Are there times in your life you have felt like your life was over? Like the walls are collapsing? Like the roof is caving in?
Every Christian on this planet reaches that crisis point at one time or another in life. And in that moment when the walls seem to be caving in and the roof appears to be collapsing, when everything seems to be coming apart, a voice deep within cries out, “walk away from it all…pack it in! Escape! Why put up with it? Run away…you don’t have to take it. Give up! Quit!”
There are times when I have honestly felt a weakness and desperation that leaves me feeling hopeless and helpless. I believe that I am not the only one who has had such an experience at one time or the other in their walk. I confess there are times I have felt too weak to pray and the only thing that comes to mind is to sleep it off but that has never makes the situation any better. Christianity has never offered anyone a storm-free passage to heaven. Any road signposted to “Heaven” which by-passes tribulation, is a deception. It will not lead to the promised destination. In Acts 14:22 it is written:
“We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”
Just as Matthew 7:24-27 talks about the two builders and the storm, we are also subjected to storms in our lives. These storms may be: loss of loved ones, loss of friends, rejection, loneliness, sin, unanswered prayer, disappointments, failure and sometimes we become overwhelmed and almost feel like giving up. Personally, I have been there. One specific instance is when at some point I allowed my sin to overwhelm me. I say allowed because it is written that those who are in Christ have been set free from the power of sin through grace (Romans 6:7). I would ask myself questions like: How can God put up with someone like me? How can he still love me when I have failed Him so badly? How many relate? And I would feel like I was not measuring up to God’s standards and expectations.
It may be different for you. Maybe things are not working out as you planned. It could even be your studies- you could be struggling with your studies or maybe bad grades. I agree that CATS and exam periods are a trying period especially because as a Christian you cannot cheat as others are doing. It could be the loss of a friend- you had to let go of a friend. Maybe you have been trying to get a job or attachment to not avail. Maybe it’s a broken relationship, family problems. Don’t worry brother and sister. There is good news. 2 Corinthians 4:16:
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
I may not have mentioned what you are going through but one fact remains. The storms are not over beloved of Christ. John 16:33:
“In this world you will have trouble.”
WHAT TO DO IN TIMES OF DESPAIR
James 5:13 “is anyone of you in trouble, he should pray.”
Praying is what’s most important at such a time yet sometimes it’s what we feel like doing least or last. I admit I have fallen into that trap in the past because that is exactly what the enemy wants you to do. At such a time we may feel unable to pray or lack the right words but it is written in Romans 8:26:
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”
As I went through discipleship, one of my mentors said: there are two instances when you ought to pray; when you feel like and when you don’t feel like. I have never forgotten those words. I have been disciplining myself to pray when I hit rock bottom and when I am faced by a difficult situation for it is written that Christ’s power is made perfect in my weakness, for when I am weak then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9:
But He said to me, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delights in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I have learned to ask God to give me godly sorrow when it comes to confessing my sin. Godly sorrow enables you to see your sin as God sees it: not just as breaking his commandments but as breaking his heart. When we realize that by sinning we break God’s heart it leads to Godly sorrow when we repent of our sin and we ask God to enable us no to sin again. On the other hand, worldly sorrow causes one to see sin just as a mere rule that has been broken and therefore one might end up sinning again; leading to death which consists in feelings of not measuring up to God’s standards and despair. 2 Corinthians 7:10:
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”
In my own struggles, I’ve found great comfort and help in two absolutes.
- The first absolute is: God really loves me. God is not in the business of condemning his children- failures or not. He yearns over us as a loving father, wanting to lift us out of our weaknesses. We can catch a glimpse of god’s love from Matthew 10:29 “are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” God is with us, even when we fall. He does not abandon us on our way down. Our Lord never gives up on any of us!
Have you fallen? Do you relate to that crippled sparrow? Are you wounded, hurting and feeling lost and lonely? Often, we can recognize His great love only when we have hit rock bottom. Don’t panic. Deliverance will come. God answers us by showing His love. And when we have learned how weak we are and have learned to trust His love and forgiveness- He will stoop down and gently help us back to the nest.
- The second absolute is: it is my faith that pleases him the most!
“Without faith it is impossible to please Him.” (Heb. 11:6)
God wants so much to be trusted .that trust He counts as righteousness. (Rom. 4:3)
I finally conclude with a quote from David Wilkerson that always helps me to get back up when I feel like giving up.
“What do I do when temptation rolls over me like a flood? When my inadequacies overwhelm me and I see the reality of my weaknesses? Give up? Quit? Never!! I bring to God all I’ve got left- my faith in Him! I may not understand why He seems to take such a long time to intervene, but I know He will. He will keep His word to me.
I am convinced Satan wants to rob me of only one thing- my faith. He really doesn’t want my morals or good dead or my dreams. He wants to destroy my faith and make me believe God has forsaken this earth.
A fall is never fatal to those who keep their faith intact. In spite of despair and pressures that bog the mind and sap the strength, I believe God. I believe He will “keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless and with great joy. (Jude 1:24)”