"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33
Today I sat in church and listened to a sermon. It was a sermon that I needed to hear. I hope you will bear with me as I try to write out my notes and my feelings on the message I heard. If this is not for you, feel free to skip this entry.
I started this blog because of my need to have an anonymous place to express the feelings and the depression I have felt for most of my life. I believe that most of what I experience is due to my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The need for order and routine sometimes overrules my logical mind and I become depressed and feel as if there is nothing that can pull me out of that downward spiral. Most times I can recognize that I do have positive things in my life, but there are those times when the knowledge of those things is overwhelmed by the feeling of helplessness and despair. It is during these times I tend to sabotage any efforts made by others to help and tell myself it, or more likely I, am not worth it.
Today in church the pastor talked about the phrase that Jesus used "take heart". It was a phrase he used often. I immediately identified with it because I have often said, "I may know it in my head, but my heart doesn't feel it". He then continued with how exactly we can "take heart".
The first thing was to CLING to what we believe. The verse above, John 16:33, assures us that we WILL have trouble. It is what we believe about our trouble that can make the difference.
1. we need to remember that God is never the author of trouble. God promised us in John 10:10 that "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." When I am in my funk, I need to remember not to lash out at God, for He is the one that gives me life and more abundantly.
2. We need to remember that adversity will never come in an amount we cannot overcome with God's strength. This is that over-used saying that is "God will not give me more than I can handle" but with the added bonus of "with His strength" which so many tend to forget.
3. Jesus promises to be available to us. We are not alone. In those times that I feel so very alone and so distraught that I wish for a bad car accident, I need to hold to the fact that Jesus is not only WITH my but AVAILABLE to me. Psalm 34:18 says "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." I like Psalm 22:24 that says, "
For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help."
4. God will not only take us through the pain, but he will also overcome it and form something good out of the pain. We will be stronger for the adversity. We may reach someone else who is going through the same thing. God will provide a way! Romans 8:37 promises us " No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. "
He then spoke about how we grieve and that when David lost his son, he "walked toward hope". He cried all that he could cry, and then he relied on the promised that he will see him again. The final point was who you lean on. Yes, we can lean on Jesus, but having someone "with skin on" is important. At this point, you all (and my husband) are who I lean on. So thank you.