Anxiety, Despair, Weariness
Opening yourself up to Satan's attack
All bible quotes not otherwise marked are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016)
A lot of people are suffering from anxiety and despair. Such feelings will soon create in us a weariness that is hard to overcome. Henry David Thoreau said that most men lead quiet lives of desperation.
What is quiet desperation?
Quiet desperation is acceptance of–and surrendering to–circumstances. Quietly desperate lives are frustrated, passive, and apathetic. They're unfulfilled and unrealized.
How do we become apathetic? We grow weary of leading passive and frustrated lives. We grow tired of it all. We feel defeated. We feel like we are doing no good. People and institutions have let us down. Any organization of human beings is plagued by the same sin we all are plagued with even as Christians. The old man is still grasping at us like some malevolent zombie trying to pull us back down to Hell.
Christians we don’t need to think that way or let the world make us think that way. In fact when we think that way we leave an opening for Satan’s attack. He wants to defeat us. Why? Why would he want to defeat you? Because as God’s child, you are his instrument on this earth and through the Holy Spirit you are mighty indeed. Satan fears what you can do. He can’t defeat you unless he can get inside your head and convince you to give up.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
Our first and utmost priority is to remember whose child we are. We are not the pastor’s child or the head deacon’s child. We are children of the High King. God is our father and He loves us.
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
God wants to take care of us. He wants to be in charge though and if we insist on doing it our way and on our schedule then we reap what we sow. Some of us can do quite well on our own until suddenly we can’t and only then do we turn to God. God wants to be our best friend, our father, someone we go to constantly for guidance and help. He wants us walking with him and letting him lead. He wants us to lean on His understanding and not ours.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
God will make straight your path. It is an incredibly hard lesson to let God have control. We want control. The problem is we don’t have the knowledge to know the right path nor do we have the strength to stay on that path. God has both. God is the provider. If we run into trouble, or the path ahead looks dangerous, we need to run to Him because He will provide the guidance.
So one way of avoiding anxiety is to stop acting like we have it together. We don’t. Start leaning on God because He does have it together.
What about despair? Do you sit around sometimes thinking of how evil the world is and do you often feel let down by fellow Christians who seem to put God’s work far down their list of priorities. Do you feel like our country is losing it’s Christian roots? Are you afraid of what that might mean? Are you afraid that if you don’t wield power over your enemies that they will destroy the work of the church?
Let me break it to you friend. The Church, God’s Holy Body of believers in Christ, will not pass from this earth until that Trumpet blows calling His children home. God has the church and will see it through every hardship. He will not let it fail. It does not depend on you.
Start looking at your role in a different way. Imagine the history of this world is a football game. Christ’s team vs the Devil’s team. We are on Christ’s team. Those of you who don’t believe would of course be on Satan’s team. I imagine most readers here are believers but if not welcome and I hope you come to know Christ.
Now imagine that we know the final score of the game already. Christ beats Satan and the score really isn’t close. Yet the game is still going on but somehow we know the final score. Kind of like we were watching a recording but we don’t know how it goes. Have you ever done that? Watched a recording of a game when you knew the final score? It’s very calming. Even when my team is doing all sorts of stupid things like fumbling the ball or throwing interceptions I don’t get worried. I know the final score. I breath easy. That is not at all how I am when I watch the game live.
We Christians need to start living like we know the final score. The difference is we are playing in this game. We are living this life as Christians. Christ is ready to send us in the game. Are you ready? Don’t worry you can’t lose the game for Christ. You can though be part of the victory. Christ will use your efforts on the field to lead us to victory. You can be part of the big championship. How great is that? We know we can’t lose yet we get to play the game and be part of the victory anyway. What a blessing from God. He’s giving us a chance to have the most meaningful of lives.
1 Corinthians 15:32
What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
What hope does the lost world have? They all think they are dying and then they cease existing. At least that is what they will say but some no doubt know God is calling to them. But for those who truly do not believe, life is just the pursuit of pleasure because soon enough it is no more.
A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.
To those people the world just keeps on going and soon enough they will be forgotten. They will be dust in the wind as the song goes. They have no hope.
What do we bring? We bring hope. There is hope in Christ.
1 Peter 3:13-17
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
We are going to suffer for Christ’s sake. Sometimes that suffering will be from those inside the church? Why? Because there are tares in the church, those who profess Christ but are not truly born again. There are carnal Christians who are babies and aren’t discerning of God’s will. Sometimes the world will persecute us. They persecuted us during the time of the Romans and the church flourished like never before or since.
We are to love them anyway. Even our persecutors. Our job on this earth is to see as many saved and discipled as we can before our time runs out. We can’t just see them saved because an immature Christian will hinder the church. Immature Christians do all sorts of evil while professing their Christianity. We must also be aware of those who don’t truly believe. We can spot them by their fruits.
One local church at a time, we must seek to change the world by preaching and teaching the word of God. By loving our neighbors as ourselves. By loving God. By being forgiving and merciful. By not demanding our own way. By having joy within our hearts because God is there. We must teach them the way. The way of living that is full of the fruit of the Spirit. We must teach them out to be close to God so they too can lean on Him. We can’t leave our babies at the altar like some pagan cult. We must take those babies and raise them in the truth but even more important we must help them to living that truth out in their lives.
For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
We must realize that the old man and the new man are battling within us. We must sow to the Spirit so the new man is triumphant. Sewing to the flesh will only lead to our own failure and destruction.
We should love everyone but we must especially love those who believe. If we are hateful to other Christians it is horrible to God. So before you launch into someone who disagrees with you on some minor point, realize we are to love the brethren. We must go humbly before the Lord. We must realize we could be wrong. Say all things in love.
Thank you for reading. There will be more God willing. I love you all. I pray God blesses your mission.