Devastated but not Destroyed (Let God Fight the Battles We Can't)
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’” Psalm 46:10
There are times when news of what’s going on in our country - particularly around the issues of gender, sexuality, and the distortion of God’s truth - make me feel as though the world (and the Church) is falling apart. These issues hit particularly close to home for me as they are onces that utterly controlled my life for over a decade - I saw many friends and acquaintances die from suicide and overdoses, and nearly plunged head-first into destruction myself. God was so good; as several friends have told me after I shared my testimony, “Ryan, God had the hounds of heaven pursuing you!”
It’s been hard at times to keep my spirits up as more and more people - particularly those in the church, and in some cases individuals with whom I once shared close fellowship in Christ - endorse sin in the name of love. I look at what God did in my life and wonder, “Why can’t he do the same in the lives of others? Why just me?” Of course it isn’t just me, but sometimes it feels that way.
Lysa TerKeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministries has felt this way as well. In her devotional “Devastated but not Destroyed,” she shares about her own recent battles with a friend who had made some baffling choices. She wrote something I have felt often, “It's hard to stand on the goodness of God when you feel like life has just been stripped of so much good."
So how do we get through this? How do we not lose hope when the world we see seems to drain us of all hope? How do we cope when those we thought would stand beside us all the way to heaven fall away? Lysa shares five points that each of us must embed in our souls so we can draw the strength we need in those tough times:
God loves us and will not leave us.
The battle isn’t ours.
The battle might not be easy or short-lived, but victory will be there for those who trust God.
God is good even when the circumstances are darker than you ever imagined.
God is good at being God. Don’t try to fix what He hasn’t assigned you to fix.
I think that last one is so important - I get so discouraged when I try fighting battles I was never meant to fight and can’t possibly win. Our ultimate victory was secured by Jesus on the cross; THAT is our hope! Because of that hope we can be both Biblically grounded and radically hospitable towards the lost and broken in this world.
Are you feeling overwhelmed by the state of our world today, or stunned by the shocking revelations of a fellow Christian? Let the five points above sink in deep and fill your soul with hope.