Man oh man, friends. It’s been an interesting past week for me and I’m not sure where to start. I discussed apathy last week and honestly, I’m still experiencing it, but I think I’m almost past it solely based off last night.
I babysit on Mondays so the parents can go to small group, and after the kiddos go to sleep, I write. As usual, I took my laptop, Bible and notebook so I could prepare for this week’s blog. I opened my Mac and it was completely dead. I thought “of course” and also felt some relief because at that point, I still had no idea what I wanted to talk about. I was trying to decide whether to turn on the TV, relax on the couch, or aimlessly scroll through social media when I told myself, ‘you have so much time to spend in the Word and you’re going to pass it up to do nothing? You know you really need truth in your life right now.’
I recently finished 1 Corinthians in my personal study and started 2 Corinthians this past week. 2nd Corinthians focuses on Paul talking to the church in Corinth about joy and sadness. Coincidence? Probably not. I read verses 1:3-7 on Monday and they talked about God being our comforter in all of our troubles. I read those words and my initial thought was ‘that’s great, but I don’t feel like God is comforting me at all right now.’
While I was sitting there reading, I decided to read old notes just to look back at times when I felt close to God and a sermon I heard at Passion last year came to the front of my mind. Oh my goodness, what a sermon it was. Levi Lusko spoke about a “second wind” and why hard times can and should be cherished. If you know his story, you know how powerful and personal this sermon was.
During the sermon, he asked us a couple of questions:
- Would you be willing to use your pain as a platform for the Kingdom?
- What dream has God put into your heart that will be accomplished in a roundabout way that may cause suffering along the way?
Let those sink in for a moment because wow. He made the point that it’s an honor to be entrusted with pain because God puts to use what we go through. Through this suffering, we shouldn’t rely on willpower because we have God’s power. This is when we need to trust God for a second wind through the Holy Spirit because we’re going to experience trials and tribulations on Earth but we’ve trained for this moment by already having a relationship with Jesus. We have that truth and trust in our relationship with Him to fall into when we can’t hold ourselves up.
I’ve learned that when we’re experiencing feelings of apathy, sadness, depression, frustration – whatever it may be – a good way to combat it is by these three things: Remember, Repent and Renew.
Remember: A time when you felt the closeness of Jesus.
Repent: Look at your spiritual apathy as a sin and confess it to God.
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Renew: Create a new commitment to Jesus. A commitment to know Him, praise Him, and fellowship with Him.
I was also reminded of Romans 8:18 “Our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” I’ve been reminded so much this past week that Jesus is my comforter and He is with me at all times through my struggles, but because I’ve been letting my feelings overpower the truth I’ve been surrounded with I’ve been too blind to see it.
2nd Corinthians 4:17-18 “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
When you’re going through a hard time, you can’t let emotions control your life. Let the truth remind you of your identity in Jesus and who He says you are. Fight your feelings of sadness, depression, frustration, loneliness, etc. with what God says. You’re not alone. I am not alone. God is not ghosting you. There is beauty in the pain and suffering.
Are you willing to use your pain as a platform to further the Kingdom?
2 Corinthians 6:4-10