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The struggles of life
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The struggles of life...

You know we all struggle at times in our lives. We wonder where our place is. Where we belong. Who do we belong too?  ...And we wonder who cares?
We become discouraged.

The other day I had such an experience. I went out to get away from everyone, and everything. I left the cell phone. I did not want any contact with the outside world. I wanted to be left alone.

So I went out to a cliff overlooking a valley. One that I was sure to be alone. Where no one would know I was. Where I often go when I am sad.

So I sat there alone looking out. Tired, frustrated. Discouraged and feeling alone. I was wondering about my life. Where it was going. All I had been through. I was really in a very hard place. I was crying out to God. I was asking, "where do I belong?" "Where do I fit in?" "Who do I belong too?"  ...And all I could do was cry.  

Half of me wanted to give up. The other half wanted to hold on for dear life. I was in a very painful place. I felt hopeless. 

And perhaps you have felt that way too?

And as I sat there and cried, Isaiah 43:1 kept "popping" into my head. At first I thought, perhaps just a coincidence? Or perhaps the devil is messing with me? After all, he does disguise himself as an angel of light sometimes (2 Cor. 11:14)!

But as I sat there and cried, it just kept coming to me. So I finally got up. Picked up my Bible and opened it up to Isaiah 43:1.

This is what it said:

"But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob,
      And He who formed you, O Israel:

      " Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
      I have called you by your name;
      You are Mine."

               (Isaiah 43:1 NKJV)

And as I read it my heart melted, and I cried. I realized I was God's. He reminded me it did not matter what the world thought of me. Whether I was rejected, or not. I was God's son. He loves me. He cares for me. He redeemed me. And what matters is that I am His. He knows me. My heart. And what He thinks of me is all that really matters.  ...And I needed to hear it, be reminded of it, so badly.

You know, this is not an easy life for any of us. I know it hasn't been for me. If it is for someone? I'd really like to meet them!

I certainly know that it wasn't easy for Jesus either! All you have to do is go and read Isaiah 53. Or go through and read the gospels. Jesus' suffering in the garden of Gethsemane. How He was pained at the suffering that lay ahead for Him. (Matt. 26:36-46). And how He was painfully hurt as a friend betrayed Him with a kiss (Luke 22).

We all have hard, painful times in our lives. We cannot live this life without pain. If we could? We would all be robots! And I have to admit. There are times when I wished I was one! That I could feel no pain. But this is not reality!

It can be hard to suffer. And to watch others suffer also. It can be so painful, to say the least! And it's in these times we really have to reach out for God. Even when we are angry with Him. And believe me. I have been verrrrrryyy angry with Him at times! In fact I have used words and tones not suitable for polite company!!

Believe me when I say that preachers, ministers, those in ministry, etc. We all struggle just as much. And in many cases even more, than others do! With the trials of life. Now, I'm not in any way, trivializing anyone's pain. And (or) suffering. So please do not mistake this.

And anyone who says they do not have pain, and (or) suffering? They are either lying? Or doing a fair job of trying to deceive themselves.

But this is the point though. When we are hurting, suffering. Feeling rejected by the world (those close to us, etc.). The pains of life (whatever it may be, etc.).

That we must be honest with ourselves. The things we struggle with. Our pain. So often as believers we are so slow to admit to ourselves. To God. That we struggle, that we are in pain. We are in denial. But
denial never solves our problems. It never heals our pain, our wounds. It only causes us to carry them. To bury them. Live with them. Become comfortable with them. And become so sad in the end.

And it causes us to miss out on enjoying the blessings God has for us. The healings He wants to give us. The peace. The love. The joy. The possibility of living healthy lives here.

You see Jesus did not come here just to save us (John 3:16). He came to heal us (Isaiah 61)!  ...Because He cares for our hearts.

You know God has big shoulders. I believe we often forget this. Me included! He's not like us. He is all forgiving. All loving. And cares for us so much:

 "The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart,
          And saves such as have a contrite spirit."

                     (Psalm 34:18 NKJV)

He knows our suffering:

 "You number my wanderings;
          Put my tears into Your bottle;
          Are they not in Your book?"

              (Psalm 56:8 NKJV)

And His arms are always open wide!

But we so often get so caught up in the "trash" of life. That we forget His deep passionate love for us.

I was telling you about something that was deeply troubling me. To the point that I just needed to get away from everyone. And everything. Like me, I'm sure you have had deep pain. Feeling discouraged and sometimes alone. Half of you wanting to quit. The other half wanting to hold on for dear life. Perhaps you are in that place right now?

I want to encourage you to sincerely and honestly take it to the Lord. Yell at Him if you need too! Say what you need to say!! Remember? He has "big shoulders". He is God!

We have to remember, consider and take what Peter the apostle said, to heart. When he was asked by Jesus, if he wanted to walk away also. Just as some of the disciples had done.

This is what peter said:

"Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."

                        (John 6:68 NIV)

We have to really go to Him. We have know where our help (really) comes from!

We have to cry out to Him:

"Hear my cry, O God;
        Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

                   (Psalm 61:1-2 NKJV)

You see we often get into the mindset that the evil one loves. He loves to lie to us. To convince us God does not care for us. Our hurt, pain, our trials. But He does. He cares so deeply. He loves us so much! And this does not stop in our suffering.

He is there to give us what we need. But we have to remember this:

 "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"

                     (Romans 8:32 NKJV)

So I would encourage you. When you are hurting. When you feel alone. Feel no one cares for you. Your hurts, troubles and trials. Remember this. There is someone who loves you so much. That He not only gave His beloved Son for you (John 3:16). But He also calls you "Son","Daughter".

You see these are not just mere "words" to God!

          ...And they should not be to you either!!

And here is something to think on:

 "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him."

                     (1 John 3:1 NKJV)

Rev. John Heintzman
Evangelist Non-Denominational
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POHOM Columbus, Ohio
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