“Why do you feel discouraged? Why do the shadows come? And why does my heart feel lonely? And long for heaven and and home When Jesus is my portion A constant friend is He
His eye is on the sparrow
And i know He watches me
My brother recently challenged and encouraged a group of us with a message on anxiety. Using the text from Matthew chapter 6, he reminded us of the peace that comes in Jesus.
I was reminded of this peace yesterday as I finished reading the book “Unbroken”, where the author reads about Louis Samperini’s story of conversion and forgiveness. Louis was an airman in World War 2 whose plane crashed in the south pacific. He and two other men drifted for 47 days only to become POW for the Japanese. During that time they endured horrific torture and were stripped of all health and dignity.
After the war, Louis was bitter. Plagued by nightmares he longed to return to Japan and kill the man who was the face of his suffering. It wasn’t until he went to a Billy Graham crusade that he found forgiveness for himself and his captors. Louis’ story is an amazing one, and definitely worth a read or a listen.
Indeed, when Zamperini reflected on the best day of his life, he didn’t mention the day he was liberated from a Japanese war camp. Instead, he said, “It was the day I came to Christ.”
I’ll leave you today with another reflection on discouragement from a David Wilkerson sermon. My prayer is that you find grace and peace on this day of thanks.
When youre under attack from the enemys spirit of discouragement, you won t feel like praying. But you must still go to the secret place and be in Jesus presence. You dont need to worry about trying to pray your way out of despair. This is the time for Gods Spirit to go to work in you. Its his job to lift you out of the pit.
When you go to the Lord, be honest with him. Tell him how weak and helpless you feel. Let him know, Jesus, Im dry. I have no strength left. If Im ever going to get out of this depression, youre going to have to make it happen.
In such low times, the Lord is very patient with us. He doesnt expect us to exert some intense, fervent effort in prayer. He knows our condition, and he sympathizes with us. So, just sit in his presence and trust his Spirit to do in you what he has been sent to do. It doesnt matter how cast down you are he will never forsake you!
We have the notion that every time we fail the Lord, the Holy Ghost flits away like a bird. Some Puritan divines taught this. They believed that Gods Spirit leaves Christians for a season whenever hes grieved with them.
I could never understand or accept this doctrine. How could Gods Spirit abandon me when I need him most? If he leaves me whenever I fail and fall deep into discouragement, how could he be my comforter? That wouldnt provide any comfort at all. In fact, it would leave me in Satans power!
Likewise, if the Holy Ghost is my souls sanctifier, how could he do this work if he flies in and out of my life every time I fail? How could I ever see my sin without the Spirits presence there to convict me of it? How could I know how to change if he wasnt there to guide and direct me?
Jesus promised us, I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for everI will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you (John 14:16, 18).
When the devils heavy spirit of discouragement settles over your life, you may be so distraught you cant even whisper a prayer. But even if you cant utter a word, you can talk to Jesus in your spirit. Just tell him softly, Lord, help me. This attack is too much for me. I cant do anything but sit here in faith. Im trusting your Spirit to drive it out of me.