Spiritual Pressure

Someone once told me to rejoice in spiritual oppression because feeling opposition from evil means you’re doing something that Satan doesn’t like.

That sounds like a nice rhetoric, yet whilst in the middle of a spiritual battle , any feeling of joy is highly unlikely.

Anger.

Sadness.

Depression.

Pain.

These emotions have replaced my usual, optimistic outlook on life and I can’t figure out if it’s rooted in spiritual pressure or God’s gift of discipline.

Maybe it’s both?

The Bible talks a lot about God disciplining us, molding us like jars of clay, or teaching us to trust in Him. It’s not unusual to suffer in Christ, take up a cross, or, like Paul, struggle with a thorn in our literal or hypothetical side, but when it all comes down to it, how do we know the difference?

This is the ultimate theological “which came first: the chicken or the egg” types of questions:

Where is God in evil?

Maybe God is trying to teach me some altruistic life lesson? This is the Christianese, churchy, “trust in God” kind of answer that I’ve heard a couple times in the past few months from well meaning and loving friends. While it could be true, it doesn’t really help me at all. Instead, it’s just a spiritual band-aid on a bleeding wound.

If God is trying to teach me something, why do I hear lies running through my head all day? I’ve separated myself from my church family because I don’t fit in anymore. I’m consumed with negative self talk and thoughts that scare me while I’m laying in bed at night.

Does this really sound like God?

Now, I’m stuck. I’m left in this weird place of spiritual confusion and discouragement.

For someone who used to know all the answers, I’m at a loss for what’s happening in my life. Deep down, I know God is in my life somewhere, but when I can’t hear Him, see Him, or experience Him, I am left wondering where He’s hiding. I feel spiritually abandoned, like I don’t belong to anyone.

So, where is God in evil? Does He allow evil to happen for purpose or is it simply part of our broken world?

What do you think?

 

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7 thoughts on “Spiritual Pressure

  1. You raise a very challenging question. I have battled bipolar for over 20 years and while I do not blame God for my illness, I do believe God has a purpose for my pain.

    I would encourage you in two ways.

    First, continue to commune with God through the Word. The Psalms have particularly given me words to pray when I had only “sighs” and “groans.”

    Second, continue to reach out within the fellowship of faith. Not everyone deals well with powerful emotions, but a few do. Look for those cherished friends in Christ and grow together in grace.

  2. Before I answer the “where is God” questioning want to encourage you with this thought: you aren’t alone. Yes, you feel alone. You feel swallowed up in all those emotions listed, but the Truth remains you are not alone. He’s closer than you can imagine- in your very insides. He feels the pain in your heart and he knows the questions your struggling with. In regards to the negative thoughts- be diligent to speak Life and Truth to them. I’ve struggled for years with believing the lies of the enemy, but those lies are just that…, LIES. Declare the truth in your life. I may feel alone, but your word says you will never leave me or forsake me. I feel broken hearted but your word says you are close to the broken hearted. I feel worthless, but your word says I was made in your image and that you are for me!

    Be encouraged, friend. This is a season you will get through and you will come out stronger and more beautiful than before.

  3. Pingback: Voices Out of Darkness: Mental Health Monday | A Way With Words

  4. Thank you for your post, Kelsey. I’ve been in the same boat for a very long time now. And there have been times when I felt I was only hanging on to God by a mere thread. But He said He would never leave us nor forsake us (though sometimes it seemed to feel that way, but deep down I knew it was a lie) and He hasn’t. And I thank Holly for her wonderful, simple comment to declare the truth when the enemy tries to destroy us!

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