When Help Runs Out - The Timing of Trials, Testing, and Trauma – Purity 649
Purity 649 02/08/2022 Purity 649 Podcast
Today’s photo a sunset sky that has set the clouds ablaze with color comes to us from the cache of photos that a friend shared from their epic 12 day journey through various cities in Florida that they took to transcend the holiday season and gap between 2021 and 2022.
I share it today because it reminds me of a cheesy line from a Kiss song, of all things, “heaven’s on fire”. That song was all about sex and invites people to give in to their passions for sex immorality – encouraging people to “feel my heat” and to “burn with me” unwittingly pointing to the eternal consequences for unforgiven fornication… but anyway….. Fire is on the mind as of late because my wife’s ex had a house fire that destroyed his home over the weekend. So prayers for George and the kids as they recover from this sudden and dramatic loss of their childhood home and personal possessions.
You know whenever a fire happens, the first thing people do is to seek to know the cause and the circumstances that surround it. In this case, the initial reports say it started in the kitchen near the stove. I will not comment any further because at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what I think or what the facts of the case are. The bottom line is that the house has been destroyed and now the process of picking up the pieces and restoring/replacing that which was lost must begin.
As someone who has had three fires happen that have impacted the lives of myself, my family, and friends, I know the mixed bag of feelings and experiences one can go through when these unexpected events take place, and I don’t wish for anyone to have to experience it themselves.
Traumatic events of loss like fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and death, either sudden or not, devast our lives, will cause us to seek restoration of what was lost ,and may be the catalyst for change as we ponder the effects and seek meaning and possibly a new way of living in the wake of the disaster.
When traumatic events first happen, if we are fortunate, a large outpouring of support will come in from friends, family, the church, governmental agencies, charities, and insurance companies to help us to get back on our feet.
To be honest while all the help that we receive is welcomed at times like this, some of the help we receive will be more helpful than others as some attempts at help may be well intentioned but may miss the mark in meeting the needs of the situation.
Also we may be surprised how quickly, “the help, thoughts, and prayers” that seem so abundant in the initial aftermath of a traumatic event evaporate in a matter of days, weeks, or months with the possibility of leaving us feeling abandoned and maybe even felling jaded towards those who “claimed to care.”
They say trauma can bring out the best and worst in people and unfortunately that can apply to both the people who have lost and the people who offer to help, as some people who suffer loss can become demanding as they embrace a victim mentality or the depth of the care of those who offer to help proves to be pretty shallow as they fail to honor their promises or fall short in their execution or persistence in helping.
The pain of loss and the failings of ourselves or our fellow man in these instances of trauma usually result in questions like : “Why did this happen?” or “Who is going to help me?”
Unfortunately, I have suffered through enough trials and traumas to know that the only One who can answer these questions, or provide help that doesn’t run out, is God.
And unfortunately, although God will help us in ways we won’t expect at times, lying in the ashes of our suffering like Job, may not be what God is calling us to do.
God has given us abilities to overcome the trials of life through doing the work of reconstruction and rebuilding. When the help of others runs out, God will stand with us to see our restoration is completed but we have to lean on Him as we pick up the pieces and seek to forge beauty from the ashes of our former lives.
Like I testified yesterday about deciding to clean my room, while I was surrounded by issues in my life that I didn’t have any control over, we can find measures of peace and progress in “doing what we can” while we trust God to lead us out of the bigger messes in our lives that have undetermined end date.
The Christian Disciple’s path is paved with daily spiritual practices that keep us in the presence of the Lord on a continual basis and the immense value of the wisdom of God’s ways are revealed when we go through various trials in our lives where our faith is tested.
Traumas can cause us to question why the wicked prosper, or why suffering happens, or why people don’t care, or why people frustrate us the way they do, but when we have a relationship with the Lord through our faith in Jesus Christ and through our daily spiritual practices we are better equipped to deal with the “bad times” in life because we know the One who can heal, we know the One who can comfort, and we know the One who can restore.
The help we are offered from others after a loss or trauma happens usually runs out in a few weeks, or months, but the help we get from God never runs out. God will never leave us or forsake us and when we choose to follow Him we can enjoy a measure of peace even in the wake of significant loss.
So keep walking and talking with God and share the truth of the hope that can be found when we trust in the Lord to help us. Those who have lost and are suffering need all the help they can get, but beyond our meager efforts to help them, we should encourage them to develop or foster a relationship with their Heavenly Father that will be a constant help and the means to receive healing and restoration.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
1 Corinthians 15:57 (NLT2)
57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Today’s verse declares the truth of our victory over sin and death through our faith in Jesus Christ.
As the gospel assures us, we have everlasting life because of our faith in Jesus Christ. If we should die physically before Christ returns, we have the assurance that we will live with Him in eternity. The assurance of our eternal lives should cause us to rise above the fear of death and to truly enjoy our lives here on earth.
But we can also thank God for giving us the means to truly enjoy our lives here on earth, which is our victory over sin. If we choose to sin, we choose to suffer. And God gives us the power to say no to sin after we put our faith in Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit.
If we know we are free from sin, in our minds and in our hearts, we can live according to our new identity in Christ rather than choosing to live according to our old sinful ways before becoming born again.
We experience the peace and joy of the Spirit of God when we choose to live out the victory over sin that we received when we put our faith in Christ.
Many of the traumas we suffer in life can be said to be a consequences of the poor choices we make when we sin, as we did something unwise that led to disaster or our sins dulled our senses, kept us distracted, or made us do things or fail to do things that contributed to the storm that caused loss and pain.
When we live in the joy of our eternal life and choose to live out the victory we have over sin, we will thank God because we will suffer less from those negative consequences, and we will be firmly rooted in God’s love that will comfort us in the trials of life that we can’t avoid.
Our faith in Christ gives us the victory. So let’s enjoy it by following Him to know it, here and now and for all of eternity.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue to share from Dr. Neil Anderson’s . “Restored: Experience Life with Jesus”. Today, we conclude sharing from Chapter 7.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Neil Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work.
Suppose you have a skeleton in your closet—something that you have done wrong that you have never addressed with God or shared with anybody. What does the liar, 135
the deceiver, the accuser of the brethren do? He knocks at your door and says, “I want to talk with you about the skeleton in your closet.” Immediately, you feel anxious, guilty, and condemned, because you know you have a skeleton. If you opened the door, everyone would be able to see it.
Now suppose that you have completely repented of your sin. There is no longer a skeleton in your closet. The Bible tells you that God has totally cleansed and forgiven you and that He will never again bring up that sin and use it against you. But Satan continues to knock at the door and tell you that he wants to talk about the skeleton in your closet. This time, however, you don’t feel the same anxiety and guilt. You still remember that there used to be a skeleton in the closet, but you know it’s not there anymore.
There is a big difference between an unresolved conflict from our past and only the memory of the conflict. On the basis of Scripture, what you have done in going through The Steps is to reduce those experiences to memories. You are now free from the past and the sin that entangled you. It no longer has any hold on you, and God will never use it against you now or in the future.
OVERCOMING HABITUAL SIN
136. Galatians 5:17
137. 2 Corinthians 10:5
138. James 1:14, 15
139. 1 John 1:5-9
141. 1 Thessalonians 5:22
142. Romans 12:2
143. Galatians 5:16
144.Romans 6:12, 13; 13:14;
2 Corinthians 4:2; James 4:1;
1 Peter 2:11; 5:8
145. Romans 8:1, 2
146. Romans 6: 13
147. Romans 12:1
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship