How do you cope in moments of great strain? How do you regain your equilibrium when you see or experience the problems of the modern world? How do you deal with roadblocks in your own life?
In Luke 21:9 Yeshua tells us:
But when you shall hear of wars and tumults, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not yet. [King James 2000]
These things have to happen, and sometimes we need to realise that those things we see happening around us and to us also have to happen, even if they are upsetting. Perhaps you have lost a friendship, or perhaps your family is breaking apart in disagreement. Perhaps, as I am, you are feeling stuck and your life seems to have a roadblock in some area.
We can expect persecution – persecution comes when we proclaim Christ. We don’t get persecuted by the enemy – satan cannot have a foothold unless we give it to him. He will try and we may feel we’re being persecuted, but really persecution comes through people. One of the saddest things I hear in churches is the notion that as “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) that we are suddenly clean, and released from all past sins. Members of the congregation continue to struggle with intergenerational curses due to unrepented of sins, and the pain and suffering is very real.
So we need to place any ground given to satan over the years of sin firmly under the blood of Christ, and change our behaviour, clean our homes of sin- and curse-bearing objects – everything from vibrators (ladies!) to pentagrams, yin yang symbols, dream catchers – the list is endless! I have spent almost eight years cleaning house both my internal house, but also my actual house. The things I have found lurking in drawers would shock you – my “old man” – my past self – brought many of these objects into this house, or allowed them to be brought in. As I’ve cleaned house, I’ve burned books – hundreds of pounds worth. I’ve got rid of countless items. Everything from books and magazines to DVDs of films with inappropriate content. I’ve been quite the purist – perhaps more than necessary! But, “if in doubt, throw it out” is a good motto when it comes to the potential of objects to bring problems. I hope there are none left.
But in all of this life has moved forwards. Not at the speed I’d hoped, and I’m not where I want to be, and my timetable has not been followed, if you’ll pardon my forwardness. My timetable would have seen life move on way sooner, but God’s timetable was different, and I can see that now. I wonder when things will finally look like I want them to, or if they ever will. I do know that God is with me, and that “these things must first come to pass” – that just as there is an order to the return of Christ, there is an order, in the will of God, for my recovery. That my recovery is happening day by day, and that despair is an occassional roadblock to my faith, not a result of a roadblock in my route out of where I am.
So much “serendipity” along the way – which is how many people think, when really those moments are “God moments”. Yet just when I am crying out to God and saying “WHEN?!” and saying “where will the money come from?” and “why are my needs not met?” I am concentrating on the lack of the perceived need and not on the fact that it is impossible for me to be lacking anything which I need. I have simply misunderstood my own needs. Satan cannot take a job opportunity from me, he cannot affect my finances – everything in my life is under prayer and in submission to God!
So I need to press in, to trust more and to be extra patient as God prepares the way better and more fully than I can do myself. God is, in fact, repairing my very foundations. My mind, my imagination and my will are no match for His perfect will and His healing!
If God provided for what I want to do before He’d completed the work He wants to do in me, then things would not go right. Equally when He provides opportunities I have to see them and act on them, and not be passive. It’s a process and a learning experience all round! When satan is trying to mess things up I also need to recognise that and deal with the enemy the right way:
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. [James 4:7 KJV]
So don’t despair when things are not going how you want. Pray – place it all under the blood of Christ and wait. Doors will open when God has made YOU ready, not when you have struggled by yourself to “make it happen”.
We are told in Psalm 127:1-2
Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.
And another vital verse for you in times of trouble:
Be not therefore anxious for the morrow, for the morrow shall be anxious for its own things; sufficient for the day is the evil of it. [Matthew 6:34 YLT]
Let times of despair be times when you trust God more fully to be doing the vital work in you which you didn’t know needed doing.
God Bless you