said the devil.
For those most vulnerable to anxiety and depression, open-ended and ongoing calamities are most difficult. Chronic illness, marital betrayal and mistrust, serious family discord, rebellion and dysfunctional behavior plow the heart and water roots of anxiety and depression. If you are a follower of Christ, you have a powerful enemy whose vested interest goes beyond emotional suffering. The devil’s trophy comes when we no longer see God as trustworthy, all powerful, and all loving.
The circumstances under which we suffer are secondary to what we believe while suffering. As a child of Sovereign God, the devil’s assaults are measured and restricted (although it seems at times he goes full speed!) Satan cannot increase the magnitude of the circumstance but he makes all effort to magnify it in our heart and mind. Herein is the essence of the war for our faith.
Like the airborne propaganda campaigns of WWI and WWII, the enemy strikes a massive assault to: convince us that destruction is imminent, encourage us to abandon our post, and even offer rewards to those who surrender.
The campaign need only convince us: This will NEVER end! This will NEVER change!
Yesterday new events erupted in my own longstanding, anxiety provoking circumstance. I sought encouragement from a mature sister and actually blurted out, “This will NEVER end!”. Moments later I realized that I had repeated the lie of the enemy.
I am grateful that issues in my heart were exposed and saw lies fueling my anxiety.
While not called to be ‘happy-clappy’, we are called to ‘stand our ground’ and ‘stand firm’. I opened my Bible and began to pray. Alongside this, I searched for posts in WordPress with words like ‘faith’, ‘anxiety’, ‘God’ and, after some scrutiny, found real encouragement from brethren with similar battles of faith.
Alone with the Lord, He spoke to my heart. Firstly, “NEVER” is not a word for any circumstance in this temporary world. Our lives are but a vapor and our eyes should be fixed toward ETERNITY, which shrinks and deflates any ‘never’ in this world. Secondly, refreshing my heart with Biblical truths and the testimonies of brethren reminded me that God is the supernatural game changer, even when it looks like things will never change! But more than any change in circumstance, my heart must rest in the assurance of His love, His faithfulness, and sovereignty. God is in control.
Oh Lord, root us in this truth, that You don’t waste our afflictions as we trudge through this temporal world…but You use them like refining fire to change us….preparing us to live with You for eternity.
When I said, “My foot is slipping,” Your love, O Lord, supported me. when anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought joy to my soul.” (Psalm 94:18-19)