.
In God’s love and blessing.
© Faithful Daughter 2012
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