There is Hope! Perservere!
I know…no Scripture header! What is this blog coming to? Today, we are looking at Romans 12:12-13. But, I ask that you take the time to either pull it up in the YouVersion app or turn to it in your Bible.
I’ve struggled with these verses both as a Believer and long before I ever accepted Christ. I’ve had to work hard on my prayer life and feel it’s finally become a serious strength. I pray quietly to myself, as well as out loud around my house and in the car. But, I admit that I have struggled with rejoicing in hope at times. I have struggled with persevering in tribulation. Sometimes, I’ve felt like my contribution to the needs of the saints has really amounted to nothing and entertaining strangers is not one of my spiritual gifts. However, much like my prayer life, these are spiritual disciplines that I have had to cultivate as a follower of Christ, and that I am still cultivating daily.
It’s not easy. In fact, there have been times I tried throwing in the towel altogether. If I can be totally transparent, in those moments I had no hope at all. The suicidal thoughts that brought me to get the gun out which ultimately cost my sister Cierra her life was one instance. If you haven’t watched my testimony located on the ‘My Testimony’ page of this blog, I encourage you to do so! Then there was another suicide attempt in my early twenties after being sexually assaulted while I was incarcerated, which left me feeling hopelessly broken. In both of those moments, I struggled with what verse twelve says. Yet, for some reason God brought me through all of that even though I was not on His team back then.
Those are extreme cases. Perhaps you have never been through anything close to what I have, but you have felt meh or blah. I am not one of those that will make light of what you’re experiencing. Your struggle is just as real as anyone else’s, including mine. Yet, I have found that really getting into His Word, praying and focusing on Him has helped me tremendously. I mean, yeah, I take medication for PTSD and Clinical Depression. However, that medicine is for the chemicals in my brain, whereas God, the Word, church, doing life with other church members and Celebrate Recovery are the medicine for my spirit! I think that a lot of us need to start looking at Church as the place for the spiritually sick rather than as the spiritually arrived.
I want to take this moment and say that as someone who has attempted it, and who has lost friends, acquaintances and loved ones to suicide: THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE! Even if it does not seem like it right that moment, there is always hope. I am reminded of a worship song that I have clung to at times of great heart-heaviness, “Pain comes but joy comes in the morning.” It’s true. It is easy to let the Enemy use other people’s opinions, judgements and ridicule to make God’s desire for our life seem unrealistic. But, He is God and they are the created. I have been on both sides of hopelessness. I have laid there writhing in despair, I have typed all night to ensure a loved one made it through the night. There is always hope. He is our hope if we don’t give into what the Enemy wants for us, which is always the opposite of God’s plan!
Where are you struggling? What can you do to cultivate hope and perseverance? How is your prayer life? I pray that this may be a light to those who need it! If you or someone you know are not ok, please feel free to follow the provided link for resources and encouragement!
Until Next Time