1 Peter 5:6-10 ESV Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
No, I’m not AWOL, I’m just trading my fake pearls in for the real ones.
God has been tearing down some false beliefs about what it means to surrender. When you hear that word do you hear loss, defeat, giving in? That’s what I heard when he first began bringing that word to the forefront. Do I believe God wants good things for me, and am I willing to give up everything to receive what he has for me? What does he have for me? Will I follow him through circumstances the world deems as bad?
These are the questions God is answering currently in my life. Starting Monday I’ll begin to share with you the journey of surrender Jesus is walking me through and how it relates to battling depression.
For now, take one of the above questions, or bring up your own questions about surrender and comment below. I’d love to hear your first thoughtsÂ onÂ surrender.
Philippians1:29For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, 30experiencing the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
You stand in a room filled with doors. Each one opens to a path you could take, but only one leads to the salvation of many people. If you walk through that door you will experience depression, betrayal, abuse,Â overwhelming loss, constant stress, persecution and die an early death. Would you walk through the door?
Let me know your thoughts.
I want answers. God wants trust.
I feel like a kid asking, “Please explain your plan to me.”
“That is not what you really want.” God gently corrects. “You want Jonathan’s death to mean something, for beauty to spring from the ashes of your heartache and you do not trust that I will give you 100 fold what I have taken from you. Have I not laid out my promises to you through scripture, and in ourÂ personal relationship?”
“I don’t know.” I shrug. “I just want my remaining kids to be okay–to help others struggling with depression.”
“Do I not want the same?”
“Yes, but you don’t do things the way I would.”
“Why this path, why Jonathan, why this amount of pain? I want answers Lord!”
“No, you want your answers Karisa. Not mine.”
Silence. Can I live with this God whose ways are not my ways?
Isaiah 55:8-9 8“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. 9“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Numbers 23:19 God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
Job 42: 1-3, 5 Then Job replied to the Lord: I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. . . My ears have heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.
At the end of the book of Job, Job’s reply sums up all he has learned about the God of the universe.
1. God’s plans will not be thwarted!
2. There are simply some things God does that I will not understand.
3. God is not distant, he is personal!
I am convinced that the God of the universe wants us to know him. Don’t be afraid to ask God the tough questions. Here are some of mine.
1. If your plan for me is good, then why do bad things keep happening?
2. Do I have free will if you are up there calling the shots?
3. If you are a just God, then why is there so much injustice in my life?
4. What is your purpose for my life?
5. Where are you in the midst of a world that hurting and in need of you?
My heavenly father has take the time to answer each of my questions! He has not been intimidated by, nor upset that I asked. Sometimes he has answered directly and quickly. At other times he has taken years in answering me. He spent a lot of time working through my very off notions of what His justice is. If he had not taken the depth of time to reveal his identity, then I would have thrown in the towel when Jonathan died! What has happen instead is that the enemy has made me dependent upon Christ!
Don’t be afraid to ask God questions. He wants you to know him, and accept him for who he is, not who we want him to be. Blessings upon you today!
Luke 7:20 And when the men had come to him, they said, â€œJohn the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, â€˜Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?â€™â€
Yesterday was a particularly rough day for Daniel at home and at school. As we began trying to dig past the bad behaviors to what was going on in his heart Daniel started blurting out a series of doubts and deep questions. The same questions and doubts I still struggle with. If Jesus took all our sins away why do we still sin? If I love Jesus why can’t I seem to do good? If you and the adults in my life love me, why do you punish me. If Jesus loved Jonathan, why did Jonathan die? He concluded, “It would be easier to obey, if Jesus was here and I could see him.”
John who had been preparing the way for Jesus to come asked “Are you the one, or should we expect someone else?” He’s sitting in prison, awaiting execution because the wife of Herod wants John dead. It would be a natural question for someone who has spent his entire life preparing for Jesus. At its core, if I obey God, why am I facing death?
Many of us have these very same questions. We wonder why do bad things continue to plague us, we wonder if God and those around us really love us. If you struggle with depression, you wonder why living is so hard. I struggle every day with why Jonathan took his own life. I see it as so preventable and sometimes I too am overwhelmed by my questions and doubts. So what hope is there when we have so many doubts and questions?
Luke21-3 In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight. 22And he answered them, â€œGo and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. 23And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.â€ John the Baptist, took that hope and did not give in to his doubts as he faced death. Even if that path leads through dark places like Jonathan’s death, I still see him laying a foundation for me to offer healing and hope to others who are grieving. Am I going to be offended by who Jesus is? He is patient with my questions and doubts. Do not lose heart Daniel, do not lose heart dear reader!