“If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.”
2 Timothy 2:13, NLT
There can be times of a great despair; when sin or sickness is definitely in the spotlight. Losing hope is an easy response for mere mortals like us. There can be a place where the darkness won’t lift; and it’s at that point you realize that you’re simply in over your head.
I know that feeling quite well.
I have bipolar disorder and I tend to camp out at the margins where it seems like the grace of God evaporates in the heat of the moment. Whether it is my sin or circumstances, I occasionally feel pretty much abandoned, and it usually is something self-inflicted. We have this glaring tendency to put ourselves in where we should not have been. And condemnation means no comfort can get through to us.
We wonder if God has finally given up on us, throwing us on the trash heap of lost souls. We might feel that is what we deserve.
“Many are saying about me, “God won’t rescue him.”
In Psalm 3, David has come to the realization that his sins have “tainted” him. He talks of many enemies that have suddenly gathered, and they are claiming that David was now outside of God’s grace and favor. The theology of this seemed logical. David had sinned greatly. And just perhaps he had. David’s sin of adultery and murder was heinous and depraved. His enemies suggested that God would now abandon him.
Our own sin may be excessive, but God’s faithfulness is even more extreme.
”Lord, your love reaches to the heavens, your loyalty to the skies.’‘
The grace of God is limitless. It is beyond human comprehension or reasoning. When he committed himself it was for forever. King David understood this, and would survive the devastating fall-out from his sins. Indeed he would reap all that he sowed (Gal. 6:7-8).
You see, Jesus has taken all your sin upon himself, and that includes your faithlessness. He has done this astonishing thing out of the deep depths of His love and mercy. We don’t deserve it and we can’t pretend it is something else. A heart welded to His knows this. We are “saved by grace through faith.”
Do you still feel God has abandoned you forever? Dear one, there is an unholy war on the saints that Satan is waging. He hates your simple trust in God and will shake it anyway he can. He blisters believers hoping to discourage them. And he doesn’t ever fight fair.
“The Lord appeared to us in the past,saying:“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
Christ will always accept the faith that puts its trust in Him.
You must only rest in His kindness and love. He will not abandon anyone who puts even a feeble trust in Him. When we turn from our sin, God will always turn to us. Always believe it, for it is true.
Linda writes candid memoir and fearless poetry, and delves into hard issues others tend to avoid. She is also a sexual assault survivor and a recovering lawyer. She wants you to know God’s redemption and healing are just a story away. Because she struggles at times with depression and chronic fibromyalgia pain, she shows compassion to others who do as well. God often teaches her important lessons in everyday events and she shares those lessons with her readers. She publishes a monthly email newsletter that you can subscribe to here.
anotherfearlessyear.net – A hodge-podge of poetry, essays, recipes, and more, started in 2009 on a whim as a place to share God’s truth, love, and grace.
themighty.com – Linda’s corner of a community of people who struggle together with chronic and mental illnesses, encouraging one another to keep moving forward.
anchoredvoices.com – A place for women to use their words and creativity to point each other to the God who anchors the soul. Linda is the resident poet. Guest submissions encouraged.
Bryan is dedicated to serving broken Christians through a message of grace and discipleship. His special focus is ministering to mental illnesses and other disabilities. He has been diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and Lewy Body Dementia. God has called him to write and encourage after 35 years of full-time ministry. He was ordained as a Pastor in 1996.
gospels101.com A fresh and different look at the people in the Gospels whom met Jesus Christ face-to-face. A new perspective that will make things become alive for the reader.
redletterstudy.com A walk with Jesus through the “red letters” of scripture, examining the words and miracles of Jesus Christ. In many Bibles his words are in red, that is the thought behind this blog. It’s also a devotional study with simple entries that are short, and hopefully a blessing.
parables101.com This is a devotional look at the parables Jesus used and the Kingdom insights that explain the way it meets us.
songsstudy.wordpress.com Considering the love of Jesus for your soul. Short devotional posts that survey the Book of Song of Solomon, passage by passage.
“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.“
“A Christian is not a person who believes in his head the teachings of the Bible. Satan believes in his head the teachings of the Bible!”
“A Christian is a person who has died with Christ, whose stiff neck has been broken, whose brazen forehead has been shattered, whose stony heart has been crushed, whose pride has been slain, and whose life is now mastered by Jesus Christ.”
“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends,for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
It seems that the purpose of life is not to find our freedom. It’s really meant to find our Master.
Yes, the idea of being a slave to anyone is repugnant. We chafe at this, and yet man was never meant to be seperated from the Lordship of Jesus. We’re instructed repeatedly with the New Testament idea that “our life is not our own” Over and over God proclaims Himself as the King.
That troubles us somewhat.
Not so much when life is fairly good, granted, but in those hard moments when a decision must be made between enjoying the titillating “lusts of the flesh,” or accepting the fruits of the Spirit. This is one of those “lordship moments.” They come, and go, and they show us exactly who we are.
If you’re really going to be authentic–a legitimate and real disciple, then you must determine who is going to be “boss.” This isn’t one of those casual decisions. You must securely fix it in your heart.
Your decision must become a settled issue.
The thief on the cross knew salvation, he was promised an eternity with God simply by faith. But I submit to you that he had put himself under the Lordship of Jesus, simply by recognizing the sign, “the King of the Jews.” I believe he saw and understood its imlications. Jesus was King!
This is a very hard word for some, but many of our personal issues hinge on this.
I know this first-hand. It can be a monumental struggle. You must admit to not only having Jesus as your Savior, but you also must put your life under His total Lordship. You need to pick up your cross daily in order to follow. You need to learn how to kneel.
I’ve chosen a crown to open up this post–it’s done on purpose. I simply want you to to understand the supreme call He has on your life. Here’s Bob Dylan, and he nails this idea down:
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed You’re gonna have to serve somebody Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord But you’re gonna have to serve somebody
“Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the perilous pestilence.”
“He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.”
Psalm 91:3-4, NKJV
“There is no neutral ground in the universe; every square inch, every split second, is claimed by God and counter-claimed by Satan.”
I believe that there is a great opposition to living free. Satan contests every square inch. His ‘modus operandi’ parallels the predator. He likes to hunt human beings. We see his power and influence all around us.
I’m being quite careful not to be melodramatic or manipulative when I say this, but Satan has a terrible plan for your life. He often uses human ‘lackies’ to carry out his wishes.They will use deception, lies and foolishness to snare people’s souls. They [he] will even resort to brute force. As a result, many believers are being persecuted for their faith.
Some Old Testament thoughts:
14 “David now stayed in the strongholds of the wilderness and in the hill country of Ziph. Saul hunted him day after day, but God didn’t let Saul find him.”
1 Samuel 23:14, NLT
5 “My future is in your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.”
7 “We escaped like a bird from a hunter’s trap. The trap is broken, and we are free!”
And there is plenty more where this come from. And we haven’t even got to the New Testament yet, where there are substantial references to this kind of attack. The doctrine of Satan is developed further there. Perhaps it is because we encounter the person of Jesus Christ and the act of personal redemption He made for each of us. Through this we discover that we have an enemy that we were never really aware before. And guess what— he hates us!
Some New Testament thoughts:
4 “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News.”
2 Corinthians 4:4
12 “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
Just as we have in Jesus a personal savior, we find we also have an anagonist and a sworn enemy that is set on going to war on us. We didn’t ask for it, and it would be really swell if he didn’t exist at all. But the evil around us has a source and we dare not minimize it.
Our fealty to Jesus becomes critical at times like this. Spiritual warfare has an ebb and a flow to it, sometimes the battles can be intense, and at other times less so. But we cannot do nothing at all apart from the blood of Christ. We must defend ourselves, by calling out to God, or else we will become a casualty.
We can pray.
We can read truth (the Bible).
We can praise and worship.
We can put on “the armor of God’ (Ephesians 6:11).
We can “submit to God” (James 4:7).
We can resist Satan and be firm in our faith, (1 Peter 5:9).
We can “plead the blood of Jesus” over our lives, and over our loved ones, (Exodus 12:13)
Probably the capstone is the following verse. This pretty much sums up this ‘act of resistance’ we are all called to do. I wanted to emphasize it because it is critical:
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”