Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Discouragement The Morning After

Do we not understand that everything in this world is bent on our destruction? Not that we need to be concerned about it because Jesus is our protector, but we need to at least be aware that we live and breathe in a hostile environment. When we walk in the light, any brush with darkness has the potential to discourage us. This is the reason why the day after great spiritual breakthroughs it can seem to be filled with so much discouragement.That's when it is good to remember Jesus' promise:

I have told you this, so that you might have peace in your hearts because of me. While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world. (John 16:33)

The darkness may be bent on our destruction but that's because it has already been defeated by Jesus. It is too bad that we can so easily be distracted from the truth of who we are in Jesus and what Jesus has made possible through him. Yes, each day is a great challenge but the challenge is to keep our focus on the source of all things; the source of joy, hope, peace, and power. Paul asked:

If God is on our side, can anyone be against us? God did not keep back his own Son, but he gave him for us. If God did this, won’t he freely give us everything else? (Romans 8:31-32)

We are deep in the Spirit, surrounded by Jesus Christ and every promise he has given. Don't philosophy about it. The promises were given to us to act on every single day of our life. Because our Father has given us the Son, he also freely gives us everything else, including joy in the midst of the darkness. Paul continues to ask:

If God says his chosen ones are acceptable to him, can anyone bring charges against them? Or can anyone condemn them? No indeed! Christ died and was raised to life, and now he is at God’s right side, speaking to him for us. Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, suffering, and hard times, or hunger and nakedness, or danger and death? (vv. 33-35)

When we come away from an incredible spiritual experience with Jesus Christ, we are not coming away from Jesus. We are simply walking through the darkness where it is easier to be distracted by its limited attractions. We still walk in the Spirit, are still surrounded by the promises, are still under Jesus' protection, are still blessed and partake in all the benefits of a relationship with Jesus. Despite the challenges you may face because of the darkness today, remember:

In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us. (v. 37)

I know the dark can provoke fear and anxiety but when you turn the light on you see there is nothing to fear. Let Jesus be that light today, so the emptiness offered by the darkness will be revealed and all those fears and anxieties will flee:

I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s love—not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, 39 and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord! (vv. 38-39)

And that's all we need today as we walk in the Spirit in a world that is hostile toward us. Yes, be aware that everything is bent on your destruction but don't fear it. Just be aware of it so you will never desire to leave the protection of the Spirit; be aware of it so you know why you should always have a thankful heart. This is an excellent day because we get to spend it with Jesus. It is excellent because we get to see his promises in action. It is excellent because we have an opportunity to serve him so the darkness can see that the Light is alive and well.

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