I am a Christian who feels like I am fighting a losing battle.

Ralph, I know your hands are probably full. Yet there are a lot of christians out there that have a hard time. Especially knowing he is there. YET... Feel they are fighting a losing battle. Day to day is hard. I personally need this adressed. I know he loves me. Yet I just wwould rather go home. The garbage going on in my life just doesn't seem worth it. All the promises he has given us I hold onto Yet..... My kids keep me here......He doesn't . And please don't tell me I don't believe because I know him. What now?

My response is in Green:

I won't tell you that you don't know Him, but knowing Him is not all there is to it. You said it all in your message to me. "My kids keep me here... He doesn't." That is where you need to start. This is some tough teaching, but I believe it is the truth so I will teach it. I want to look at what Jesus had to say about it.

Luke 14:25-26 (NIV) Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters - yes, even his own life - he cannot be my disciple. Jesus tells us, to be His disciple we must be willing to hate our family and even our own life. What He is trying to say is that God has to come first. We have to be willing to put everything aside and follow Him. That means putting our wants and our likes and dislike aside. Even putting the wants and likes of our family behind what God wants.

When you said your kids and not God is what keeps you here, you were in effect saying that you don't care what God wants, if it were convenient (meaning you did not have to worry about your kids) you would take over as god of your own life and decide when it was time to die or time to live. Yes I am blunt, but I am trying to say this out of love, because until you face this you will never get to the point where you need to be and until you get to that point you will not have the relationship you should have with your Father in Heaven. Let me ask you a blunt question, why would you want to go be with someone you don't love enough to honor with your life?

Let me ask you another question, is it God's job to make you happy? Or is it your job to serve Him? It makes a difference. Take a close look at the disciples, everyone of them with the exception of John were martyred, and John was boiled in oil but lived and was then sent to Patmos as a prisoner. He died there in exile. My point is that when they met Jesus there were all young. Some people try to say they were in their teens, I am not so sure of that, but I know they were young men. They had their whole lives ahead of them, yet each of them chose to follow Christ and ended up being martyred.

I am not saying that you have to be a martyr but there is a point where you have to be willing to do whatever God asks of you. He won't leave you alone in the ordeal, but He does require that you be willing, and then He will stand beside you. We are told in the Bible that when Jesus was finished with our salvation He sat down at the right hand of the Father. Since we know that He sat down, have you ever thought about what Stephen saw as he was being stoned? Acts 7:54 through Acts 7:56 (NIV)54 When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." Most people miss this, but the Bible tells us that Jesus sat down at the right hand of God the Father, yet Stephen sees Jesus standing at the right hand of God, why? Well as I said Stephen was about to be stoned, I believe that Jesus stood up to welcome home a faithful servant to his reward.

You don't have to be a martyr, for Jesus to stand up to welcome you, but I do believe you have to be faithful. In other words, you have to allow God to decide when it is time for you to die and until that time comes to do your best to serve Him. Until you get the right relationship (God first, you and everyone else second) then you won't know what His will is for you in this life. Unless you know His will you will always feel frustrated and unfulfilled.

God will help you with the junk in your life, but He only deals with the things which have eternal significance first and that is your relationship with Him. I even believe that there are times when He brings problems into our lives so we will wake up. We see this in the Old Testament in the way He dealt with His people.

Amos 4:6 through Amos 4:10 (NIV)
6 "I gave you empty stomachs in every city
and lack of bread in every town,
yet you have not returned to me,"
declares the LORD.
7 "I also withheld rain from you
when the harvest was still three months away.
I sent rain on one town,
but withheld it from another.
One field had rain;
another had none and dried up.
8 People staggered from town to town for water
but did not get enough to drink,
yet you have not returned to me,"
declares the LORD.
9 "Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards,
I struck them with blight and mildew.
Locusts devoured your fig and olive trees,
yet you have not returned to me,"
declares the LORD.
10 "I sent plagues among you
as I did to Egypt.
I killed your young men with the sword,
along with your captured horses.
I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camps,
yet you have not returned to me,"
declares the LORD.

Could God be saying this very thing to you? Could it be that He loves you enough to make you miserable in hopes that you will turn to Him for help? I don't know, but I think it is possible. God offers us peace for our souls and rest when we are weary. Are you weary? Do you long for rest for your soul? Then go to God and get the relationship you were meant to have. Put Him first in your life. That does not mean that you have to quit loving anyone else, or that you have to neglect anyone. God loves you kids more than you do. Yes that is right, He loves them MORE than you do. Until you realize that you don't really know who God is. God sent His only Son to die for you and for your kids. He gives you every breath that you breathe. He gave you your kids. And you will have them only as long as He allows you to keep them.

My point is that everything you have is because God allows you to have it, your family, your health, you wealth (no matter how much or how little) everything. The instant He wants you in heaven is the instant you will cease to live. It is not up to you, it is in His hands. 1 Corinthians 6:19 through 1 Corinthians 6:20 (NIV) 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. Take that passage to heart and honor God with everything you have including your body and your life. The reward is so much better than anything you can imagine, but the enemy will try to tell you that it is a mistake. Jesus called him the father of lies for a reason, remember that.

Ralph

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