For the last few days, I’ve had a hard time being able to blog. Really longer than that, but challenges and prayer needing events give motivation. I’ve actually been struggling with feeling “off” is the word I have used for a couple of months now. I don’t really know what it is, nor why it seems to linger. At times it’s frustrating because it doesn’t seem to go with what I feel or what I want to be happening. But there it is… It is.
I was reading a blog that had been reblogged about depression (Ways to Fight Depression, by Chibueze, reblogged by Make It Ultra), and it was reminding others the feeling of maybe we shouldn’t do this or that adds fuel to depression.
Ugh. If you only understood my tug of war with, “What’s the point?” or “It doesn’t matter anyway?” “What difference does it make?” “I just don’t care, and I don’t feel like trying to care.” And these words somehow get past the numbing feeling to even bother to think. So I thought I might follow the advice to make myself blog anyway. It reminds of Kennedy’s tattoo on her forearm that says, “It’s not about forcing happiness. It’s about not letting sadness win.”
Before I read the blog, our family prayer time had these verses that encouraged my spirit. My first thought was to share them and the whispers God shared with me through them, but then I feared the passage was too long. Again in following God’s whisper to heed this advice of the blog, I will share. Click away now if you don’t wish to read.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
– 1 Peter 1:3-16 KJV
My inheritance in heaven is incorruptible and waiting on me. Wow. It is undefiled, doesn’t fade away, and is reserved for me by the power of God through faith unto salvation that is ready to be revealed when Jesus comes. All of this by a “lively hope.” It doesn’t feel like a lively hope right now… or my brain or body one doesn’t seem to understand what hope means. Yet that is exactly what my faith is… a hope… that God has promised and Christ hath secured… that despite what I may feel… His unchanging word and faithful promises have secured for me an inheritance that I will receive because of what Christ has done, not because of what I can feel today. Even my depression can not defile or it or corrupt it.
But isn’t that what my world tells me should happen? That my lack of zeal or failure to be perfectly optimistic at all times should tarnish my reputation with God, and therefore corrupt my treasure? The word inheritance should no longer apply for the weak in faith… right? Not according to what my God says. According to the next few words my heaviness may be a NEED through many different kinds of temptations to try my faith and make it much more precious than gold! It might be tried with fire, but it is so that it may be found to have praise, honor, and glory when Jesus appears.
And let’s think about that for a minute. I love and believe in a Jesus I have not seen with my own eyes. How is that possible? Through the years many people have asked me that question, and so I have asked myself. How is it that I don’t believe in love (down here), don’t believe in relationships, don’t believe in magic (God made me smarter than that), don’t believe in so many things, and have no desire to, yet I believe in and LOVE a God who took on human flesh for me, a flesh that was beaten and sacrificed to save my soul. If it weren’t for everlasting life, I wouldn’t believe in forever. Praise God I do!
Praise God for Jesus and His resurrection allowing the Holy Spirit to revive my soul with a lively hope. You better believe my soul rejoices with unspeakable joy and full of glory! Whatever seems to lack, my God is well aware of, and is either in the process of refining or is simply nurturing to perfect restoration. He tells me this is the end of my faith and my salvation. That believing my Jesus and taking Him at His word gives me something that the prophets, the saints, and the angels do NOT have, yet seek for, all the while that they are preaching about it to encourage us. That is the incorruptible inheritance. To believe regardless of what I do or don’t do, the blood of Christ has secured my placed in heaven. And it will be there waiting on me! The angels cannot know this feeling or glory because they don’t know what it’s like to NEED hope. They have never been without heaven and the one who made it. They have no need TO hope.
Therefore my God straightforwardly instructs me to gird up my mind, to guard it, and to be sober, aware, and to hope for that grace that is to be brought to me when Christ reveals Himself. I am to discipline my mind as an obedient child, not as when I used to give myself over to former lusts in my ignorance. I am to be holy, even in all my conversations. Because it is written for me to be holy because He is holy.
How can I not be encouraged when the One who even makes hope, love, joy, and eternal life possible, makes it a point to lovingly and honestly instruct me with encouragement? Who else would tell me that my heaviness is more precious than gold, especially when He knows how my heaviness weighs me down? Tonight’s hymn was absolutely fitting because with this message, He Lifted Me.
He called me long before I heard / Before my sinful heart was stirred
But when I took Him at His word / Forgiven, He lifted me.
Chorus: From sinking sand, He lifted Me / With tender hand, He lifted me.
From shades of night, to plains of light / Oh, praise His name; He lifted me.