Dear Esther :: July 4, 2016

Dear Esther,

Your ministry is such a blessing to me. I love reading the letters and the encouragement you give back. A lot of times I can relate to a letter and it encourages me so much. Thank you!

This is why I decided to write today: I believe the Lord is coming soon by all I see going on; prophecies coming to pass and so much lawlessness is going on, so many people calling evil good and good evil. But I am beginning to feel so depressed about all that I see in the news. I cry daily because of the evil I see going on.

I know King David wrote, “Why am I so downcast oh my soul, I will yet hope in God.” This has, in the past encouraged my heart (as other psalms have) but that one has been most encouraging to me. But lately I am finding little comfort. I am tired and just want so badly to go home to be with Christ.

I pray daily for Jesus to come. I feel somewhat selfish in this prayer because I have loved ones who need salvation and I am afraid I am beginning to give up. I am a diabetic and the other day I laid down to take a nap and unbeknownst to me my sugar dropped very low while I slept and if it hadn’t been for the persistence of my dog barking and nudging me I don’t think I would have gotten up.

I felt so peaceful and if there is such a way to pass on that would be the way to go, I feel horrible for thinking like this and would never purposefully do such a thing. I don’t know what to do with my days anymore.

I used to be an intercessor prayer warrior and still am but don’t wake up with the will to do so most days. I just want to sleep and I hate sounding like I’m having a pity party but I don’t want to live on this earth as it is anymore, I just want to go home. I don’t want to go out even to the grocery store, and I hate going to doctor appointments.

I love Christ Jesus with all of my heart and desire to please Him though I don’t think I am pleasing Him with these attitudes. I don’t know if you can help or not, maybe a good kick in the seat of my pants — no, I don’t really mean that since I’ve been kicking myself enough.

I still speak up boldly and anyone that asks prayer or for encouragement of me I give it because it’s just who I am. But yet I feel like a hypocrite who encourages and speaks truth to others and yet not following my own advice.

I am asking for prayer from all who may read this. I need help although I am not sure what kind of help I need from the Lord. Also, I am married to a man who might as well be a roommate, so I am alone.

As far as he is concerned, he doesn’t want to hear about end time events and most of our conversations end with me being upset. He doesn’t want to hear me talk about anything and that hurts. He is quite content going to work, coming home and drinking until he passes out and starts all over again the next day.

Thank you and God bless you.

Betty

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Dear Betty,

It is understandable to fall into a rut and feel like giving up. Today, everywhere we turn we are inundated with reports of terror, out-of-control rogue governments, danger, deceit and endless uncertainty. It seems as if the entire world has fallen into an incomprehensible and permanent condition of insanity.

But for you and me, and all true believers, we can take great hope in Jesus—our great and mighty Savior who knows the beginning and the end. Precious friend, you are stronger than you may think. The living God dwells within you and He will never let you go. He is your Rock, and His redemptive gift has enabled you to overcome the obstacles of this life.

We can all feel down at times but with Christ Jesus, even when we face tough situations we can avoid deep depression. The apostle Paul reminds us of this in 1 Corinthians 4:8-9:

“We are pressed on every side, yet not straitened; perplexed, yet not unto despair; pursued, yet not]forsaken; smitten down, yet not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

We do not have to lose heart. The outward person is perishing, yet inwardly we are being renewed each day. Our troubles are achieving for us an internal glory that far outweigh the totality of our hardships.

It is imperative to fix our eyes not on what we can see, but what we cannot seen—which is the glory of the eternal Christ, our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

When we feel overwhelmed and troubled by this life and want to go home before the Lord calls us home, then we have the Scriptures to mediate upon—to strengthen and encourage us. Consider what Paul endured, yet he was sustained by God’s grace and would not allow himself to get depressed. He describes how he suffered for Christ in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28:

“Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes.Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep.

I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me ofconcern for all the churches.

Unless we get our lives into a healthy perspective and focus on the blessings we do have, we will always be dissatisfied—even to the point of great despair, not unlike what you are expressing. It all comes down to choice; a decision. Either we decide to embrace the blessings we have and make the best of our given circumstances or give in to living a life of negativity and misery.

That may sound a bit harsh, but it is true. The choices we make each day affect everything in our lives. We can always find many things outside of us that we wish we could change but cannot. We can however, control how we approach life and how we think about things; and that is the place from which we can begin healing from external pressures and injustices.

Betty, the Lord has given you a great gift to speak to and encourage others, even while you have been hurting so much. Don’t underestimate your ability to be resilient. Use your great gift of encouragement to get through this down time and resolve not to let the wiles of the devil defeat you. We need you! God needs you!

Open up your Bible and go to the book of Ephesians chapter 6:10-23. Read it, study it, own it! Without our spiritual armor we are all vulnerable to the devil’s schemes to weaken our resolve and render us useless for the cause of Christ.

We must totally trust the Lord and know that as long as He gives us breath to live, He has a purpose for us. You may not realize how many people you have blessed with the time you took for them. Take that same time for yourself.

As difficult as it feels right now, a day is coming when all of the heartache and loneliness will be gone forever. But that time is not yet; that means we all have work to do for the Lord. Don’t look back and dwell on the past. And don’t let negative emotions rob you of your God-given potential to bring even more glory to Him. Begin today to look at your life with a new positive attitude and your healing will come more quickly.

As far as your husband’s neglect, he has taken the broad road to destruction. Pray for him, forgive him in your heart or you will suffer. He medicates himself and is oblivious to reality. This is the time for you to hold on to Jesus and emotionally let go of all the stuff that is wearing you out.

You can have joy in your life; and that joy comes from a deepened relationship with the Lord. Trust that He is with you and you are alive today—because it is His will for you. Jesus is your greatest Advocate. Hold on to Him like never before and He will pull you out of this rut. Choose to live for Him wholeheartedly by not giving into the negative inner dialogue that cause you to place disappointment over His good will for your life.

It is wonderful to reflect upon our heavenly inheritance, but until that glorious day comes, part of our destiny is to not allow the battles of this life to destroy or debilitate us. Great faith is needed so we can ward off the world’s self-destructive tendencies.

Introspection is good to a point; but focusing on things outside of ourselves by reaching others for Christ is the glue that binds us closer to the Lord, and gives us hope. Here are some powerful verses for you, Betty, to take in and make your own:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith,being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him,yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:3-9).

When you feel very distraught over the state of this world and because of the callous behavior of those around you, remember you have so much to look forward to. You are already victorious in Christ and it is your rightful inheritance to have inner joy—knowing you are free in Him.

Carry a secret smile on your heart as a quiet reminder that all is well because of what Jesus Christ did for you on the cross. Give back to Him all you can and when you do face Him one day—you will be so glad you did not give up.

“Greater love has no one than this, that one [Jesus] lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

“But there is a friend [Jesus] who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24b).

God bless you and strengthen you, Betty. Never hesitate to reach out again.

In God’s love,

Esther

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).