Many Jesus-loving followers are discouraged. Even the Wal-Mart cashier- a young man I don't even know by name- commented on his level of discouragement as a Believer.
- We faced an election where many were hopeful for a season of new leadership- and we're let down. The emotions surrounding just that one part of life are charged and raging through many. I have read so many terrible things wishing ill to both candidates that break my heart. God has given us the freedom of choice- and He does let us have what we want!
- This week we faced circumstance alongside our sisters/brothers in the Lord: loss of business opportunities, loss of life at the end of a long battle with cancer, loss of life due to a car accident... Devastion due to Hurricane Sandy. Christian marriages barely hanging by a thread. Moms at their witts-end because they lack support and encouragement. Women pregnant with child who are facing signifcant health issues and the fear of losing the baby all the while our country at large supports the wilfull murder of innocent, unborn chidlren. People battling sickness. Spirit-filled ministers facing evil circumstances and ministering to stubborn flocks. Children who have no parents and need a home- right in our own communities- that are overlooked and unwanted.
- The "me, me, me" mentality haunting every corner of life constantly trying to win my attention as I battle with humility and pride to put myself aside day after day and clothe myself with Christ.
- And even closer to home, we face the possibility of quickly becoming a statistic in the Unemployment Rate as we received news my job- our main financial provision- is in jeopardy. It's nearly a matter of time until there is no more work to do.
I'll be honest- my gut reaction is not godly. Fear. Pain. Anger. Anxiety. Disgust. I am generally an even-keeled, level-headed, faith-filled woman. And in the admission of feeling those things, it's easy to become discouraged and even depressed. Why?
The reason is simple and ridiculous all at once- I thought.
I thought I could be strong.
I thought my prayers were working.
I thought my encouragement toward others was enough.
I thought He would heal them...
I thought my faith was strong.
I thought I was doing enough...
I thought surely God would overcome my ideology of evil with good.
But Scripture tells us that even as Believers our thoughts are evil (Jeremiah 17:9). There's not one thought in my mind that is truth, unless it comes directly from the heart of God in Scripture.
I have to replace these thoughts with TRUTH.
He holds the hearts of rulers in His hand. (Proverbs 21:1)
He alone knows the heart of man (I Kings 8:38-39)
I am weak. HE IS STRONG. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
Pray without ceasing. (I Thessalonians 5:17)
The effective, fervent prayer of the righteous avails much. (James 5:16)
Encourage one another as long as it is called today. (Hebrews 3:13)
God creates and sustains life. (Psalm 139:13)
For to live is Christ but to die is gain! (Philippians 1:21)
He hates divorce (Malachi 2:16); Divorce is an option only because of hardness of heart (Matthew 19:8) He has given us hearts of flesh, not hearts of stone!! (Ezekiel 36:26)
Some sheep are really goats (Matthew 25:31-46)
As a believer, my worldview is through a foggy mirror (I Corinthians 13:12). I think this or I think that. But what I need to THINK is what Jesus tells me to think. What He has revealed through Scripture or whispers to my heart in a still, small voice (in accordance with His Word, might I add!)
Yet, in the twists and turns, the uncertainty and change, there is one constant- Jesus.
He never leaves. He never forsakes. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
He's right here. Right now.
In the middle of my fear, He's here.
In the middle of my pan, He's here.
In the middle of my anxiety, He's here.
In the midst of my disgust or frustration, He is here.
He will not leave. I
do not have to hide my heart or my emotions. I
do not have to impress HIM.
I do not have to be downcast that I'm not "more faithful."
I can simply run into His arms and let Him see my tears. I can open my heart and let Him pour what I need into me. I can trust HIM. I can think on HIM.
So, it's been a week... But it's HIS week. This is the week HE HAS MADE. I will rejoice and be glad in it!! I will stand upon the Truth and upon His promises... All things will work together for my good because that's what HE said! (Romans 8:28)