Photo by Jeff Scurlock
Life as a believer is awesome. I wouldn’t trade my relationship with God for anything. The joy, peace, assurance, victory, overcoming power, etc., etc., etc., It’s all phenomenal. There’s only one problem. We are human. We are human beings living in a world that has been flawed by sin. Because of sin and because of the battles we have with the flesh not all days include a victory march.
I know I’ll get some flack for writing this. I guess I’m just not spiritual enough for some. The truth is, in over thirty years of pastoral ministry I have learned that people need me to get down in the trenches with them and understand where they are. There are so many preachers who are nothing more than glorified motivational speakers who refuse to acknowledge that as a believer I can find myself at rock bottom, emotionally, financially, spiritually, physically and more. Or maybe they will acknowledge it but there answer is always the same. It’s either sin or Jeff you didn’t have enough faith. Ok, maybe I didn’t have enough faith but you telling me that is not what I need to hear.
What you may need to hear or read is that your not the first. Your not the first to have a bad week or a bad month. Your not the first to lock yourself into a room and cry into a pillow. Your not the first to feel like the world is caving in around you. Your not the first and you won’t be the last.
I think of three people right off hand when it comes to the subject of rock bottom
First: The author of Lamentations. The book of Lamentations is the lamenting over the destruction of Jerusalem. Look at what this author says in chapter three. “Those who were my enemies without cause hunted me like a bird. They tried to end my life in a pit and threw stones at me; the waters closed over my head, and I thought I was about to perish.”
Second is a young, rich boy named Joseph who found himself naked and in a pit because his brothers were jealous of him.
Third is the prodigal son who took an early inheritance from his father, spent it all and found himself eating with pigs.
These tree individuals were at rock bottom and they were all there for three completely different reason. The first was there because life was just going terribly wrong. The second (Joseph) was there because his brothers hated him. The last was at rock bottom because of sin.
So many things can cause life to take such a turn. Sometimes it just life. Life happens and sometimes it’s not good. You may find yourself shrouded in hopelessness. Proverbs says that “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” You fight for a thing, believed for it, spoke it, got weary and quit. You may be disappointed. Disappointed because you thought things would be different. Sometimes our low places are because of the actions of others or wine there is sin in our life or we made a bad decision. It happens!
There are three simple things that I want you to remember when your at the bottom.
1. You may be exactly where God wants you. God used the pit in Joseph’s life as part of his journey to the palace.
2. When your at the bottom the good news is you can only go up from here.
3. When your at the bottom, God is with you there.
What did our three examples do when they were at rock bottom?
1. The writer of Lamentations said in verse 55 that “he called on the Lord.” Don’t underestimate the power of calling on God.
2. Joseph couldn’t do much but wait for what was next. A pastor fiend of mine says often. “When your in trouble just get you two handfuls and hang on.” Get you two handfuls of God and hang on.
3. The prodigal son repented. Do you have sin in your life? Are your troubles the result of you living apart from God’s plan for your life? If so tell God your sorry and repent (change directions). Begin your climb out of the low places right now.
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