Mar 6, 2017

Hello and may God bless you, Esther!

I have been saved since 2004. I have had many struggles with sin but I can say for the first time in my life I finally feel free. Praise God!

The Lord kept taking me to the prodigal son Scripture in Luke. I believe he was trying to tell me something. And after taking me there on a number of occasions I finally said enough is enough! I want all the Lord has for me.

I am still, though, going through a really difficult season in my life right now, however. My question, is it wrong to ask God, why? My heart is breaking and I keep wondering how much longer can I endure this trial.

I look forward to your reply.



Dear John,

I am happy to hear from you. No, it is not wrong to ask God, why. But I can tell you that the choices we make have a lingering effect on our lives and it takes time to get past the “clean-up” stage from all we have reaped and sown. But if you are now truly repentant and have surrendered your life to Almighty God, then you will see some light at the end of a dark tunnel. Never lose hope; and trust the Lord with all your heart.

Be sure you spend time with some other kind and faithful Christians who will encourage you. As long as we are still breathing it is never too late to live right for the Lord. But when we are coming out of a season of rebellion we must be mindful that it will take time to gain our grounding in the Lord. Be patient with yourself and run as fast as you can from situations that would cause you to drift away from God’s ways and His blessings.

It is during times of testing and trials that we often grow most in the Lord. Now that you are back to serving Him you can more fully appreciate His goodness and His overwhelming love for you. Vow to yourself and to the Lord that never, ever again will you stray from Him. Simplify your life so you are not pulled in too many directions. Keep you living space clear of clutter which in turn helps keep your mind clear of cluttering thoughts.

Be sure to find a way to get into a quiet space and commune with the Lord. Cry out to your Heavenly Father—Abba, Daddy in Hebrew. He will comfort you in ways no one else can. Develop a deep sense of devotion and appreciation for His Son, for the One who died for you so you could be set free from the bondage of this world.

How blessed we are to receive the benefits of the incredible sacrifice and grace of our merciful Lord—who so willingly received the most torturous beatings and rejections so we can live.

Keep your focus on the Lord Jesus and stay away from the cheap thrills of this world. You know that Scripture teaches that we should be in the world but not of the world. Armor yourself each day with God’s Word and be very aware that the devil is prowling around looking for those whom he can devour (1 Peter 5:8). Don’t give him an opening.

It is difficult to even turn on the TV these days without being assaulted by some sort of demoralizing message. It is as if the entire world is going mad. But the Lord forewarned in Scripture that perilous times would come:

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

John, please be encouraged. God loves you so very much. When the trials seem like they will never end, when our hearts are breaking and no one seems to care, that is when you can be especially assured that you have a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). Jesus will never leave you or forsake you. Give your heartache to Him. Ask Him to strengthen you like never before and to pull you out of whatever it is that is causing you so much pain.

Sometimes when I think of what the disciples endured, it is hard to comprehend. No two hurts are the same and each of us responds differently to trials and disappointments. But the one steady thing all true born-again believers have is God’s promise. The promise of eternal life free of the misery and the shocking behavior of individuals who might as well be Satan’s recruited representatives.

As long as we are alive and living in this world we will have challenges.

[Jesus said,] “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

So we all know that this life presents us with one hurdle after another but the part to key in and focus on is the second part of the Scripture: “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

We have to pull ourselves out from the intensity of the insanity going on around us and hone in on Jesus—our Blessed Hope, and never forget His many promises. He has already freed us from the clutches of the devil; but that slithery snake, the father of lies, is busy trying to make our lives miserable and convince us that life is nothing but hardships and suffering (John 8:44).

But hold on, John. As a born-again believer in Christ you are a new creation. You do not have to buy into the despair that Satan loves to dish out. He of course uses weak-willed people and various situations to discourage us but he cannot separate you from the One who has given you new life.

In order to get through whatever it is that is so tough right now, it is imperative that you get into a quiet place and use every moment you have to strengthen your faith and your walk with the Lord. You can do this by immersing yourself in His Word; not only by reading it but by internalizing it in a way that you are strengthened to the point where the Scriptures become a part of you. When you do this, the trials in your life will not have as much of a discouraging impact on you.

I am not saying all your problems will go away but you will be able to get past them and still come from a place of joy. The devil wants to rob you of your joy (John 10:10). But remember and say this verse to yourself often throughout each day:

“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world’ (1 John 4:4).

We cannot change other people, we cannot always change our circumstances but we can go to the One who is steady and lean on Him. And I guarantee you, if you do this faithfully, your load will lighten up. You will be able to look back one day and say, “I am glad I had that trial. I am so much stronger now and so much closer to the Lord; thank you Jesus.”

Consider what Christ endured for us. He suffered in an unfathomable way like no one else, ever. So many suffer in various ways. None of it makes sense, yet that is how it is. We live in a fallen world and until the Lord returns people will suffer and go through trials. We must trust the Lord that whatever we are dealing with is for a reason.

The goodness and favor of God will be yours as long as you are dedicated to our blessed Savior, sincere in your faith and not living some sort to double life where you present yourself as a devoted Christian but behind closed doors are a hypocritical phony committing atrocities. At the moment you might not feel like He is always with you, but He is.

“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8).

Our walk with the Lord must be authentic, and surely He will balance the scales and lift our burdens even when there seems to be no way out. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, delight yourself in Him and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). And by the way, the good Lord has a way of turning those desires into something a bit different than what you might have had in mind in the first place: He will steer you toward a way of life that is best for you and in keeping with His Scriptures.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Whatever is troubling you, let it all go and give it all to Him. You are bought and paid for. Christ paid the ultimate price for you. Your thinking can reflect gratitude for all He has done for you even in the midst of hardships. Things will get better. Don’t give up. Lean on Him and you will be get through your trial.

“For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37).

So John, as I said before, there is nothing wrong with asking God, why. But instead I suggest you don’t spend too much time trying to figure out why, and put one foot in front of the other, put on your armor—the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11).We are living in a massive war zone; a spiritual battlefield that is sometimes very subtle and also very brutal, upfront and personal.

God has given us the ammunition we need to deal with the trials of life. Go to His Word and saturate yourself with it; you will get through this challenging time. And remember that this life is truly only a vapor when we consider eternity (James 4:14).

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

Please keep in touch with me John, and let me know how you are doing. We serve the great God of mercy and grace. Lean on Him and believe what He says:

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

May God bless you and strengthen you.

In God’s love,


“For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).