Facing My Grief
by Clifford Tate
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Well, to say that I am comfortable with this reality that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has placed on my plate now on three occasions would be to say I love to stick my foot into a large fire ant bed and just leave it there for hours. I hate the way I often feel now. Confusion mixed in with anger and bitterness, along with regret all push me often to the point of giving up and living in wild rebellion as I had for so many earlier years of my life. Well, not only did I think of this in my inner man, but I let myself go there in my outward behavior.
Proverbs 23: 7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” NKJV
Why be obedient to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? In my mind and heart, I felt He had allowed these things to happen to my family when He could have stopped them.
John 11:21 Then Martha said to Jesus, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. MKJV
Questions unresolved in my heart and mind led to my discouragement and disillusionment, which fueled a lost desire to pray and read the Word of God and plunged me back into the world that had given me so much comfort (false comfort all be it) pornography, masturbation, fornication and all the lust that is wrapped up in this sinful behavior. I had openly spurned my Lord and Savior feeling anger toward Him, which led me to stop caring about what concerns Him, when seemingly He had not cared about what meant so much to me.
During this period, I became hardened and callous inside and wanted to abandon all that was righteous, pure, and holy. What good was it to follow my Lord and Savior whole heartedly when I felt I kept getting stabbed in my heart over and over and over. Instead of me running as fast as I could into the arms of the Lord, I ran fast in the opposite direction away from Him.
The devil of course was right there to provide a first class seat for me to fly as far away from Christ Jesus my Lord as I wanted. That’s what he does and will always do is help lead us away from intimacy with Christ. I could hear him say, “Now do you see, how could Jesus love you so much and keep allowing these things to happen?” “Aren’t you ready to stop all of this non-sense of obeying the Bible and trying to live a holy life, look what that has gotten for you heartbreak and misery inside.”
Well, I felt I had no argument for that perspective (at the time) and I kept living in open sin and rebellion thinking it would bring me satisfaction. Of course it did not bring me anything but more grief and no relief. I should have realized that as my heart was breaking so was the heart of Christ Jesus my Lord. My heart had become so hardened that I allowed selfishness to consume me and it became only about my feelings and no more what Christ felt for me and others.
Listen to these very well penned words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “Some Christians seem to be accepted in their own experience; at least, that is their apprehension. When their spirit is lively, and their hopes bright, they think God accepts them, for they feel so high, so heavenly-minded, so drawn above the earth! But when their souls cleave to the dust, they are the victims of the fear that they are no longer accepted. If they could but see that all their high joys do not exalt them, and all their low despondencies do not really depress them in their Father’s sight, but that they stand accepted in One who never alters, in One who is always the beloved of God, always perfect, always without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, how much happier they would be, and how much more they would honour the Saviour! Rejoice then, believer, in this: thou art accepted “in the beloved.” Thou lookest within, and thou sayest, “There is nothing acceptable here!” But look at Christ, and see if there is not everything acceptable there. Thy sins trouble thee; but God has cast thy sins behind his back, and thou art accepted in the Righteous One. Thou hast to fight with corruption, and to wrestle with temptation, but thou art already accepted in him who has overcome the powers of evil. The devil tempts thee; be of good cheer, he cannot destroy thee, for thou art accepted in him who has broken Satan’s head. Know by full assurance thy glorious standing. Even glorified souls are not more accepted than thou art. They are only accepted in heaven “in the beloved,” and thou art even now accepted in Christ after the same manner.”
I so desperately needed to hear these words and yet I still wrestle with my own heart to take comfort in them. This is what the monster called grief does to a soul. Although the Word of God tells me that as a Christian I should not grieve and sorrow as the world does having no hope, yet I found it very hard to pull myself out of the pit of grief. Maybe my own internal since of guilt feeling that I had not spent enough time with my Brother, Father, and Mother kept me feeling so low, I wondered if I had done enough to show them what Christ meant to me. I wanted to know that they were truly saved having fully trusted Christ and not Church, or good deeds, or anything else.
The period placed at the end of the sentence of their lives made me question all of my prayers for them and witness to them and the life I lived in Christ in their presence before each one passed away. I know that I can no longer pray for them now and that often worries me and makes me feel that I needed to say more, help more, love more. Every day that passes for each one of them seems to magnify even more my feelings of guilt. I often get sick and tired of people (meaning well) telling me that Christ will never put more on me than I can bear. I often time want to ask them, “Are you sure about that?” Or ask when did you lose your baby brother and then Your Father and Mother both within 4 months of one another?
Then one day my Lord and Savior spoke to my heart first in rebuke and then in love. It’s as if I could hear Him say to me, “How is this wicked sinful behavior going to help your situation?” “Am I not the same God who delivered you from your bondage before?” “Have I ceased to be God because these things have happened in your life?” “What about those still living that you were praying for?” “Have they lost the need for your prayers for them?” “Get up out of this pig pen and come back to me, I will always love you and take care of you.” “Do you trust me?” “Then turn away from this filth once again and stop making excuses for your sin and follow Me.” And so my Lord has pulled me out of the pit once again and set my feet upon Him and shown me His boundless unconditional love. My grief though still present is now coupled with my Lord that I moved away from His presence for He never moved away from me.
Hebrews 13:5 “for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” KJV
Psalm 34:18 “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart”
“Faith must be tested, because it can be turned into a personal possession only through conflict. What is your faith up against just now? The test will either prove that your faith is right, or it will kill it. "Blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in Me." The final thing is confidence in Jesus. Believe steadfastly on Him and all you come up against will develop your faith. There is continual testing in the life of faith, and the last great test is death. May God keep us in fighting trim! Faith is unutterable trust in God, trust which never dreams that He will not stand by us.” By Oswald Chambers
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr. Author, “Silent Assassins of the Soul”, not yet published; coming soon as my Lord wills, Also working on now “A Raging Storm”, coming soon as well.
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