Have you ever had those days where you just feel like throwing in the towel? You feel like things are just never going to go your way and you don’t know if you’ll ever find a way out of the problem you find yourself in. Maybe you even feel like things have just become so bad you just feel like God has given up on you. Trials and troubles come our way all the time and all too often, especially in today’s 24/7 society of go, go, go and faster, faster, faster. We can get overwhelmed and feel like there is just no hope.
In preparation for my counseling studies, I picked up one of my text books last night and began to read a little. This is from the Volume 1 of Competent Christian Counseling. In the first chapter it states, “Faced with an uncertain future, many people believe that they are falling farther behind and will never get the chance to stop and smell the roses. It’s too late, they think. I’m in too deep.” It’s so easy to find yourself in a world where you forget about what’s important, forget about God, and throw your hands up when you feel completely lost. Sometimes it’s easy to forget if we hold tight to our faith, we can persevere through anything.
There’s a phrase I saw from the movie Robin Hood, with Russell Crowe. It’s a phrase that has stuck out to me and now I have it as daily reminder on my phone. This phrase is, “Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions.” I find this phrase to be so powerful and something I read and think about each day. It’s a constant reminder that no matter how many times I find myself knocked down, that I need to be get back up again. I need to rise again and again. With each time I get back up, I become stronger and stronger. The first time it can be difficult to get back up. Fear can set in. But each time after that, we take the step to get back up again and be strong and courageous in the Lord, we become stronger and move from being lambs who are weak to being lions and ready for anything.
2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self discipline.” Sometimes we have to deal with the spiritual warfare that tries to overtake our us. It pulls into a world where we feel lost and live in fear. Spiritual warfare is needed to combat these spirits so that are true spirit of power, love, and self discipline shines through. Thomas Fuller said, “All things are difficult before they are easy.” This is where self-discipline and the need for perseverance comes in so that we can rise again and again. If we choose to shrink back into a world of capitulation and complacency, we sink further and further. We have to choose to rise and rise again and again.
A few times in my life, I felt lost. I didn’t know where I was going and even tried to understand what it was God was doing in my life. I had no understanding about where he was working. I let the poser come forward and I followed the way that I thought was right even though it brought me to a state of misery sometimes. I didn’t understand the need to let go and let God. I became self-reliant and refused to let Jesus be my advocate and depended on my own knowledge and what I saw the world wanted. When I was knocked down or felt stuck, I never turned to God for an answer. I didn’t understand all of that. You can ask my wife, there were times where I was just flat out miserable and didn’t understand where I was going.
I now have a new perspective though. It first comes with full surrender to God and allowing Jesus in as my savior and advocate To allow Him to lead my life rather than depending on myself to get through challenges. Now, when struggles hit, I am on my knees. I go to God first, who tells me time and again to trust Him and get back up. Rise and rise again. We are made for more, we just need to choose to rise up even when this life has us down. Let go of being self-reliant and trying be your own advocate and let God lead the way and armor you for the battles that you will face and then you move from being a lamb being slaughtered to a lion to can overcome anything because Christ overcame for us.
“Who has a harder fight than he who is striving to overcome himself.” – Thomas a Kempis