Since I was born again in 1983, it seems that the depression which I have battled against for most of my life only intensified as a child of God. After I was saved, I had an unrealistic expectation that the church we attended would be perfect – everyone showing love to others – no conflicts. To say that I was naive would be a great understatement.
I soon learned that we were simply sinners saved by grace, and many of us brought baggage from the world into the house of worship. After all, we are still in this sinful flesh; and as Paul told us in the Word – his flesh warred against his spirit constantly.
“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me” (Romans 7:15-20).
I believe that Paul was telling fellow Christians that our sinful flesh would often become an obstacle for us to do the will of God, but that we must press on because we are no longer slaves to sin. God indwelled us with the Holy Spirit. The Lord wants us to walk in the Spirit.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:23-25).
I remember when we had such a wonderful church back in the 90’s. Our preacher loved the Word of God and preached the whole Word. He loved Israel; and I used to smile when he would see me in the hallway and ask, “How’s my little Jewish girl?” He loved that I was a Jewish believer.
Church was our second home
I also remember being so excited to go to this church – not just on Sunday morning, but on Sunday nights and on Wednesdays for prayer and choir practice.
I was working then; and even though the hatred of my faith was apparent at work, it was nothing compared to the torturous hatred we are faced with today from the God haters.
That church was our second home – a refuge from the world.
It was so comforting to know that we were surrounded by people who adored our Lord Jesus. I’m smiling through tears as I think about those days.
The death of our pastor
Pastor was only in his late thirties when he was stricken with cancer. He died within the year. Our church fell apart. Scandals beyond belief and divisiveness tore apart this once vibrant and God-honoring church.
Our home is in heaven
We often hear, “This is not our home,” and the truth of that becomes clearer by the day. I don’t even like hearing about the news of the day. If it were not for Israel, I might not search news articles at all. Each day that passes and we are still here, I tell myself that it’s just not the appointed time. I ask Him, “Lord, how much more can we bear?” Then it dawns on me that our Father knows the exact day when we will hear the Trump of God and the shout of our Lord Jesus as He comes to gather us away!
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
Therefore Comfort one another with these words
Yes, we should be comforting one another with the words about the Rapture of the Bride of Christ. And we do. As much as I love my FB brothers and sisters in Christ, it is becoming clearer to me that Jesus wants us to be in fellowship (face to face), especially in these last days.
Truth being preached from the pulpits is hard to find
Finding a church which preaches the whole counsel of God is challenging at best. No church on this earth will be perfect – they are made up of imperfect people. But we hunger for leadership who are not afraid to speak about Bible Prophecy! The Bible is a book of Prophecy, and the pastors who are truly our shepherds under the Great Shepherd surely should be proclaiming the Whole Word of God!
My husband and I watch preachers whom we trust from YouTube – not just on Sunday’s, but whenever we want to hear the Word of God and to be encouraged.
Back to fellowship
Is any of what I am saying ringing true for you, brethren?
Being encouraged to fellowship would not have been added to the Word of God if it were not vitally important for us. And as the days grow darker and evil becomes incomprehensible, I am yearning to be in fellowship with those who are truly born again and doctrinally sound in their interpretation of Scripture.
Instead of sitting silently and crying out to God, “How much longer?” wouldn’t it be so much better to be amongst others who are asking the Lord the very same thing?
There is so much apostasy in the world right now. And discernment surely does not abound within the body of Christ. But should this keep us from searching for a group – even a home group – to come together to read the Word and to pray and to love our Lord Jesus and one another?
If we find that the group or the church has been hijacked by the false Social Justice movement – perhaps God will have brought us there to impart truth from the Word. And if the Truth is not received, then we will know that it is time to shake off the dust and move on in our search of fellowship.
Even a group of three, or even two
I realize that many are not in the position to travel to church. I have thought that if I could find 1 or 2 sisters in Christ in my neighborhood – how glorious that would be to meet with them weekly to study the Word! I would open our home for this with much excitement.
How Long, O Lord?
From Psalm 13 (A psalm of David):
“How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and hear me, O Lord my God;
Enlighten my eyes,
Lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Lest my enemy say,
“I have prevailed against him”;
Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me” (Psalm 13).
Most of us go to the Psalms when we are sad. We can relate to King David when he talks about his enemies. The most beautiful part of the Psalms is always the end, because the writer’s mind comes back to Mercy, Trust, and Salvation; and hope is again restored.
David would sing to the Lord because He had dealt bountifully with him. And the Lord would answer his question, “How long…?” by having David look back at his life and realize that the Lord had never left him – not ever.
Let us remember that He is with us and that He alone knows when the time will come. Let us sing to the Lord and worship Him. Let us live each day as if He will come any time – perhaps today!
The world becomes more evil by the day, but our God never changes.
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