Wonderful Encouragement For Christians In Struggle
by Greg Sayre
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Wonderful Encouragement For Christians In Struggle
Hello My Christian Brother & Sister,
Hi My Christian Brother & Sister. I first would like to tell you that I am so sorry that I have not responded sooner than now. It is very hard to stay on top of the never ending flow of requests for prayer, so that makes it hard to write as soon as I would like to. So many of them are becoming very hard to read without tears running down my face as I read about such agony in the lives of people, people who I resonate with. For as many prayer requests that I read and pray for, I write to very, very few. Only if I feel the leading of the Holy Spirit do I write. I was led to your plea for prayer. Never could I see myself doing anything other than interceding for those who are hurting, broken, suffering. My Christian Brother & Sister, even though I have read countless requests for prayer that seem I would be more inclined to respond to, but it was God that led me to your cry, as He knows your heart and life, and I seek to do only His will. Right now I believe that anyone who has a sincere heart of love for the Lord Jesus, is beginning to feel the heat of the Lord's refining fires.
This is the reason that you feel a certain distance that you did not have before, that has now crept into your life, your walk with the Lord. I look at the state of this world and how clearly I can see that the very things we have all talked about for years and years, that the coming of the Lord is drawing near, that there will come a great time of trouble coming upon this sinful, evil world just ahead of us. In Rev. 12:12 it says to us, "Therefore rejoice, O Heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows he has but a short time." I know without asking you that you are having struggles, unemployed, so desiring to "feel" His presence, and His deliverance. I can see you have a heart of love for Jesus, the One who loves us beyond our capacity to understand.
It is the devil who is coming against each one of us, always on our track, never sleeping, ever hunting. But also God is certainly allowing these things to happen, as God allows in His wisdom, the things He could prevent by His power. But He is testing each one of us. There is nothing that He does not know about you, about me. He knows who will stand fast in faith, trusting in Him. We believe that we would never fall away, that never could trials cause us to become angry with Him when it seems He is absent, when heaven seems to be silent to our cries. One of the greatest tools that the devil uses to try and harm us, is to rely on the way that we feel. My Christian Brother & Sister, you have been "Feeling distant" from Him, when He has promised to never leave you or forsake you. He is with you just as He always has been. The devil cannot touch the hair of one head of those who love and serve God, not without direct permission by Him. We have examples in the Word. Satan stood before God and said about Job, "If you remove the hedge of protection that you have placed around him, he will curse you to Your face." God allowed him to try Job, and the evil one found out that he was wrong! Jesus said to Peter soon before He was to face the cross in Luke 22:31-32," Simon, Simon! Indeed, satan has asked for you that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail...." My Christian Brother & Sister, we ALL will be placed into refining fires, for the dross must be burned away from our characters. Not all will come through tried, tested as gold. Most will be burned up as worthless rocks... Now is the time when we all must stand together in love for one another, praying for each other, seeking to become like Jesus. This work must be finished and our greatest, most powerful tool is love! Jesus said, "Love one another as I have loved you."
Oh what a love He had for this sin filled cesspool of a world. So much that He was willing to condescend to come here and give His life for mine, for yours. I feel so strongly in my heart the trials, the distance, afflictions, the unspeakable pain, and the great needs that so many are going through, including myself, and I want to do something to help ease this suffering. What I have been called by the Lord to do,is to pray for us to stand strong in the face of the whatever we will all face, praying that we will be counted worthy to stand at the end. For if we do, we will finally see the beloved Face of our beautiful Savior who decided that our lives had more value than His did. So great was His love for you My Christian Brother & Sister, that He was willing to give everything to save you. The devil wants you to begin to think that even though you seek to do His will everyday, that He has created a barrier between you and Himself.
My Christian Brother & Sister, you are His beloved son, and He desires nothing for you but eternal life, so that He never has to be without you! My Christian Brother & Sister, a friend sent me the following a long while back, and it's words moved me so much that I now want to share them with you. They are words that we all need to read now. Far to many, even most pulpits are preaching easy, pleasing fluffy sermons, and pie in the sky, causing people to believe that knowing prophecy is all that they need to fly away with the Lord when He returns. I think that whomever wrote this was anointed by the Lord, and I feel that many should read what it says to us. My Christian Brother & Sister, as soon as I send this e-mail to you, I am adding you to my prayer book(s)and promise you that I will bring you to God's Throne everyday in prayer. I will pray for you daily with a fervent heart just as I pray for my own family. ALL are loved by the Lord, and we must love each other the same way. Soon the misery of this world will be a fast fading, bad dream when we hear the trumpet of the Lord sound around this world.
I love you my brother, and I do hope that you find truth in the following writing that will help in the days ahead. God Bless you greatly my friend, and I also want you to know that if you ever need someone to hear you, or if you have a special need that you require even more prayer, please My Christian Brother & Sister feel free to write to me. God Bless you My Christian Brother & Sister, and know that I will be praying for you!
The following will give you strength, for it has for me!
Isa 8:19: "The Lord has hidden from His people, but I trust Him and place my hope in Him".
God is real, no matter how you feel.
It is easy to worship God when things are going great in your life - when our Lord has provided food, friends, family, health, and happy situations. But when circumstances are not always pleasant, how do you worship God then? What do you do when God seems a millions miles away?
The deepest level of worship is praising God in spite of pain, thanking God during a trial, trusting Him when tempted, surrendering to Him while suffering, and loving Him when He seems distant.
To mature your friendship with Him, God will test it with periods of seeming separation - times when it feels as if He has abandoned or forgotten you. God feels a million miles away. St John of the Cross referred to these days of spiritual dryness, doubt, and estrangement from God as "the dark night of the soul." Henry Nouwen called them "the ministry of absence.", A. W. Tozer calls them " the ministry of the night", others call them "the winter of the heart".
Beside Jesus, David probably had one of the closest friendship with God. God took pleasure in calling him "a man after my own heart." Yet David frequently complained of God's apparent absence: "Lord, why are you standing aloof and far away? Why do you hide when I need you the most? Why have you forsaken me? Why do you remain so distant? Why do you ignore my cries for help? Why have you abandoned me? Of course, God had not really left David, and He doesn't leave you. He has promised repeatedly: "I will never leave you nor forsake you?" In fact, God admits that sometimes He hides his face from us.....There are a times He is missing in actions. Floyd McClung describes it: "You wake up one morning and all your spiritual feelings are gone. You pray, but nothing happens. You rebuke the devil, but it doesn't change anything. You go through spiritual exercises .... you have your friends pray for you ... you confess every sin you can remember, and you go around asking for forgiveness of everyone you know. You fast ... and still nothing. You begin to wonder how long this spiritual gloom might last. Days? Weeks? Months? Will it ever end? .. It feels as if your prayers simply bounce off the ceiling. In utter desperation you cry out: "What is he matter with me" The truth of the matter is that nothing is wrong with you! This is a normal part of testing and maturing your friendship with God. Every Christian goes through it at least once, and usually it happens several times in a lifetime. Its painful and disconcerting, but its absolutely vital for the development of your faith.
Knowing this gave Job hope, when he could not feel God's presence in his life. He said, "I go east, but He is not there, I go west but I cannot find Him. I do not see Him in the north, for He is hidden. I turn to the south, but I cannot find Him. But He knows where I am going; and when He has tested me, like gold in a fire, He will pronounce me innocent.
When God seems so distant, you may feel that He is angry with you or that He is disciplining you for some sin. In fact, sin does disconnect us from intimate fellowship with God. We grieve God's spirit and relinquish our fellowship with Him by disobedience, conflict with others, business, friendship with the world, and other sins. But often this feeling of abandonment or estrangement from God has nothing to do with sin. It is a test of Faith - one we all must face. Will you continue to love, trust, obey, and worship God, even when you have no sense of His Presence or visible evidence of His work in your life?
When you are a baby Christian, God gives you a lot of confirming emotions and often answers the most immature, self centered prayers, that way you will know He exists. But as you grow in faith, He will wean you of these dependencies. God is more concerned that you trust Him than that you feel Him. Faith, not feelings pleases God.
The situation that will stretch your faith most will be those times when life falls apart and God is nowhere to be found. This happened to Job. On a single day he lost everything - his family, his business, his health, and everything he owned. It was most discouraging, and for 37 chapters in the Book of Job, God said nothing!! What did Job do? "... he fell to the ground and worshiped."
Tell God exactly how you feel. Pour out your heart to God. Unload every emotion that you are feeling. Job did this when he said, "I cant be quiet! I am angry and bitter! I have to speak!" He cried out when God seemed distant. God can handle your doubt, anger, fear, grief, confusion, and all your questions.
Focus on God's unchanging nature. Regardless of circumstances and how you feel, hang on to God's unchanging character. Remind yourself what you know to be eternally true to God. He is good. He loves you, He is with you, He know what you are going through, He cares for you, and He has good plans for you; V. Raymond said, "Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the Light."
During times of spiritual dryness you must patiently rely on the promises of God, not your emotions, and realize that He is taking you to a deeper level of maturity. A friendship based on emotion is shallow indeed. So, don't be troubled by trouble. Circumstances cannot change the character of God. God's grace is still in full force; He is still for you, even when you don't feel it. In the absence of confirming circumstances, Job held on to God's word. When you feel abandoned by God yet continue to trust Him in spite of your feelings, I pray that we all can say as Job said, "Though He slay me, yet, will I trust Him!"
God Bless you My Christian Brother & Sister, and stand strong!
With His Love, and mine,
Your Sister In Christ
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