I have it on my heart to speak to anyone who is in the midst of discouragement, depression, feeling as though you just can’t go on any longer in the way life is.
Perhaps you are in:
- a difficult marriage
- difficult job
- surrounded by flesh-filled people who are clearly against all that you are because you are in Christ and they aren’t
- difficult home situation
- difficult physical situation
- or just perhaps everything in your life is just falling apart right now and it seems as though you can not handle it
It is all too much. So you have become greatly discouraged and there is no life in you, you feel it is all death. You have no motivation, no sense of purpose, and you just don’t understand what God is up to or why things are so hard to deal with. You are questioning why it has to be this way, and you may even feel as though you did something to deserve such a way of life.
Friends, I have found in my own life, seeing other’s lives, and being closely acquainted with Godly writers from the past, that hard times, difficult people, being surrounded by plain death—— is not to be counted as strange.
That is the negative side to what I am going to say, so let’s just settle it that here on this earth, in this world, there is death all around, and there is suffering, and there is pain, and there are things that happen that we just can not control sometimes.
But let’s not stay on that ground, let’s move forward to the positive side of this consideration. For there is life to be ministered from one believer to another, and I am here in obedience to the Lord in His call for me to share what will result in life for any and all who are feeling anything but alive right now!
Discipline Is Not Punishment
Don’t for one second believe that you have done something to deserve some type of punishment or that what is happening to you is some how the wrath of God upon your sins and that you are now paying the price for your sins! We all suffer natural consequences for our choices here, but when we are in Christ Jesus, our sins have been dealt with on the Cross! All our punishment was taken for us in Christ’s death and He dealt with it once and for all (Heb. 10) Do not mistake child training (discipline) for the wrath of God. The way in which we learn what is pleasing to the Lord is a lot of times by making mistakes and wrong choices in life. When we go our own way in some situation, we learn that it was the wrong way by the result of that choice. But the difference between us as children of God, and people who are not born again, is that our discipline results in spiritual maturity, whereas the fruit of the godless reaps eternal damnation.
So if you know that you have perhaps taken a wrong course lately, or even in life in general after being born again, you chose something that was against the Word of God, know that the consequences for those choices are in order to TEACH YOU what is pleasing to God, and what is not.
Just like children, we learn what not to do by making mistakes and learning the right way to do them.
If we want to learn what is right and what is well-pleasing to the Lord, then we must walk by the Spirit and we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh! It requires a walk in the Spirit, and that is the only way we will be conformed to the image of Christ—by choosing the way of the Spirit of Life, and not the way of sin and death which is by the flesh.
If you are in a discouraged state because you can’t seem to get on top of the whole sin question and salvation question, let this word be life unto you that once you count yourself, as in your whole natural life as from Adam, as dead, and you have believed on the Lord Jesus as taking your place, and you have received the Holy Spirit—– then know that there is NOTHING you can do to change yourself—- it is only as the Holy Spirit is controlling your entire being, and Christ taking your place by leading you in His way, His mind, His judgments, and you yielding to HIM completely, that you will see the fruit of the Spirit manifested and growing day by day. It is the difference between fruitless struggle of trying to over come some sin or be good enough or perfect in yourself, and reckoning yourself dead, and alive in Christ, living by the Spirit, yielding to the Spirit within you that is giving you the sense of what is right and what is wrong and as you follow Him accordingly, you are free from any condemnation and sense of death that comes when you focus on trying to be perfect and being good enough and never messing up.
Difficult People Are A Tool In God’s Hands
If you find yourself in a difficult marriage or home life with children that are difficult, or at a job with death and evil all around, and you feel as though you just can not take the adversity and utter antagonism towards you any longer, and you find that it is nearly impossible to be godly in these situations because of the provocation that you encounter from others, there is hope! Don’t lose heart! This is perhaps one of the hardest trials in life because a lot of times we have no choice but to stay where we are. We can’t give our kids away, we can’t divorce our spouse just because they aren’t being nice, we can’t just quit our jobs because we are mocked or treated poorly.
What can we do in this situation?
We can get on top of it by the grace of God!!! I have found it to be true in my own life that any prayers of mine to be utterly delivered from the hard things in my life never came. But what eventually happened was that the Lord led me to see that I had to learn to be content in any situation, and until I learned how to be content in any situation, and learned how to stop reacting to the situation in the flesh, and blaming other people for my own fleshly outbursts, and until I found joy right in the midst of the difficulty, there was no change or deliverance from that thorn in the flesh! That is not to say that we should purposefully expose ourselves to evil people who are purposefully insulting us or lashing out at us, etc. We have a choice to walk away, leave the room/home for some time, put on earphones to silence their devilish accusation, etc. And as we get out of the way of those types of things, and set our heart on the Lord, that is how we find peace in the midst of it. Fighting back with a 7 year old or a grown man isn’t going to bring the peace that surpasses everything going on. But getting away in secret with the Lord will be life unto your spirit and will be the means of strength that you need to face a hateful person in the power of the Holy Spirit!
And I venture to say that it is what is happening to anyone who is in this situation themselves, and surrounded by a truly hard person or company of people, and they are feeling like unless they are delivered from that situation or people, they will not be able to rise up and be filled with peace and joy.
” No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].” 1 Corinthians 10:13 AMP
A lot of people think that that verse means God won’t allow us to be tempted and we will be given a way out of the situation, but that is not what it says! It says that along with the temptation, He will provide a way out so that we are able to ENDURE THE TEMPTATION!
Friends, in whatever hard situation you are in, and whatever difficult people you are surrounded by right now, you are being tempted! You are being tempted to just give up all hope, you are being tempted to react in your flesh and out from your own mind, will, and judgments in the matter. You are being tempted to question God’s love, wisdom, power, and faithfulness. You are being tempted in all kinds of ways, and I am here to encourage you to lay hold of the GRACE OF GOD and the LIFE OF CHRIST that is available to any child of His by FAITH!
You can reach out to the Lord and say, “Lord, I know that you are able to comfort those who are being tempted since you were tempted on all points as we are, therefore I just lay hold of You as my life, as my strength, and Your abundant riches of grace to lead me out of this temptation to get on top of it in spiritual victory, and I just rest in what You are, all that You are Lord”.
And then it is your obligation to act according to these facts that in Christ, there is an abundance of grace and His grace is surely sufficient for all of us!!!
Hear the Lord when He says, “My Grace is sufficient for thee”.
The Value Of Adversity
In every hard thing in life, if we belong to the Lord, we have an opportunity to test the Life of Christ in us, as to it’s power to overcome whatever we are facing. It is HIS life that overcomes—not our natural life. We can do nothing in our selves. We don’t have the source of strength and power in our selves. It is all in Christ! We have the opportunity to take hold of the fact that Christ has already overcome, and just bring that fact into our own situation, and rest on it, act on it, believe on it. And whether the other people or hard thing is removed or changed or whether it is not, we are able to rise above it in spirit and find rest, peace, and joy in the midst of something hard. And that is what the Lord is trying to do in us all in these hard things.
It would have no meaning if it did not create Christ-likeness in us! And what are the marks of the Lord Jesus that are to be seen in us? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control. These are the marks of the Lord Jesus!
You might be thinking how on earth can being around such hard people and utter antagonism produce in us those characteristics?
By recognizing that those characteristics will never be in OUR NATURAL SELF. We will never be those things in our self. Those things are the fruit of the SPIRIT dwelling within our spirits! And as we YIELD OUR SELF to the SPIRIT in us, the fruit inevitably is produced and manifested through us! In our self we will never be anything other than corrupt, angry, jealous, miserable, discontent, etc. But once the natural life and ground is reckoned dead by us, and we turn our eyes on to Christ and yield to His life in us, what comes is that peace that surpasses all understanding, joy that can not be explained by any outward thing, love and gentleness, self-control in the midst of great adversity and provocation. They spring not from our self, but from the Life of Christ in us by His Spirit!
And remember, the more the Lord rebuked the Pharisees the more they sought to kill Him! There is an evil force behind all that is against the Life of Christ in us, and it will not leave us alone. Don’t expect the world to come to your aid and help in this. If you belong to the Lord, you are standing as a testimony against all that which is evil, and you are not going to have an easy time.
We are not working towards overcoming, we are working out of a life that has ALREADY overcome! We can do nothing! Christ has already won! It is our job to take that fact by faith and act accordingly! Not to sink down under the pressure and lose our testimony to the overcoming life in us!
He Won’t Let Us Be Comfortable Here
One last word of encouragement that is on my heart: the Lord is not going to allow us to have everything that will be comfort from this world and life. If everything in our life, job, home, marriage, family was all sunshine and rainbows all the time, we would get comfortable here, and have no need for the Lord or to separate from this God forsaken world.
Do you see why the Lord must allow the difficulty and trial here? Is it not in order that we will never form an attachment to this world and the things of it, but rather become truly separated in heart from it all? I have found that to be true in my own life. There is nothing for us here if we belong to the Lord. And He is leading each one of us to the place where we can truly say that unless the Lord is here, we want nothing to do with this place anymore. If we lose Him, we lose everything. There is nothing to be gained by this world for us. Everything for us is in Heaven and we are ever looking onto Heaven and not onto this world for any consolation.
When we are truly children of God, in us is the very life of God Himself, and what is of God in this world is hated, and is targeted and sought to be killed, destroyed, and stolen by the very forces of evil behind this present world. And when you are truly walking with the Lord by His Spirit, the enemy takes notice of you and seeks to bring you down down down in any way he can!
Have you ever noticed that the more you seek the Lord, and the more you become peaceful within yourself, the more others who are not of the Lord sneer at you for no reason? Or look at you like you have 10 heads for no reason? Or have you ever noticed random cars coming at you in the opposite lane and it looks as though they are staring you down and swerving over in order to scare you on purpose? Or have you noticed that your own child becomes extremely bent on making you miserable any chance they get just because you are no longer stirred up by their rebellious behaviors?
This is nothing strange, friends. This is what we can expect in a world where what is of God is utterly pushed out. We are being pushed out with Him. This world is not our home!
These hard things are in order for us to turn our hearts to the Lord and to seek Him alone, and that is how He becomes our everything, and He gets all the glory! He is calling you in this hard time to let go of what you can not change, and to turn to Him, and allow Him to create Christ in you! 🙂
I am always here to talk to anyone who needs a listening ear! Don’t ever hesitate to reach out if you are feeling discouraged or at your wits end!