by Pastor Tim Burt
There are the wonderful times in life when everything just seems to go great and life is like a bowl of cherries. But then things happen that disturb that short-lived tranquility. Satan and demonic influences run rampant in this world. And their influence is always sin and destruction. And because that’s true, the touch of evil has worked to infect every living thing that is a part of God’s creation. there has been nothing left untouched by it in this world. This evil influence has wormed its way into and affects all our lives and consequently, there are times in life when all does not go well. I’ve never known a person who hasn’t gone through difficult times at different seasons of their life. Satan tries to bring trouble to our life to wear us down, bring us to a low point, and convince us that God doesn’t exist or if He does, that He doesn’t love us. He spews the lie—God is a joke and He doesn’t love you because if He did, you wouldn’t be experiencing the trouble your facing now!
Satan’s desire is to get us to slip into discouragement and depression so that we will attempt to escape our difficult times through alcohol, drugs, sex, or some kind of vice. He wants to shut down our purpose for living which is to love God and love others with His love. His ultimate goal is to bring us to total discouragement and hopelessness in order to tempt us to give up on our faith and abandon God completely. Am I exaggerating this? Not at all! It happens to people daily! God has used Fresh Manna to pull countless people out of that deceit and help them back on track with God.
Struggles can become like dominoes falling—one problem triggering another. It doesn’t take long before self-doubts, discouragement, and feelings of failure come knocking at the door of your mind.
When a person is feeling down, it’s important to realize that this is when the devil would like to come in and deliver the deathblow. It’s bad enough that you are beating yourself up for what is not going right in your life. To compound that, the devil comes along and accuses you and provide confirmation that your problems are all your fault! He’ll convince you that every problem is a direct result of your lack of obedience to God. He’ll assure you that you are a loser—that you have chased God out of your life because of the lack of priority you have given Him. And then the deathblow—he’ll speak those words, You have no right to even call yourself a Christian much less a person that can be used of God. Let me tell you that if every one of us gave up representing God when we were struggling through an area of our life, the Body of Christ would be at an absolute standstill or become completely non-existent!
2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT tells how we become righteous and worthy before God. It says, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right and the righteousness of God through Christ.” Romans 5:17 tells us that righteousness—to be in right standing with God is a gift—not earned by given freely. Philippians 3:9 (NLT2) says, “I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.” For God’s way of making us right with Himself depends on our faith in this promise. It’s exactly why the devil works to discourage you and lie to convince you that you’re unworthy.
When the devil tells you that you are useless and that you should quit, remember what Ephesians 6:17 NIV tells us. “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” The helmet of salvation reminds us that it was God’s doing, not our own ability to become and to stay righteous in His eyes. Salvation is a gift. The ability to be seen righteous by God is a gift. The symbolism of the helmet is to remind us of who we are in Christ and to guard our minds from the enemies attacks to make us feel inadequate and unusable and unworthy of God’s love! Thank the Lord that He sees our sins covered by the sacrifice and blood of His Son Jesus!
The bottom line—don’t quit trying to touch and help others with God’s love—even when you are struggling. As a matter of fact, that is a great time to reach out.
God will use your efforts to get your mind off of you and help someone else. He’ll probably have you speak encouragement to others that will inturn encourage and strengthen your own heart! Personal victories come in time. God is with you. If you don’t quit serving God and others, you’ll be blessed and so will those being touched by God’s love through you! As a mentor taught me early on, When you don’t quit, you win!
Romans 8:38 (NLT) “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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