Monday, December 8, 2008

Battling The Darkness

by Donna L. Watkins

I have a dear friend who's struggling with disease in a family member. It's a dog, but pets are family members and with the unconditional love they give us, they are sometimes harder to let go of than people, who may not have given us any love.

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Sunflower With Bee
She has prayed and prayed for healing and can't see any changes. She's concerned that if things don't go her way, she'll give up on God. How common a situation! We all want what we want and we can't see beyond that. It's too painful. Too great a loss! Too unfair!

When what we want doesn't happen, we want to turn away from God who seemingly didn't answer our prayer. Like a child, being told "No," we want to run away from home. How lonely it is when we get out there without the security of home. In reality we don't want to have control over it all. We need somebody who knows more than we do.

God doesn't promise us we will have everything our way. He is God. He created us and knows what is best for us and is honest, true and just. Our role is to trust, just as we want our own children to do. Psalm 91 is a favorite Psalm for comfort and to remind us of His promises. One of my favorite parts is verses 9-11:

"I will make the Most High my habitation, even the Lord who is my refuge, then no harm will befall me, no disaster will come near my tent. For He shall give His angels charge concerning me, to guard me in all my ways."

When we're in darkness we interpret that to mean we shouldn't have any troubles and beg for God to take away the trial. In reality, it shows His protection for us, but not to the extent that we get to live out of the realm of reality. It's a fallen world.

The devil will tempt you as he did Eve, saying that God doesn't really love you, or He would answer. You'll hear messages that He's not listening and that He doesn't care. Psalm 91:14-15 says:

"Because he/she loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him/her, I will protect him/her for he/she acknowledges my name. He/she will call upon me and I will answer him/her, I will be with him/her in trouble."

He will be with us. It doesn't mean we won't have trouble, but how we respond to trouble makes a difference in how we go through it. We have to snuggle into Him and trust that whatever happens is God's best. We keep our mind on believing as Christ told us to do. Whatever we can believe for, we are told we can have, but even one father responded, "I believe, but help my unbelief."

What doesn't work is listening to the lies of the devil as Eve did. It brings great loss. Psalm 18:28-29 says,

"You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop (to run through a barricade), with my God I can scale a wall."
With God you can make it through this and if we keep our wits about us and our eyes focused on God's ultimate love for us, we will process life much better. Romans 8:28 is a promise but it does have an "if clause."

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him."

We must keep our love strong for Him in good and bad times. The devil will shout to us that we're not worthy, that we're not good enough, that we don't deserve anything. It's a lie. Through Christ we have access to the keys of the Kingdom. Don't you believe it.

Do you remember Jacob the deceiver? He and his mother schemed and stole the birthright away from Esau. He ran away after swindling his brother and deceiving his father. He didn't deserve what God did for him. After stopping for the night, he dreamed he saw a ladder to heaven with angels on it, ascending and descending. Then God gave him this promise: "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go" (Gen. 28:15).

Some people don't come to God until there is trouble, but He's always there wanting a relationship with us. He's always trying to catch our attention, to draw us into relationship. Sadly, we as sheep gone astray tend to be spoiled and stubborn. Trials cause us to reevaluate life's meaning. Take the opportunity to get all you can from it. God only allowed it so you could benefit. Seek His guidance by the hour to find the good in it and to stay focused on His will for you. We are much too ignorant in this world to know what's best for ourselves.

How grateful we should be that our Father has promised us protection if we run to Him. Don't let the devil make you run from Him. Trust that He will show you good things amidst these storms. He will if you truly seek to see them and allow God to be God in your life. In reality, it's the only possible way to get through them without being burned.

There's still a "tree" in the Garden that we should not eat from. If we obey and trust, it will be a continual reminder to us that we do not know all, and should not know all, and would not want to know all. It's our anchor in the storm, to know that "if it's to be, it's NOT up to me." Trust Him. If you're trusting that you will go to Heaven for eternity, you can trust for the details of this short life on earth.

Perspective! Most of the world is in a mess. It's a fallen world, what do you expect? For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. (2 Cor 1:5) We have been given eternal life which will be glorious if we keep our heads above water.

We live in a world where the media screams that life is supposed to be ideal and if it's not, they've got something to sell you. Don't buy the idea or the stuff. Read Paul's writings. His life wasn't easy and he was a great man of God. The only way to keep your head above water is to stay in The Word. That will be a battle itself because it's your only path of peace and joy while in this world. Don't let The Deceiver convince you to trade this short earthly life for your eternal one.

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