Saturday, 9 March 2013
Hold On - Press on - Hang on tight!
"Sometimes life just seems to get the better of me." Probably we have all heard that statement many times and in many situations.
You may have even said it or felt it yourself a number of times as well.
Life IS hard - Life can be VERY hard - We can have things thrown at us that can send us completely off the rails if we let it and even cause us to go into deep depression.
Australian statistics are pretty alarming as to the number of people suffering from a myriad of differing depressive illnesses - from very mild to very severe, depressive illness can rob people of their self esteem, their jobs and often sadly their very lives.
www.beyondblue.org.au describes it like this "Depression is one the most common of all mental problems. One in five people (here in Australia) experience depression at some stage of their lives"
One in five!! WOW that's pretty startling - statistically one in every five people we meet, in theory, have some sort of depressive problem - worry, stress, anxiety, phobias and fear.
Christians certainly aren't exempt from suffering trials, tribulations and worries - there are hundreds of different reasons why we are thrown a curved ball in life and they all have serious potential.
Worry is so debilitating - it steals the joy from living and we can become so preoccupied with whatever the problem is that there is little else left over.
We can feel that we are overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the problem we are facing - we feel alone, helpless, weak and vulnerable.
Worry can rob us of peace, sleep and communication. It can affect our marriage, our jobs and worst of all it can cause separation from God.
Worry can rob us of our prayer life and study of God's Word - we can feel God is not there or that he doesn't care about our problems.
Worry and stress can lead us away from God - lead us to a dark place in our lives and lead us to a point where we take our minds and hearts off Jesus.
Some days we feel we can't possibly make it through - there is nothing absolutely nothing going right - everything has gone pear-shaped - our lives have been shattered.
It is in those dark places of our lives that, as strange as it sounds, is the very time we have to place our utmost faith in God - where we have to praise Him for what we DO have in our lives and look at the blessings that He has given to us.
When the days ahead look their blackest - when there is seemingly no answer to an on-going problem that is the very time we, in faith, have to reach out to God and hold tight and hold on to His promises.
Annie Hawks and Robert Lowr wrote a song which I feel spells out pretty plainly what I'm talking about, it goes like this:-
"When I think I'm going under, part the waters Lord.
When I feel the waves around me, calm the sea.
When I cry for help, O hear me, Lord and hold out your hand.
Touch my life, still the raging storm in me."
Knowing that God loves us is pretty amazing - we are never alone - we never have to face our trials, no matter how huge they are, alone.
He is the one who wants to take our burdens and even in the darkest place imaginable - He is there to shed amazing light and the promise of a better future - all we have to do is hold on tight to Him - he will show us the way.
Jesus has promised us a prize - an amazing prize - an awesome prize, but we need to press on, hold on and with God's help we will have the strength.
Even though we are battered and scarred in the process, even though we may stumble and bumble along, God's perfect plan is for us all to reach His goal.
When we are sad and worried we can a huge tendency to look on our worries and trials in the most depressive way - everything takes a mammoth amount of trouble - everything looks like it is working against us.
To every dark side - every sadness - every worrying time, there is often a brighter side - we as Christians need to hang on tight to those 'bright' sides of our problems.
As Charles Spurgeon once said "Even the darkest underground mine often yields a vein on pure gold" and again "Samson's lion yielded honey, and so will our adversities, if rightly considered."
Faith's way of walking is to cast all of our cares on the Lord and then anticipate good results from even the worst of calamities.
Even in the face of death itself - we Christians can look beyond the grave to the amazing light of the resurrection - sure and steadfast in the knowledge that Jesus' sacrifice knocked death on the head - killed and forgotten - death will have no hold on those whose hope and faith is in the Lord.
Christians need to hold on tight to Jesus no matter where we are in our lives - whether on the mountain peak or down in the deep dark valley.
Living close to Jesus we are covered with the very wings of God himself - His wings of protection - his wings of peace and underneath us are His everlasting arms.
We have all had difficult roads travelled in the past and we are sure to have more in the future - whatever the case - whatever condition we are in, we will need Jesus.
Hang on tight to His hand - Hold on to His promises and press on to the Goal.