Devotional Thought of the Day….
27 God’s plan is to make known his secret to his people, this rich and glorious secret which he has for all peoples. And the secret is that Christ is in you, which means that you will share in the glory of God. 28 So we preach Christ to everyone. With all possible wisdom we warn and teach them in order to bring each one into God’s presence as a mature individual in union with Christ. Colossians 1:27-28 (TEV)
1 You have been raised to life with Christ, so set your hearts on the things that are in heaven, where Christ sits on his throne at the right side of God. 2 Keep your minds fixed on things there, not on things here on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 Your real life is Christ and when he appears, then you too will appear with him and share his glory! Colossians 3:1-4 (TEV)
573 When you are with someone, you have to see a soul: a soul who has to be helped, who has to be understood, with whom you have to live in harmony, and who has to be saved.
I’ve seen a number of blogs that would have you believe that a good Christian, is one who never feels depression or grief during Christmas season. Who because they know Christ, because the Holy Spirit dwells within them, there is no longer any darkness that attempts to consume them, no more doubts, no more pains…..no more tears. As if this world is utopia…
Just happiness, and smiles,
It is as if they believe that Christianity is some kind of spiritual anti-depressant, that allows us to balance out, and that the balance is somewhere on the upside of life. Please hear me – there is a great need for psychiatric medicine, and the balance it can provide to life, it is just that Christianity doesn’t work like that….
This week I am living proof of that.
Between planning 6 services this week, writing sermons that were… emotionally challenging, doing a memorial service, and then having two very good friends in the hospital with potentially life threatening issues (both are dong better now) I am emotionally a wreck. I am not “happy” but very challenged emotionally and spiritually. I am still grieving over some significant losses in my life, and the losses and struggles my friends are enduring. Let’s add into it some physical back pain.
There is a lot of grief, a lot of weariness, a lot of “why God?!!!? (matter of fact, one of my sermons had that name as well!)
Reading someone’s words that say that all good Christians are full of cheer and joy and don’t struggle? Part of me wants to laugh at the silliness/ignorance of such a statement, part of me wants to take the writer through a few hospital wards or skilled nursing facilities I know of, to a mortuary or two, or the homes of people whose family members are in harms way in the military. There are many people of great faith who are suffering, bravely suffering, but are wearing down.
So where does Christianity, where does being a Christian help in such times, if not to provide a lift of emotions, or at least the illusion of such a lift?
It is better than that…. it allows for honesty, and therefore allows for hope.
As you read through the scriptures, there are people with real problems, real trauma, real issues. Some things are external, some are internal like the ravage that sin can do to a soul.
God doesn’t cut them off… he doesn’t tell them to get their act straight. He doesn’t give them some placebo of hope.
He comes and makes His home among us. He dwells with us, in us. He helps us to embrace Him so that we can embrace the hard times with Him. No longer alone, those traumas are one’s we don’t have to hide. We know that we are with Him, and that there is a future.. because He dwells with us, we dwell with Him.
That doesn’t change the situation, but the scars… are that. They hurt badly, they sting, but even so… there is healing on the way….
He is with us,,,,
He is comforting us….
He is providing us peace… even in the midst of the depressing times, in the midst of grief and anxiety and pain….for we dwell in Him.
That is what
This is God, with us…
If you aren’t the one struggling, look around, there are people that are, souls weary and tired, laden with anxiety and fear, and grief….. you can’t change their situation, but you can be there with them… and remind them Christ is present with both of you. That is Christianity as Paul describes it:
12 Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. 13 Share your belongings with your needy fellow Christians, and open your homes to strangers. 14 Ask God to bless those who persecute you—yes, ask him to bless, not to curse. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, weep with those who weep. 16 Have the same concern for everyone. Romans 12:12-16a (TEV)
Know He walks with you… and therefore would meet all you encounter… and share His love with them as well.
Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 2134-2136). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.