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Faith When You’re Doubting

This morning, I saw this picture on Facebook and it made me laugh. I love it. 

Everyone is always saying, “Be yourself. Be unique. Be a unicorn.” Well, this person is taking that advice literally and it’s great. 🙂

But it got me thinking…

Is there every any other time where this would be accepted…appropriate? 

If a unicorn walks around grocery shopping, under any other circumstances than what’s going on now, they would be mocked, glared at, looked at strangely. 

Yet during THIS time, they are praised.

These are definitely uncertain times. 

I see some who are reacting saying it’s nothing. It is something. The virus is killing people. It’s something. 

Should we live in fear, no. But it is something. 

Others say that this is the end of the world. Truly there is nothing left in history that needs to be accomplished (per the Bible), that needs to happen before Jesus comes. Is that THIS time? I don’t know. 

NOOOOOOOOO ONE KNOWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Bible says in Matthew 24:3-8:

“As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.”

There will be false prophets at the end saying they know when Jesus is coming. 

But in the same chapter, a little ways down in verse 36, it says: 

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” 

No one knows the end times, not even Jesus Himself, only God the Father knows. Be VERY careful if you say this is the end of the world. You do not want to be considered a false prophet!

While, we can’t know when Jesus is coming back to collect His saints, we can know some things. 

We can know that this is God’s judgement on our nation. 

God promised He’d never again destroy the world in a flood. When the world is corrupt. Greed and sin abound. In a time where there’s very, VERY few workers for the harvest, He won’t destroy us all again. 

Will He allow (even cause things to happen) to wake us up?

To get our attention?

To punish us for our sin?

Yes! 

As ANY good parent punishes their children in a light way, so that they don’t become true “monsters” when they grow up, as parents who are diligent to instill in our children morals, and love, and kindness, and virtue, so is our Lord with us. He seeks to mold us into His image (2 Corinthians 3:18).

He cares for us. He loves us. He punishes us BECAUSE He loves us. 

Luke 11:9-13 says:

“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. “For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. “Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? “Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?””

He is loving. He does not give us a snake when we ask for a fish. He loves us soooooo much! 

Is He trying to get our attention? Wake us up? 

Absolutely! 

Both individually and as a nation. 

We’ve gone away from Him. We’ve loved other idols. We’ve placed other things above Him and He’s calling us back to Himself. 

I know a man that I have walked with every single day for the past five years. 

This man sinned against God in a MASSIVE way. He fell terribly. He lied to his family. To his church. He lied to the world. He lied to everyone. And worst of all, everyone believed him. They punished ME unjustly, believing HIS lie. They accused ME of bad things. Things that weren’t true. All b/c of this mans’ lie. 

I’ve suffered many years, in quietness. Not able for my previous friends, church, others, to believe me. And I’ve sat here, in silence, as I’ve watched God deal with this GREAT sin. A sin that has caused me immense pain and suffering. I’ve watched.

There have been some days where I cry out to God, “Just kill me! Take my life. I’m sick of Earth. I’m sick of you allowing bad things to continue. Won’t you punish sin?! Will you just sit there and let it WIN?!” 

While I cry out for God to punish sin, I’m in sin b/c I lack faith, patience, lovingkindness, and mercy! I’m a hypocrite! I ask God to punish another’s sin, yet I accuse God to His face and prove my OWN sin. 

Listen, we ALLLLLL sin! 

I’ve watched God. Over 5 years, I’ve watched Him closely day in and day out. Minute by minute. I’ve watched. 

To this man, for the first 3 years, he gave this man a chance. God begged with him, pleaded with him in every imaginable way to tell the truth. To set me free from the lies that surround me. From the false things in which I was accused. 

Three years, God labored every day, every minute, through circumstances, through convictions, through sermons, through movies, through everything. God used everything to try to get this man to repent. To tell the truth and stop lying. 

I watched as God begged. Every day, begging and pleading, convicting him. 

The man wanting to tell the truth, but something always stopping him and not ever doing it. 

Then in the fourth year, I began to watch God’s punishment displayed upon the man. 

At first it was light. Little things here and there. Punishments. The man didn’t repent. He tried to a couple times. He wanted to, but never did. 

God kept promising me that he will tell the truth one day. God promises to me that He will keep me safe and that it will happen. 

Still the man didn’t repent. He didn’t turn from his sin, from his lie. 

Another year goes by and God is still lightly afflicting the man in punishment and chastisement. 

The man doesn’t turn. The man is unwilling to give up everything for God. It’s pride. 

Then I saw the man, being punished, say he would turn from his sin. How he would tell the truth and end this massively tough trial. 

God set everything up for Him to tell the truth. Everything locked into place and it was beautiful and God-driven and I could see God’s miracles and plans and God had just aligned everything in such a miraculous way.

God wanted him to tell the truth and everything was perfect timing for the man to do so. I stand here weeks later, having seen the man reject God’s hand. His promise of peace and love and forgiveness. Rejecting mine as well. 

To this day, the man still hasn’t repented. Hasn’t come forward. Hasn’t told the truth. Hasn’t given EVERYTHING to God.

I question his salvation. For a true Christian is willing to follow God anywhere. A truly converted Christian is willing to give up anything and everything for Christ with uncompromising, unwavering faith in times of adversity and I’ve never seen that from him.

Five years. 

I saw another man. I was a new Christian, having just given my life to Christ and wanting my husband to become saved too. 

Every day, I prayed for God to save my husband. I cried on my hands and knees for Christ to work in his heart, and I saw, God beg him to repent and give his life to God. 

I watched as God gave him SOOOOO many chances to turn from a life of sin to Him.

Every day, God begged him. Every moment, God whispered in his ear, to get him to change and my husband, one night while watching a movie said he didn’t want God. He wanted the world. The money. The fame. The praise of man. 

My husband abandoned me. Our two kids. 

He was looking for the world. For money. 

Isn’t it ironic that he makes so little and God has blessed me with more money than my ex-husband could ever even dream.

See, God LET HIM GO. God tried. He begged. But my ex-husband was not saved and God let him go. 

I’ve seen in my own life, over a number of years, God beg on a daily basis for two men. 

In the example of the unsaved man, my ex-husband, God let him go. My ex-husband made that choice to reject God and that’s it. That was his choice. He lost his family, he lost everything. What little he has now is nothing, b/c he doesn’t have Christ. 

And the other man, God still begs him to repent. He punishes. He chastises. And from where I sit, I only see the punishments he is getting, getting WORSE with every passing day. 

I learned a couple things from watching these men all these years. 

1- God never leaves or gives up on His elect (or His children)

Even though this man doesn’t repent, five years later, God is still there, still trying to get his attention, still punishing. While the man’s salvation is questionable, the fact that God DOESN’T leave, shows me that he most likely IS elect, and for me, it shows me the lengths that God is willing to go through for those that He calls and loves. As long as God is still trying to get this man to repent, there is still hope in my soul that he will. 

2- God is a chaser

OH how many times has God pursued and just flat out CHASED this man. How many times has God chased ME when I’m turning from Him?! Luke 15:1-7 is a great illustration of how God pursues us. How He goes after that one sheep that is lost. He doesn’t give up on us, unless we ultimately and completely reject Him fully for a time as my ex-husband did.

3- God punishes lightly at first

This is an amazing thing to notice b/c God didn’t come out after 4 years with fire and brimstone to the man. No. He shows love and compassion and most of all, lovingkindess and patience. 

God’s not a bad guy looking to hurt us. He’s not out there trying to see whom He can harm. He doesn’t WANT to hurt us. 

When you spank your child when they get in trouble, do you find pleasure in it? Only an evil motive would say yes. My mom found joy in beating me all the way up until I was 18 years old. She loved it. I saw her eyes. She would go crazy wild, lose her temper and put out all her anger out on me. 

That’s NOT a good parent. That’s NOT God!!!!!!!! 

God doesn’t WANT to punish us, He HAS TO. For a number of reasons. 

If He doesn’t punish us, He allows sin to win, which is against His character! He would be a liar if He let sin win. He HAS TO punish. 

We bring it on ourselves. WE are the ones in sin. Not Him. We deserve to be punished. Just like our children. We have to be punished sometimes, in order to change our hearts, our actions. 

He has to punish us so that people cannot accuse Him of not caring about us. They say, “Well, God doesn’t notice what we do. We can do whatever we want.” No. We can’t. God IS there. He IS watching. Lovingly. Kindly. Wisely. Always with us. Always watching. 

But when He punishes, it’s always for our good. 

I have to admit something to you that may shock you. 

At first when this virus hit, as a prayer warrior, I was immediately praying for it. For God to make it go away. 

But, in the past couple days, I stopped praying God would make it go away. 

That may shock you. 

But I started to pray for God’s will instead. 

As I look around, I see the most beautiful things. 

I see churches finally getting their acts together and stop making excuses and getting their sermons online. Come ON Pastors! There’s not a ton of resources, of good, solid, Biblically-sound, theological-based teachings ONLINE. Get your buns online!!!!!!!!! Give us what we WANT. <3 

Not EVERYONE only cares about God on Sundays! Not EVERYONE is only opening their Bibles on Sundays. I have honestly listened to ALL of the sermons online by some great men. I’m HUNGRY FOR MORE!!!!!

I get bored, listening to the same sermons over and over again. Give us more! I want to learn more about my God.

Don’t TELL ME you don’t have the money or the sound equipment to get those sermons online. God would provide if you’d only have more faith!!!

I see Pastors teaching sermons on the front steps with loud speakers and cars piled in the parking lots listening to the sermons. That’s one for the history books! 🙂 

I see a lot of ladies, now sharing more and more of the gospel, Bible verses, saying let’s band together. 

Does that not bring God glory?!

YES! 

I see our focus more and more on Christ, where it SHOULD BE! 

I see people actually taking time to think about that grocery store checker or that truck driver. YES. THEY’VE ALWAYS BEEN PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You’ve just ignored them this whole time!!!!!

They’ve always BEEN THERE, serving you!!!!!!!! But now, b/c of this, you notice them and that’s great! It’s wonderful. <3

In a time where, for the past few years, I’ve been crying out to God, “God PLEASE, give us more workers. I can’t serve everyone. I’m trying my best. I need help.” 

I’ve felt so alone sometimes. No one seems to care about Christ. My family. My ex-husband. My kids. I’m the only saved one in my family. It’s lonely.

We’ve forgotten Him. We’re too BUSY (God took care of the busyness in a lockdown, didn’t HE?!) Praise God for the lockdowns! Praise God! We have time to look at each other. Talk to each other! 

We need more workers. And not just in this time b/c many will fade after this trial is over (parable of the soils – Matthew 13:1-23). Let us be a people who don’t fade out. Let us continue to be diligent workers for His kingdom. 

I’ve seen so much GOOD come out of this, that I can’t pray for God to stop it now. B/c He’s being gloried too. He’s being sung to from balconies. He’s being praised for our health. 

And He’s SOOOO good to us, guys. Do you realize how LIGHT this virus IS???? And I don’t speak from an angle of being far removed. I might have it myself right now. I’ve had Bronchitis for 3 WEEKS! It’s a nasty bug that is SLOOOOWWWWW to go away (and yes, I have a heart issue). Likewise, my best friend has a different heart issue. If he gets it, it could mean trouble.

But you wanna talk about bad. Let’s talk 1300’s and the black plague. There have been plagues that have wiped out 30-50% of populations and this one is hanging around 5% so far. 

You tell me that’s not GOD’s BLESSING!!!!!!!!!!! It’s a LIGHT punishment to get our attention back on Him.

But with that I tell you one most important thing. If we do not listen and turn back to Him, it will get worse as days go on. 

As it is with my friend. He just keeps getting worse and worse punishment by God because he refuses to repent and tell the truth. 

Listen, you can’t win against God. If God says He wants something to happen, it will. Yes, there’s free will, but God is also sovereign. That man WILL tell the truth. And God will keep punishing until he does! 

And if we are not careful, we ourselves, will be like that man as well. We will be punished more and more severely until we turn from our sin and repent. 

Don’t believe me? 

Now there are earthquakes. Still don’t believe God is trying to (literally) shake us to get our attention????

What about the massive locust problem going on in Africa? You think God is not trying to get our attention when there’s flying bugs all up in your face???

We ALL have something to repent of. Not one of us is innocent. The Bible says that if anyone says they have no sin, they make God out to be a liar and are not saved. (1 John 1:8-10)

No one is exempt from sin. We all have it. And if you think this virus is bad, what can it do? Only kill the body. Sin kills the soul.

Unrepented-of-sin kills the soul.

This is what God wants you to know this week. I pray you take heed of His words in this post. His message. I pray we ALL do, myself included. 

God is God. There is none like Him. Praise be to His holy name. It could be a lot worse, and it will be if we do not listen to Him. Come back to Him and if you are, then make sure others are too. Your family. Your friends. Those who watch you on Facebook. The world. Share this post. Get the message out. Bang the drums. God is ready and willing and waiting to forgive.