Saturday, November 27, 2010

When You Don't Feel Victorious and Happy

I read over my last post and the question came to mind, what if someone reading that doesn't feel all happy and bubbly right now?  What if they don't sense that presence of God in their lives at this moment?  What if they are in despair, thinking nothing will ever turn out right for them?

So I want to add here that I am not saying, with my words about being led in joy and victory, that we will never feel bad or have troubles.  I have lived through years of pain, sorrow and troubles myself and thought I would never escape that darkness.  I felt alone and afraid and confused.  I condemned myself for being a terrible Christian.  I felt prayer didn't work and that God wasn't ever going to really "do" anything in my situation.  I felt I would be in that state of despairing for the rest of my life.

But God brought me to feel the sunshine again.  He gave me hope and joy, not as a result of my efforts, but as a grace gift.  My problems didn't go away, but they shrunk in proportion to the bigness of my God.  I saw I had never been alone, never been condemned.  In the Spirit, there is just me and Him in union, and everything is okay in that place.  Nothing can touch that union.  Nothing can touch the perfect way He sees me.  Nothing can affect our relationship.

So all that showed me that things aren't hopeless.  Satan isn't winning.  And it isn't all up to me to be some victorious Christian with my amazing faith or acts.  No, the truth is that it's all up to God to work, and that He IS working!  That was big to me, to see that He IS working in my life!  HE can lift us out of despair, HE is our way out of self-condemnation, He is our hope.

There is hope again in my life.  There is the possibility and even the reality of joy and peace and dancing and exuberance, things I thought I would never truly experience again!  I can embrace life again!  Life is worth living, because He is in it.  I am NEVER alone in facing any problem.  HE is there to fight the fear, the anxiety, the despair, the loneliness, the anguish.  He is there in every situation to bring me through.

So I don't want to minimize anyone's pain.  I think grace frees us to be honest about how we feel, honest about how things don't always seem to go well for us, honest about how sometimes we don't feel He is there.  He's shown me that it's okay to be real like that with Him.  But I think God has also shown me that there is hope.  I don't have to assume that despair will control me.  Nor do I have to try to fix all my problems.  He is responsible for our life now.  We're in His hands.  And He is doing something good!

I have felt abandoned and then found I was embraced all along.  I have felt that things could never change and then watched as He transformed them.  He hasn't left us but is really here, actively working for our good.  He has shown me how faithful He is.  Doesn't matter if we are a mess, since it is all up to Him anyway!  He always has it together, and we have it all together in Him today!

                  With love from
                                    

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May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14