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Extreme Personal Tribulation

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Question:   Do you know anyway for God to give you an answer. Or do I have to want to blow my head off the rest of my life. I am a born again Christian but I am also feel like I'm going crazy so do you know anything I can do so God will do something instead of letting me go insane like I am right now. If you are going to tell me the same old stuff that every else does then don't even bother to respond. I sometimes wonder if I'm the only Christian who wants to blow their head off almost every second of everyday.

Response:  First - don't blow your head off. In terms of specifics, no one can really be sure of God's will for another person's life. But there are some things which apply to us all.  God doesn't mean for ANY of us to leave this crucible called life until it is His will for us to do so.  Second - I can't be sure that what I'm going to say will be different from what you have already been told because I don't know what you have already been told, but here goes:

You are not the only Christian who has had it to the point of despairing of life. Paul certainly got to that point (2Cor.1:8) - and he was arguably the greatest believer of the entire Church age. In fact, suffering is the norm for the Christian life, suffering that often tests us to the breaking point. I have been there - on more than one occasion, and I know of no other Christian (who has really made following Christ THE priority in their life) who has not been. Everyone who really tries to follow Jesus in deed, not just in word, will come in for stiff opposition from the devil (2Tim.3:12), and the devil really knows where and how to hit us. What is worse, the farther we get down the road of spiritual growth, the harder and the more effectively we get hammered. And on top of that, if one is really looking at the world with the clear vision of Christ, well, the world is an awful place, there is absolutely nothing here to care about, no reason to stay, nothing of true value or worth ... except for God:

Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire but You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:25-26  NIV

As Christians, we are supposed to follow in Christ's footsteps. He led a life of the most intense pressure. For Him, the world was not a place to sit back and relax, enjoy material prosperity, be happy and carefree. Life was a gauntlet of testing and opposition of the most severe sort, a constant pressure-cooker that led to the most severe test and sacrifice of all, the cross. We are living in the last days of the Church, the era of Laodicea, where luke-warm Christianity is the rule, where feel-good, prosperity gospel, muzak-Christianity has in many places been substituted for the real thing. But in fact, we are soldiers in the army of Christ, called for a mission that involves following Him no matter how intense the enemy fire becomes. I don't know what gift, what ministry God has assigned to you, but I know that if you are a Christian, you have been given a job to do for Jesus Christ. If you are trying to do it, you are being opposed. If you are trying hard, then you are being hit.  One thing we all have to remember is that it is not about "us", it is about Christ. The devil doesn't care a fig about us personally - we are just the intrusive enemy, and if we are actually soldiering for Christ, then we will come in for suffering.

Friend, I don't know the details, and, really, that is not the issue. What I do know is that there are only two solutions in this war. Determine to follow Christ, or surrender. Many have gone AWOL and are effectively sitting life out, thinking that this world is a place to be enjoyed rather than a battlefield where our dedication to Christ is being tested. I don't know your heart, but I do know you have a choice. Following Christ in truth is not easy. It takes daily diligent prayer, daily diligent Bible reading, daily diligent Bible study, daily diligent application of what one is learning to one's life, and daily diligent service in whatever ministry God has given you.

None of us are getting off this battlefield alive. And in the meantime, we are in for serious pain. The issue is this: are we going to strive to please the commander who enlisted us (2Tim.2:4; Heb.2:10 [Greek]), or are we going to dodge this draft and "be comfortable" in this otherwise pointless life? This I know: if we embrace the battle, He gives us the support we need to get through the pain and overcome the opposition, to fight back in the cause of Jesus Christ. If we follow Him through the fire, there is enough joy to conquer the tears, a life of work for the Lord of which we can be fully satisfied, and inestimable reward on the other side - for He is faithful.

It's all about choice, and following through on the choice is not easy. Jesus told us it was a steep and narrow road (Matt.7:14), and He told us to "count the cost" before we embarked on it (Lk.14:28), for the cost is heavy, it can even cost us our lives (Jn.12:25). It certainly cost Jesus His, and we are to follow in His footsteps. 

It is all pointless without God. But in choosing and following Him completely with an undivided heart, there is a joy that rises above the most intense suffering. If we desire to have confidence that we are pleasing Him with this fragile body in this grim world, then we should also be pleased to let Him use us however He will, pleased to have Him send us into the fray, no matter how intense, and if we fall, we fall for Him.

The time of great testing is drawing ever closer. Yet there are many who call themselves Christians who are sitting out the struggle. Not knowing you or your situation, I would not attempt to say for certain, but from your description, it may very well be that God is trying to get your attention. There is no easy fix. No easy solution. No one-shot, one-day, one-experience panacea that will do it. There is only really following Jesus, and not following Him, really. Your question indicates to me that you are struggling with this. I can tell you from bitter experience (and blessed experience) that the hard way, the steep way, is the only way that has any point whatsoever, and is the only thing that can give any real meaning and purpose to life (because He is the meaning and the purpose for our lives, whether we will have it or no).

The Bible studies at Ichthys are designed and written to aid Christian spiritual growth. They are not easy to read, harder to study, even harder to digest.  But you are welcome to them.  Here is a link to the Peter series which is geared specifically towards helping Christians cope with just such personal tribulations:

Peter's Epistles:  Coping with Personal Tribulation

You have my most sincere apologies if I have incorrectly or inappropriately responded to your query from any false appreciation of your problems.

Yours in Christ,

Bob Luginbill


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