Please don’t read this.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.”

So failing at obeying this passage right now. I’m not quite sure where or how it started but I have been pretty much doing the opposite. I have had a hard time praying, feeling like God is ignoring me anyway. Instead of rejoicing I have been moping and full of self-pity. Yeah. It’s ugly. In everything give thanks? Not even close. I don’t feel godly, and I am sick of talking about Jesus and not having the courage to truly live as though He is the only Truth that matters. My reality this week is brokenness and wondering how on earth I could be one of God’s chosen people. I have doubts. I sin. Sometimes I hate more easily than I love. Right now, I am dissatisfied with what God has given me. These things aren’t comfortable to say, but they are real.

Friends, being a Christian isn’t something I would have chosen. It’s God who chose me. I don’t know why He did, but He doesn’t always make sense to me. Sometimes I really don’t feel Him at all, and I wonder if we are all just nuts to follow this Jesus who lived for like a nanosecond in Earth’s recorded history.
This is honesty. I am not trying to be blasphemous or put my feelings above the truth of who God is. This happens every once in awhile to me, and I will bet I’m not the only one. When I feel like this, I don’t feel worthy to call myself a Christian or to tell other people about Jesus. I feel like a fraud. How can I lead other people to look at Christ as Savior when I don’t feel close to him at all?

During these times, I have to remember the times God has showed himself to me. When I can’t hear his voice, I will remember the time he SPOKE OUT LOUD TO ME. When my prayers seem to go unanswered, I remember the time I prayed for my vaccination to be free..it wasn’t..until they realized they had given me a child’s dose and had to give me another shot. They sent me a full refund. Or the dozens of other times He has showed me that He DOES hear me and is fully capable of acting on my behalf. I remember the stories I have heard of things that supercede rational thought and expectations-babies that weren’t supposed to live who do, real life demons cast out of people, and things that are just plain logic- the fact that the universe is so delightfully ordered,  and the amazing mechanics of the human body. I reflect on personal experience: the evidence of CHANGE: my new life that has come through seven years of seeking out God and seeing him respond to me..through his Word, through answered prayer, through His people, and through the power of the Holy Spirit that gives me a desire to live for Him and not myself any longer. Though I see clearly my failings and more often than I like to admit the remains of a rebellious, prideful spirit..is it not a confirmation of the Spirit living in me that I agonize over it?

I have to take comfort in the fact that I am not okay with the shortcomings I see in my heart. I don’t always repent right away. Sometimes I want to nurse my bitterness or my disbelief. Right now I am loathe to let go of my funk..I want to sit in it for awhile..take a break from just going along with God’s plan. It is an internal war.  I see why people argue God’s existence..it makes you feel more in control. I feel out of control. God chose me, my life is His. It’s not mine. Sometimes His plan in my life makes me sad. But I know that’s because I can’t see the rest of it yet.
Jesus proved He was God back then by rising from the dead. All the people around Him SAW it. Thats why history changed, that’s why the apostles’ lives shifted to being all about telling people about HIM. He has been God from the beginning, we were made to know Him: to worship and enjoy Him. This is true. It’s true when I don’t feel it and when I do. I hate feeling like this. But..it causes me to go back to the basics and put my faith in Him all over again. He died for people who didn’t love Him because He loved them. I know He is the only answer to the brokenness I can see in the world, to the brokenness that still flares up in me from time to time. I can honestly testify that most of the time I am content, truly content and so thirsty to know Him more. Most of the time I am really excited about who He is and what He is doing. Right now is not one of those times. Right now I need prayer and I need to be reminded of who He is.

Just writing this out helps. I’m sorry if it makes me look like a bad Christian. I am comforted by the fact that there were lots of failures in the Bible..and God loved them anyway. This does’t mean that sin is okay. I think we need to examine ourselves for the evidence of Jesus in us..if we claim to be His then we should look different..not outside only but we should see that difference in where our desires are. I do.  I know that (even when I am being obstinate) Jesus is all I truly want, and that He has made me new. That is what makes me a Christian. I’m a Christian because God is real and He saves people.  His love is not a result of anything I do..whether I succeed or fail from one day to the next.  I want my feelings to catch up with this reality again. God, help me with my unbelief.
“A thousand times I fall, still your mercy remains.
Should I stumble again, I’m caught in your grace. Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades, never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame..my heart and my soul, I give you control, consume me from the inside out, Lord. Let justice and praise,become my embrace, to love you from the inside out.” -Inside Out by Hillsong United

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About Angela

I'm just trying to figure this life thing out with the help of some amazing friends and a God who loves me in spite of my tendency to forget what is truly important!
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5 Responses to Please don’t read this.

  1. rxhope4all says:

    That’s why we are not God, because we are not perfect. All prophets in the old and the new testaments had sins (some of them had more than one wife and killed others for example!!!), this is not to justify sin but to tell you we are not perfect. God doesn’t want want you to be unhappy or unsatisfied with your life. So you should work hard to improve your life and be successful while proclaiming God at the same time. There’s no contradiction. Giving your life to God doesn’t contradict achievements or success. Pray and work hard..and God will provide..

    • angelarva says:

      I agree…however some things are not things we can fix. Some things God says no to..and we choose to trust Him and obey even though it is hard. But your advice is good snd certainly does apply.

  2. Debbie Mills says:

    So much more ahead for you, Dear One. So much more. I love you, and thank GOD for you…. You are precious in His sight….and in ours, all of us who have this incredible opportunity of being in your life. I don’t even have to say it, because I know your heart….but, hang in there, Precious Girl. I think of what Peter said when Jesus asked would he leave Him, too. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You alone hold the keys to eternal life….” Even when it seems like God has failed us….He alone offers us Himself beyond this nanosecond of life. When I read your blog entry, that verse above came to mind….then I read Matthew Henry’s commentary on it….you don’t need to read it, but I put it here. Love you, Angela….you are the real deal, Girl.

    6:66-71 When we admit into our minds hard thoughts of the words and works of Jesus, we enter into temptation, which, if the Lord in mercy prevent not, will end in drawing back. Our Lord had, in the foregoing discourse, promised eternal life to his followers; the disciples fastened on that plain saying, and resolved to cleave to him, when others fastened on hard sayings, and forsook him. Christ’s doctrine is the word of eternal life, therefore we must live and die by it. If we forsake Christ, we forsake our own mercies. They believed that this Jesus was the Messiah promised to their fathers, the Son of the living God. When we are tempted to backslide or turn away, it is good to remember first principles, and to keep to them. And let us ever remember our Lord’s searching question; Shall we go away and forsake our Redeemer? To whom can we go? He alone can give salvation by the forgiveness of sins. And this alone brings confidence, comfort, and joy, and bids fear and despondency flee away. It gains the only solid happiness in this world, and opens a way to the happiness of the next.

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