“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9, NLT
The issues we face can be hard and formidable. Our relationships, our circumstances can present daunting obstacles to joyful Christlike living. We live out at times from unpleasant realities and less than ideal situations. We are broken believers who follow Jesus through our minefields.
Struggling with mental illness is a challenge as with any other handicap. The young man struggling with bipolar disorder or someone else who faces a clinical depression, may seem to be tangled up in something quite brutal and very hopeless. “Will I ever find normal again?
I know that struggle, at times it has ripped me apart. I suppose the grinding hopelessness is the worst part of that.
I want to encourage you in this. The issues you face on a daily basis are hard. Don’t minimize their complexity or diminish their bitterness. But the Holy Spirit is with you in the midst of your lions. I believe that their constant presence produces a faith and tenderness that can’t be just prayed for. The work is being completed even as you read this post. There is a wisdom emanating from the fire.
We walk through the trials, not around them.
I did not choose this path I’m on. But I’ve discovered a joy in them— more precisely a joy because of them. But alternatively, our illness is not meant to destroy us. That is not why God has allowed you to be afflicted.
“And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight.”
Jesus has special spot for the afflicted, we see him repeated touching them. He drew them like a magnet draws iron. And he is the same today in our time. It is comforting to know that he cares and that we are understood so. Let him draw you into his caring presence. Disabilities do not trouble him.
Yes, the issues are formidable. But your obedience is an exquisitely special commodity. It is precious in his sight and will hold its value for all eternity. Understanding this should be a cause for joy for the broken believer. Having the lightness of heart, right in the middle of our disability, often transforms it into a lighter burden. “We are hammered, but not totalled. Incredibly challenged but not completely devastated.”
Bless a thing and it will bless you. Curse it and it will curse you. If you bless a situation, it has no power to hurt you, and even if it is troublesome for a time, it will gradually fade out, if you sincerely bless it. There is a deep joy waiting in these ashes for those who choose to do this.