Sunday, January 30, 2011

Abandoned by God?

The other day, I was looking at my circumstances and allowed myself to get depressed.  I was feeling abandoned by God.  In retrospect, I was simply throwing  a faithless, childish fit.

I have been a Christian for long enough to know that we go through trials.  It is our version of school.  Trials teach us how to overcome.  In turn the trials get bigger, but so do the victories.

A common misconception is that when we become Christians it is similar to winning the lottery.  The new converts seem to have all the miracles, and all the good stuff happens to them.  I am happy for them of course, but I know they haven’t been to kindergarten yet.  There’s more to come.

Psa 34:19  Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

Act 14:22  …… we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

What I was feeling momentarily, was an absence of the presence of the Lord.  I always pray throughout the day.  But on this particular evening, God seemed like He took a vacation from me.  I felt out of fellowship with Him.  Had God forsaken me?

I had recently gotten over a long bout with the flu.  This flu  took a lot out of me, and even when I was over it I felt no energy and basically just wanted to stay in bed.  In this state of lethargy,  I let the wrong thoughts  creep in and make a temporary home.  I focused on the negatives.

I wondered if I was ever going to have energy.  I was worried that I have no retirement.  I began to look at all the things that I perceived were wrong with my life, and let them stare me in the face.

Some of God’s promises  haven’t kicked in yet.  I was wondering if God was abandoning me on those promises.  I forgot that Moses sensed the call on his life as a young man, but his ministry didn’t start until he was eighty years old (Ex 7:7).  He needed some wilderness time before he could begin his ministry helping others through the wilderness.

I forgot to remind myself that the gifts and callings of God are without repentance (Rom 11:29).

During these times of what we may perceive as abandonment, God hasn’t really left the galaxy.  He may have stepped away only a short distance while He is taking off the training wheels for our ministries.  Like a loving parent. He is never far away.  Many times I have fallen because I chose to look at the storm (Matt 14:30) rather than His face but He always catches me.  He saves me and restores my soul.

This may sound simple, but when we feel that the Lord has abandoned us, I suggest counting our blessings - and taking advice from David.

David’s village was ransacked and all of the people from the village were taken including David’s wives and daughters.  His own people were so upset that they thought of stoning him.

But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

1Sa 30:6  And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

If you continue on you will see that David prayed to God.  He got serious, and put on the ephod and waited for an answer from God before he did anything else.  Then God led David  to quickly recover all that was lost.

There are times, when things look so bad in the natural that we can easily fall prey to being miserable.  That is temporary insanity for the Christian!

During these times, we need to seek God diligently (Heb 11:6 )! We need to strengthen ourselves in the Lord and remind ourselves of the times past that He has delivered us from the lion and the bear (1Sa 17:37 ) enabling us to have the faith to slay the giant before us.    We need to remind ourselves of our past victories the Lord has helped us through and the future promises that He has given us.

And God will come through yet another time -  restoring all.

To get to the next mountain top, we must go through another valley.

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