When a born again, Bible-reading, church-going, Jesus-loving, and seriously committed Christian experiences a stumble in his walk with Christ, it can result in heartache and mental strain that are difficult to recover from. It is imperative that a man or woman who has fallen back into the sea of sin remember that Jesus remains standing firm on the shore. His hand is extended and ready to pull the believer back to his comforting embrace and forgiving heart.
Guilt is definitely part of a mental governor that God seems to have made part of our human bodyís design. The feeling of guilt makes us realize we have acted against the will of God, the will of a parent, or the will of a spouse. But we should not wallow in that guilt and let it keep us down when we stumble. Look at what Hebrews 10:22-23 (NIV) tells us about backsliding and purity: ď...let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.Ē
So think about this: When we stumble, the one who can help us up, offering us a secure hand and stable support, is the same one who first rescued us from our own human frailties and ignorance. When we stumble, we know exactly where to look for secure footing. His guidance, love, and solid promises have been made clear to us through the work of the Holy Spirit (see Luke 4:1, Luke 1:35, Psalm 139, and Romans 8:11).
God needs witnesses (see 2 Corinthians 11-20) to bring forth his message of hope and renewal. When we do not get back up from our stumbles, we are not effective ambassadors of the Godís Good News. When we wallow in our own self-pity, we ignore the power of the one who saved us from certain death. People make mistakes; the devil and his army of fallen angels will always hope those mistakes crush our resolve to seek out the Lordís word and spirit for support. The last thing Satan wants to see is Christians who are determined to work through their setbacks and doubts.
So remember, when you stumble, look up to Christ, and as you leave the ground to once again regain your footing, Satan is grabbing at your foot, trying to convince you that recovery is too difficult and too distant. He couldnít be more wrong.
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AMEN! I wish someone had shared this wisdom with me several years ago. It might have saved me a long struggle. At the same time, however, I'm glad nobody did. I wouldn't have had the witness I have today otherwise. Great truths here!