Thursday, July 14, 2016

In the Depths of Despair

What happens when a Christian becomes so totally depressed that there seems to be absolutely no way out? Except maybe one way.

Yes, Christians do become depressed. If you are a Christian out there in the depths of despair and afraid to reach out to someone for fear of being looked down upon, I'm here to tell you that it happens to the best of us. No matter how long you've been a Christian, or how tight your relationship with God is, there sometimes comes a point where you feel like you have no energy left and you just can't go on any longer. The weight on your shoulders can be so heavy sometimes, you feel like there's no getting out from under it.

I know that at that point, the last thing you want to hear are the usual clichés from your friends or family. I know that you already know the truth. I know that you already know that God cares and he can turn your situation around and that he has all the answers you're looking for. I also know that sometimes, all you want to do is crawl into corner, fold yourself into the fetal position and scream and cry. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, I promise you.

 What words of encouragement are there for someone who knows the truth but still feels utterly despondent? It almost feels like nothing anybody says will help you get passed this point. And that may well be true. Maybe the last thing we need at the point of total despair are words from another human being.

When I get to such a point, I shut everyone out. No matter what anyone says to me, in my head, I have a counter argument. At these times, the only person who can get through to me, is God. I have discovered that if I just press the ignore button on everything and everybody else and yell and scream and cry in His presence, I become strengthened and I can go on. Why? Because when you are in the depths of darkest despair (and I mean total darkness) God is really the only one who can drag you out. He's really the only one who knows what to say. At that point, His love goes beyond human clichés.

The Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit as our Comforter (John 14:26) and I have found that He really is the best one there is. In your darkest moments, be still in His presence, he knows just what to say, not with words, but with divine comfort, the kind that leaves you with the strength to fight another day. Do it everyday if necessary (and sometimes, it's necessary), reach out to God and let Holy Spirit be the one to pull you back from the brink. He's the one who does it best.

I pray that this day will be one where you find comfort and strength to go on. Be Blessed.

Devotions like this one and others can be found in the Soul Food Series in Kindle or paperback format. To grab a copy, click one of the images below. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

That one Thing...

One of the things that I've noticed we Christians tossing around a lot is the "get your life in order" speech.  We sit on our lofty perches as pastors,  leaders, teachers, prophets etc and shout down at people: stop sinning! Do the right thing! Trust God! Let go of that thing, God will give you better! All of these are true. Extremely true and extremely good advise.  But I have come to learn that there are people who are truly, genuinely STRUGGLING to live a holy life,  or to stay away from the ONE thing that the enemy keeps using against them.  

It is easy to say that someone isn't really saved or doesn't really love God and is enjoying their sin.  However, there is a flip side.  Everybody has something; the one thing that they almost cannot resist doing. The enemy has observed us and he knows just what that one thing is.  For someone who isn't vigilant we can get them back to doing that thing without them even realising it.  And it's not that we enjoy our sinful state.  I've seen people bawl and beg and cry out to God for months just struggling to get out of a situation.  For whatever reason, they're stuck. Their love for God is very evident but when you look at their actions you can't help but wonder if this is the truth. Maybe deeper spiritual intervention is necessary to help them break through but their love for God is genuine and say that it isn't so is to fail them.  

Why am I saying all this? It's because we as Christians need to change our approach.  Our job is to reconcile humanity to Christ,  no matter how filthy we deem them to be.  We are never to condone or encourage sin,  but we are not to cast someone aside just because we believe that they are unworthy of our help either.  More souls are lost because we turn up our noses, than because they don't hear the gospel! And who are we to do that? Sinners ourselves! In a lot of ways, we have failed at our jobs. We have ignored people who are drowning but desperately pleading for help.  We've left them alone and let them drown and justified our actions by saying that they deserved to drown and "God doesn't always strive with men".

My admonishment to us all today is to stop turning up our noses and ignoring the drowning man.  
There is more that is required of us all. 

Stay blessed everyone. 

Devotions like this one and others can be found in the Soul Food Series in Kindle or paperback format. 

To grab a copy, click one of the images below. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Persistent Mustard Seed Faith

The thing about being a Christian is that you don't make the decision one day and then all of a sudden become a good person living a holy life and walking in perfect communion with God.  It takes work,  actual work,  some tears,  a lot of sweat and maybe even some blood to get that point. 

That's where today's topic comes in.  You hear about mustard seed faith all the time.  You know,  the kind that moves mountains (Matthew 17:20). No there isn't a special kind of faith that we must all work to get.  We simply need to learn to have faith.  Jesus told us just how little we needed to have to move a big mountain.  I have always heard about mustard seeds and how tiny they were,  but recently I had the good fortune to hold a packet of them in my hands.  Those things can fit on the head of a pin.  In other words,  it doesn't take a whole lot of faith to make things happen in our lives. 

But what about those situations that drag on forever.  It's easy to believe God for something and then see it fixed right away,  but there are certain situations in our lives that require not just a quick fix prayer and moment of faith.  Some situations require that we believe and remain faithful for weeks,  months,  years, maybe even a decade or two. 

That's where Persistent Mustard Seed Faith comes in.  It's the kind of faith you need to move not just one mountain,  but every one that comes in your way.  It's the kind that you need to ensure not just survival but actual conquering of the situations that you may face.  It's the kind that you need EVERY morning when you wake so that you will not doubt God's purpose and plan for your life.  It's the kind that says over and over "yes Lord,  I believe you can move this new mountain".

Why do we need such persistent,  unrelenting faith? Because the enemy is persistent and unrelenting! He NEVER stops.  He will come coming and keep throwing mountains in your path.  There will be emotional mountains,  like despair but there will be others.  Like losing your job,  or blockages that will try to prevent your business from taking off. And let me tell you, "in-the-moment"  faith won't help you overcome a consistent barrage of new mountains,  what is going to help is a level of faith that is strong and persistent. 

That's what Persistent Mustard Seed Faith is.  Faith that moves mountains every day without doubting God and his plan. 

Devotions like this one and others can be found in the Soul Food Series in Kindle or paperback format. 
To grab a copy, click one of the images below.