A Heavy Heart

I must admit that I was really hoping to have my next section of Revelation up by now. Unfortunately, it’s just not to be. I have been having a number of discussions with friends and folks who appear to be going through rather significant trials.

Some are going through trials of life. And I do not want to minimize this because I think we can all identify with them. And let’s face it, when we go through such trials, ourselves, they seem so immense, like nothing we’ve really imagined before. Eventually these do pass; and hopefully we move on, and our faith is increased.

Others are going through trials as the result of their faith and stance on the word of God. While I could easily provide a number of verses and passages to show how such suffering is normal and called for in the life of the Christian, I don’t believe that’s what’s necessary right now. I don’t think this is a good time to see how many verses I can recall.

When these types of trials come, it’s very easy to feel very secluded, alone, and utterly cut off. The primary reason for this isn’t a doubt of scriptures. And it’s likely not due to a lack of knowledge of what God says about trials. Rather, this comes as the result of self-doubt and self-criticism.

I’m not sure if any of you have been there. I know I have been. In fact, I’m going through a bit of it myself, right now. You see, we question our involvement in the kingdom of God. We question our calling and whether we’re operating according to it or whether we’re stark opposition and God’s trying to effect a course correction. We might question whether God’s trying say something to us and we’re simply too caught up to listen. And the list goes on.

All I can say is this: God is not caught off guard by what is occurring in our lives. And we didn’t just fall off course and out of his will. Sure, our personalities are involved. And sometimes we get frustrated, angry, hurt. But God knows all of that before hand. Yet, he still chooses to place us in certain positions that are uniquely required to conform us more to the image of his son. This doesn’t mean we’re off-base at all. But he is the Potter. And sometimes he needs to simply reshape a little clay. And sometimes he needs to remove whole chunks. But he will perfect his work in us. In fact, he’s doing this because he is faithful.

So, take courage! And do not despair. If you have moments of weakness where you give in to temptation, then pick yourself and keep on going. When a lack of understanding seems to be an unmoveable wall, rely on the things that you do know to do. And, take comfort in knowing that there is no condemnation to all of us in Christ. If there’s no condemnation from our God, why do we fear condemnation from man? And why condemn ourselves?

Do me a favor, if you will. Just because we’re separated by much distance and most of us have never seen one another face to face, let’s remember to lift each other up in prayer. My heart breaks for some of these dear people as I can kinda see what God may be doing through them because I’m detached from their battle. And I too need my friends when I go through such things.

I will try to get the Revelation post up soon. Thanks for your patience with me.


23 thoughts on “A Heavy Heart

  1. I cherish the prayers of my friends. Sometimes I truly believe that God has answered their prayers on my behalf, instead of my own. πŸ™‚

    Thank you for the encouragement! I know you’re my husband, and you do it all the time, but it’s nice to read anyway.

  2. Thank you so much for this timely encouragement. God surely knows our needs, and uses friends and loved ones to fill those needs. You know of my health trial, and uncertainty about how God wants to use it-and how He wants me to use it-in my life. I’m just praying consistently not to waste my life, not one moment, but to live on purpose. I feel overwhelmed and useless at times, not being able to work nor have kids, but I’m seeking God’s guidance in what I CAN do to serve others.
    And of course there are the spiritual trials we all face, trying to mortify sin, trying to know our God and His truth without becoming “puffed up”, just trying to live in a way that pleases Him every day.
    I have been reading and studying-and practicing-the discipline of prayer lately, and one thing I’ve found to be personally applicable-and I think your lovely wife may appreciate this-is that I can’t bargain, or “strike a deal” with God, as in “I’ll do this and that if you’ll heal me”, or “I’ve done this and that so you should heal me.” OR, “I’ve been praying for so long and with such sincerity that you should answer my prayer.” He will do what’s best for us, and sometimes that includes letting us remain in our trial, in which case, I find it helpful to write down how God’s NOT answering my prayer with a “yes” has been good for me, and how it has encouraged others, and how God has used me to encourage others through my trial.
    A good father will not give his son everything he asks for, as in not giving him the serpent he asked for lest he be harmed.
    I continue to keep you and Chelle in my prayers.

  3. Great post.

    Sigh…my biggest trial is having to live with myself. That has been the case since birth. Not much I can do about this particular circumstance, I suppose.

  4. Wow! Thank you for your insight into the trial that we go through. I have been going through a trial I put on my self. I know God is the only one that can see me through this trial, it is so nice to see that others go through trials and come out of it having a closer walk with the Lord. This is my desire!

  5. Chelle- Hon, I definitely covet others’ prayers as often it’s hard to see beyond our own personal circumstances. Often, when we pray for our own needs and trials, we carry doubt and sometimes frustration into our prayers. But when we pray for other, we’re not as wrapped around the axle. I love you!

    Jen- Obviously, I can’t know everything that goes through your mind; but I can certainly empathize with you. One note, and this isn’t meant to be a correction. Since there is no condemnation in Christ for us, we should be careful about how we seek to please him. Rather than focus on our actions, we should focus on delighting in him. I think if we do that, we’ll still please him, but without all of the performance anxiety. And again, not suggesting that you don’t already do this. Not by any means.

    You and Chelle certainly share some common ground with the conditions you both suffer. I can tell you from the perspective of a healthy man who has been regarded as innovative in my industry, that I often feel useless too. But this is when I start to contemplate my worth and my value-add to Christ’s kingdom. If I focus and dwell on him, then at best I’m a conduit and there’s no need for such estimation of self-worth. Because then he has truly chosen me to his purpose, is using me to his purpose and fulfilling his purpose in and through me. But again, this is all realized when I’m actually dwelling on him vs. me.

    David- You’re right that you can’t do much about it. Me neither. I am certainly my own biggest stumbling block. This is why love for the brethren is so vital to the Christian and is what separates us from the cults. We need to bolster one another and lift one another up, constantly. But when we form cliques and similar groups, which alienate others, we actually rob and hurt ourselves. You’re always welcome here, brother!

    Lori- Thanks for stopping by. And bear in mind that even if you’ve done certain things to “bring it upon yourself”, you really didn’t. Philippians tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Why? Because it’s God who works within us, both “the to work” and “the to will” according to his good pleasure. I know it’s awkward phrasing. But God placed those definite articles there for a reason. It’s emphatic that all we desire to do and ultimately do for Christ’s sake are stirred up in us by Christ in the first place. And remember, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled”.

    Thanks everyone for the encouragment. And believe me when I say I do pray for each individual who visits this site.

  6. The site looks cool. Not so sure about the purple though, but then again, I am a masculine guy πŸ˜€

    How did you manage to move all the data from blogspot to wordpress?

  7. Thanks Dave. Sorry about the feminine purple. I meant for it to show up as pink πŸ™‚

    As far as moving things over, I did an import in the WordPress admin screen. That seemed to get everything over nicely.

  8. Mike,

    I will be sure to keep you in prayer. I always enjoy your posts and your wise insights into the things of God. I also love your site!!! This is incredibly easy to navigate and to find my way around. Keep up the good work!!!

    Mike Hess

  9. Mike,
    I too, am going through a time of discouragement. Discouraged with my lack of passion for God, my disillusion with a church, lonliness in the body and I am grieving over the imminent death of a close friend (He has cancer).

    Sometimes I don’t even know what to pray for anymore. I feel like my mouth is full of ashes.

    I like your blog, and am thankful that the Lord brought me here today. Thanks for your honesty and encouragement.

  10. Sometimes I don’t even know what to pray for anymore.

    Susan, trials are certainly difficult and personal in nature. Take comfort in knowing that God already anticipated our difficulty with prayer and this is why Romans 8:26 tells us that the Holy Spirit is praying on our behalf. And we know that our Father hears his prayers. That is how much he truly cares for you, his child.

    I am glad you stopped by and that this could be of help to you. I will certainly continue to pray for you.

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