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Today is Friday, February 3, 2023

Dealing with internal monsters

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There are days when nothing goes right. Do you ever just not know what to do with everything going haywire all at once? Take for example, customer service is horrible and you have a problem you need help with. The automated telephone takes you through five minutes of useless questions and then when you finally get through to them - you get cut off! So frustrating! But I've learned, "This too will pass". Most of us have similar temporary problems from time to time, but what about the problems that doesn't pass?

I assure you, I don't know all the answers, but I am certain the answer can be found in faith and the Word of God. I can say that because I've walked it out. I had a husband who married another woman while we were married, and I thought, living happily. We had a three-year-old daughter that I thought he adored. It tore my heart out and I wasn't sure I could survive the pain and disappointment. During those months, the only strength and consolation I could find came from the Word of God. As bad as bigamy was, that too passed.

I've often wondered how different my life would have been if I had let anger and bitterness eat away at me until all hope was gone? Never, never let circumstance kick you into a hole you can't get out of because I can promise you this: the devil will come along and slap a lid on it so fast your head will spin and you'll wake up one day and find sadness and unhappiness has clamped a vice around your heart.

When devastation comes, invite God into your unhappiness. When Christ enters, peace has a chance to restore your brokenness. Relationships can go sour and send you into a tailspin. Death of a child or a spouse or a parent can send your heart into orbit.

Many of you are frustrated with your life, your marriage, your business and even God. You probably know, one day God will wipe all the tears from your eyes, but what about now?

We all deal with our internal and external monsters in different ways, but I can promise you this ... there is only one way to conquer and that is through the power of Jesus Christ. Human help is simply that ... human. It can take you just so far, but God's help is unlimited. If we can tap into God's deliverance, then we can be free indeed.

I'm reminded of a time when Paul was struggling to tap into God's deliverance and what he told us about his struggles is somewhat surprising considering he was an Apostle called of God. If anyone knew God, Paul surely did, yet we hear him say, "...the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate. ... I want to do what is right, but I can't. I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

He said, "I have discovered this principle of life--that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God's law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? (Romans 7:14-25 NLT)

Later, we find Paul conquered his unhappiness because he wrote, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).

We are hopelessly inadequate to deliver ourself or others. We can encourage others, pray for them and talk them through their pain, but deliverance comes from God alone.

Happiness as we commonly understand it, is fleeting. Circumstances zap our joy: the loss of a job is fearful; the death of a loved one is devastating ... all these are extenuating circumstances that come and go and make us sad as we pass through them. Keep faith in God for He has a happiness that is lasting. The answer as Paul said "is in Jesus Christ." God promised, "There is a rest" (Hebrews 4:9).

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