Thursday, May 17, 2012

Getting a Spiritual 2nd Wind

I suppose all of us at one time or another get depressed, or want to give up and quit.  In the heat of the moment we'll say, "I'll just leave this job, this church, or this family and they'll miss me...they'll wish they had treated me differently!"  "I quit".
Often we have some of these feelings:
"there's no use trying, the harder I try the worse things get"
"no use witnessing, no one is listening"
"I'm just spinning my wheels, getting nothing out of church"
"I'm never gonna find happiness, I can't please anyone"
"I just can't get ahead!"
Sometimes we all need a spiritual second wind!!
We are not alone in this, nor are we the first to face these feelings.  
Here are a few examples:
MOSES - The greatest leader - handpicked by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.  Had God's power on his life, but in Numbers 11:15, he said to God, "if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee!"
JOSHUA - Greatest General, handpicked by God to lead Israel into the Promised Land, but in Joshua 7:7 he said, "would to God we had been content and dwelt on the other side of Jordan."  (Doesn't that sound like some of us today, so this is what we get for serving God!!)  Joshua felt like quitting, but thank God he got over it.
ELIJAH - Greatest prophet of the Old Testament willing to challenge the idolatry of his day, called fired down from Heaven, won a face off with the prophets of Baal, but in ! Kings 19:4, after it was all over, he requested for himself that he might die, and said, "it is enough now, O Lord, take away my life!"
JOB - We talk about his patience, his faith, and he was truly a great man.  He had a great beginning and a great ending, but in-between, when he lost everything, (while it's true he never cursed God), he did wish he had never been born, he became extremely depressed for a period of time. In Job 3:3, he said, "let the day perish in which I was born!"
JONAH - He wanted God to kill him, and was spiritually depressed and not even happy for all the souls that just got saved at Nineveh!!
PAUL - He said in 2 Cor. 12:15, "and I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved."  While Paul was on his second missionary journey, arriving from Athens to Corinth he experienced a low time in his life.  At this point on this trip alone, he'd been beaten and jailed at Phillipi, persecuted at Thessalonica and Berea, ridiculed in Athens, and now he has to face Corinth!  He was at a low point, a crossroads in his ministry, and he was just about to quit!!  But the Lord came to Paul on this day and showed him that trying times are not the time to quit trying!!
He didn't quit, he continued.  Why?  Because God told him to.  Acts 18:9-10 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:  10 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
God told him, "it's too soon to quit!"
God has given us promises too.  When we feel like we just can't go on, maybe it's in our personal life, maybe it's in our ministry, whatever it is, His promises are for us.  We have the promise of His presence (v10 "I am with thee")
Hebrews 13:5
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave theenor forsake thee.

We have the promise that He will never put more on us than we can bear.
I think it safe to say that most of us have never gone through what Moses, or Joshua, Job or Paul did, not minimizing our trials but trying to put some perspective on them.  We have a loving Father who created us in His image.  He loves us more than anything else He created.  
He loves us so much He sent His son to die for us so that we could have eternal life.  Remember the old gospel song, "This World is Not My Home".   Whatever you are going through today, this is just a temporary situation, as my mom used to tell me, "this too shall pass".  
When defeat comes, discouragement, sickness, financial hardships, heartaches, family problems, remember "the God of the mountain IS still God in the valley".
We have the promise of His protection v.10, "no man shall set on thee to hurt thee".  They might have killed the apostle Paul, but not until he was able to say, "I have finished my course."
They crucified Jesus but not before He said, "it is finished."
God has a purpose for your life.  Greater than your job, greater than the persecution you may be going through, the trials you may be going through right now.  He is preparing a home that is far beyond your wildest imagination, just a little while yet and He will return.
It's too soon to quit!
Ahead of us - He's our guide
Behind us - He's our guard
Under us are His everlasting arms
and above us is the shelter of His wings (Psalms 91)
Trying times are not the time to quit trying.  Hang in there, God has your blessing don't miss out on it by giving up.
God bless.