There is a certain darkness present in my life, and I’m bitter that I can’t do anything about it. I’m frustrated with my circumstances. Something is one way that the Bible says should be another way. But I can’t change it. So I’m bitter. I tell myself I’m too stubborn for God to move me. So God must not want anything to do with me because I allow my anger to control every thought. There’s no way He wants me to work for Him because I’m just too angry for Him. Since my situation is not ideal, I wallow.
Trying to see the light in dark times is exhausting. Trying to hear His words in all the chaos feels impossible. But when I listen, I can barely make out His whispers. He assures me that it has nothing to do with my failures. It has everything to do with His victory for me! He speaks through others, reminding me that His grace abounds when the ideal is lacking (Matt Chandler).
He knows what is going on. But to come out of hiding is so scary.
God keeps whispering for me not to quit. I can’t quit. I want to quit. But I can’t.
Romans 9:30-33 (NASB)
“What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by faith; but Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone, just as it is written,
‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.’”
Although Israel was the chosen nation of God, many of her citizens were striving for righteousness by obedience to the law. They believed they could obtain it through enough obedience. Yet, no matter how much we try to obey, we can never reach perfection. But Christ’s work on the cross made it possible to be reconciled to God despite our utter failures.
The stumbling block that prevented many of the Jews (referred to in this passage) from obtaining righteousness with Christ is the same stumbling block preventing me from enjoying my friendship with Him. I think that because I am not “Christiany” enough, God won’t help me. I think that because I do not love unconditionally, He must be too disappointed in me.
But Paul did not tell the Romans to futilely work for righteousness! He said to pursue by faith. Faith that Christ is enough. Focusing on failures and not being good enough will always lead to melancholy. But whole-heartedly believing in Christ’s sufficiency will not lead to disappointments.
This darkness may not be lifted soon. Circumstances may remain dismal for a while. But listen to God’s whispers in the dark, and peacefully rely on Him to get through it. Since He is sufficient for our eternal safety, and he is sufficient through any present darkness.
About the Author
My name is Sarah Cole (aka sarahbeth). I strive to have my friendship with Jesus be the relationship that defines me first and foremost. This striving is my lifelong endeavor, because my sin keeps me from fully accomplishing it in this life on earth. I blog at http://bchearts.net. Broken and Contrite Hearts is a blog dedicated to helping you rely on God’s hope in the rough times. You are not alone in this hard life. We focus on enduring the hurting to get to the healing.