PRACTICAL NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANITY
WHEN YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE SEEMS TO BE ON HOLD... Part 1
Anyone reading this who's felt or is feeling like God is a long way away, and certainly has left you all alone, please read Message #19 first, and then return here.I have one question I would be very glad if you can help me with it. I think in the life of every Christian there can be "spiritual day" (when everything seems OK and easy for him: prayer, reading and understanding of the Bible and so on) and "night" (when you meet some hardship, trials etc. and it even seems God has left you). Am I right?
So my question is: what should I do in dark periods of my Christian life? When it's hard to pray and it seems Jesus doesn't hear me (though I believe from the Bible He promised that He will never leave me). When I read the Bible but don't receive any revelation for me... Have you ever experienced such a state? I would be so glad if you can share with me and give me advice to what I should do.
To answer your question, going through "dark" periods in your life is the experience of most of us. There are times when we are "up" and times when we are "down" - no different from anyone else on the planet! BUT... for the true Believer in Christ, in the dark times GOD IS STILL THERE WITH YOU! What a major, major difference this is, compared to unbelievers who live in the permanent darkness of unforgiven sin, and totally cut off from God and all that's TRULY GOOD!! For this I'm sure MOST grateful, and I believe you are too!
I well remember my darkest time when I had to stop work because of my serious ill-health. I was just 39. After about a year in bed they put me out of the workforce, and I remained in bed another 2 years. During that time I hit rock-bottom! The worst thing for me was losing my identity, feeling like I no longer knew WHO I WAS! I'd always been the bread-winner and head of my family. BUT NOW THIS WAS TAKEN AWAY FROM ME: I was too ill to even get out of bed, let alone go out to work to support my family! And it looked like this was forever (as it turned out, it was!)
Of course, my church should have been there for me. But they WEREN'T. I remember eventually starting to more and more ask myself this very, very painful question: "Is there really ANYONE, even just ONE person out there in the whole wide world WHO TRULY LOVES?" My answer was... well... maybe the Pastor who visited me a few times. That was all. But eventually I decided that he only came cos it was his job, so that left me with the feeling that NO ONE TRULY LOVED...
And I felt utterly alone. God was at least a million miles away. I couldn't connect with Him. He simply wasn't there. I never gave up - but ohh, it went on for SO LONG that I felt like this! In the end the very God Who I felt had left me, took me to watch a TV evangelist, whose doctrines are hopelessly wrong! - but who gave me some....... HOPE!!! I started to see that all was really NOT darkness. That the LIGHT I could only JUST see at the end of the pitch black tunnel I was in - WAS NOT an oncoming train!!!
Christian "HOPE" is an absolutely fabulous thing, just one of God's array of amazing 'four-letter words'!! Like in this verse from the Amplified. Please read every word of it (emphases are mine as always): Hebrews Ch 6:18 This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us].
Continued in PART 2 in the next post...