The Darkness May Always Be There, but I Will Always Be There in the Darkness
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"The darkness may always be there, but I will always be there in the darkness"

These are words God brought to a woman in the depths of wondering if she'd ever be free of depression and anxiety.

It's a rough reality to live in a fallen world. There is this notion that as Christians we should be exempt from suffering the results of a fallen world. That somehow while others may struggle with sin, we shouldn't. This feeling that if the Holy Spirit takes up residence, that sin has to move out. That if there is the presence of faith, there shouldn't be the presence of doubt, worry, anxiety, and fear.

This couldn't be farther from the truth. Scripture is full of reports of those that penned the bible even themselves struggling with these very things. Paul himself who has penned more of the New Testament than any other Apostle himself struggled with being in "fear, and in great trembling" (1 Cor. 2:21) and Paul himself was stuck in habitual sin as he testified "I practice the very evil that I do not want" (Romans 7:19).

Did you know that John the Baptist who at the beginning of his life leaped in his mother's womb at the presence of Jesus became for a time resentful towards Jesus at the end of his life? Hear the disdain in his voice "Are you the Coming One, or are we to look for another?" (Luke 7:19). You know what spurred this inquiry from John? John had just heard how Jesus was doing great things in other people's lives (Luke 7:17) and when he considered his present circumstances since he was jailed and awaiting execution by beheading, he was bothered, and the one whom once leapt in the womb now is frustrated with Jesus given his present peril.

The fact is the world is full of darkness. We are not living at home, we are in a foreign land, someone else's country. We're ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20) but like these guys, sometimes we get depressed with our present living conditions. Sure we're not getting beheaded, but our present struggles sometimes make being beheaded not sound so bad doesn't it? There are days that living is hard. At the peak of the struggles my feelings are this "I don't want to live, but I'm to afraid to die". If you can relate, so can the Apostles. Each of them was "burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life".

If the apostles can enter a state of not wanting to live isn't it ok that we may enter that state as well? We're so hard on ourselves for not being upbeat, for not being full of joy, for not "getting over it" and we feel guilty for failing to "snap out of it". God is the God of deliverance, make no mistake about that, but that deliverance doesn't equate a lack of hardship, on the contrary, as with the Apostles, being one who is delivered actually brings hardships.

And don't be surprised if your hardship seems out of control. If the apostles had control over their circumstances do you think they would have been suicidal? No they wouldn't. If we could simply "get over it" do you think we'd still be struggling with it? When Christ said we'd face trails and tribulation He wasn't speaking of that which we'd be able to handle. For tribulation is not tribulation if you're prepared for it. A crisis is not a crisis if you're equipped to handle it. For if a person runs out of gas in the middle of a deserted, untraveled desert highway, but has a couple full gas can in the trunk, then running out of gas is merely an inconvenience. But if we run out of gas in the middle of a deserted, untraveled desert highway, and we didn't even think to bring gas, food, water, etc. then we indeed are in a crisis.

I don't know about you but some days I'm out of gas, feeling stranded, alone... Some days I don't want to be a "good Christian". Some days I don't want to go to church, read my bible, or listen to Christian music. I'm exhausted and resentful toward those with joy.

How does God feel about that?

"You'll get no judgment from Me (John 3:17), but rather I don't even take your sins into account (Rom. 4:8), I sympathize with you My child (Heb. 4:15) , I am with you in this (Matt. 1:23) and I will never leave you nor forsake you (Heb. 13:5)".

Christ Himself received encouragement in His time of darkness (Luke 22:43), note that He wasn't delivered from it. I believe the encouragement to Him was the deliverance of you (I wrote about this here). If He continued in His misery then your misery would be disarmed. The fact is God's with you. Now if you are struggling to believe that it doesn't mean He's left, it just means you aren't seeing it. And that's ok! Asaph struggled with this too (Psalm 77:1-10).

What is more important, being delivered by Christ or seeing you've been delivered by Christ? Would you rather be free of condemnation, or free from feeling condemnation? Sure both would be nice, but what I'm getting at is if you had to pick one, is it more important to you that you make it into heaven, or feel like you're going to heaven when you're actually going to hell?

Christ took care of what was most important. Most important for us, and most important to Him. We still have the freedom to stumble, we still have the freedom to live in fear, but Christ has sealed us with His Spirit (Eph. 1:13) when we called on Him (Rom. 10:13) and there's nothing you can do to change that (Rom. 8:35-39). Paul wrote "If we live by the Spirit, let's follow the Spirit as well". Living by the Spirit is God's business and we inherit that the day we called on Him. The success of this part is entirely done by Him, 100% and we can't screw that up. The mistake we make is looking at our walk and using that as a measurement to decide whether or not He is with us, whether or not He loves us. He is, He does and these things are unshakable. Your walk is a different story, and we're all damaged, not only living with the fallen nature of the flesh, but the flesh is getting worse (Eph. 4:22).

Don't equate your success in the flesh to represent your success in the Spirit.

I've always loved the poem "Footprints". Most of you I'm sure have heard of it but take another look:



I've found often Satan doesn't bring condemnation on those who stand condemned but rather on those who have been set free from it.


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Have some feedback, insight, questions, comments, prayer requests, etc? Maybe you just want to share what God is doing in your life (I love praise reports), or maybe you can relate to some of the things here and need an ear. I'd love to hear from you!