People Who Fall Into the Mire of Despair
When Christians believe in Jesus and are saved, it is natural for them to lead their faith lives with all their heart and strength. There are two kinds of Christians in today’s churches: those who devote their whole lives to their faith and those who satisfy the minimum requirements to enter heaven. The fact is that when they are first converted and come to church, they both have amazing spiritual experiences of being freed from sins and being greatly inspired. Yet many of them are unable to maintain the first day’s inspiration, or completely lose it.
Though people have spiritual experiences, one of the reasons why they cannot maintain their inspiration is because they are exhausted with life’s hardship. Everyone in this world has experienced falling into despair. People can be easily hurt physically and emotionally in a world governed by wealth. They may have received lots of grace in the past, but most are exhausted by life’s hardship and cannot think of devoting themselves to spiritual matters. This is especially so in South Korea, where society places importance on money and looks, or in developing countries, where people suffer from poverty and violence. Since they suffer from daily life, they have no time to focus on spiritual matters.
In these times, the church should be where the power of despair disappears, where all seeds of unhappiness are destroyed, and where God’s blessings are full. Many people are hurt by their problems and suffer in fear, not knowing when they will be hurt again. Even those who appear to have no problems may be on the verge of collapse due to hurts which no one knows about. If you tell them, “The world is a troubling place, so you have to endure at all costs”, it can look like you are trying to unwillingly mask their hurt. If you try to convert someone exhausted with sorrow, but regard their despair lightly and unwillingly mask it up, it will be harder for them to step foot in church.
Jesus Returns Joy to Those Who Are in Despair
There was a widow in a town called Nain. Though she lost her husband and lived a difficult life, another misfortune came on her. Her only son died. This woman twice experienced the most painful thing in the world. Not only was her son the meaning of her life, he was the only means for her livelihood. During a time when money was earned by family units, a widow earning a living by herself was very gloomy.
The widow from Nain was truly in despair. While she was near her son’s coffin, she met Jesus. Jesus said to the widow heavy with sorrow, “Don’t cry”, and commanded her dead son, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The young man stood up and those who witnessed this amazing scene glorified God. If the widow from Nain did not meet Jesus, she would have lived a very miserable life. She met Jesus on the dark road of despair, and gained hope and joy through Him.
The Lord who helped the widow from Nain will also help us. Not only does He know our weaknesses better than anyone, He wants to help us. While He prepares rooms for us in heaven, we face all kinds of hopeless situations in the world. In these situations, we must seek the Lord’s help rather than take this despair for granted. The Lord will raise us up when we lose heart and walk in despair. He puts our despair to sleep.
The Gospel is the Lord’s Command Which Puts a Stop to Our Despair
The Gospel is the Lord’s command which puts a stop to our despair. To the people of the world, despair is like a law no one can oppose. Many people are discouraged when going through misfortunes, both large and small. Just like the saying, “Once bitten twice shy”, they are ready to flee even before misfortune happens. But we live by the Lord’s command, which quickly calms the fierce waves blowing on the world. The Lord saves us by breaking the law of despair and He will take us to heaven. Therefore, we must be accustomed to blocking off the crossroad of misfortune and despair with God’s help.
To do this, we must have the ‘the power of God’s blessing in our hearts. This does not mean we find psychological relief by briefly covering up pain and despair in our hearts. Just as Jesus came to the world in flesh so we could see God, the power of His blessing clearly comes to us. Life of faith is to always experience this power.
The first step to reveal the power of God’s blessing is by respecting and being considerate to other members of Christ. If these efforts continue, the pain in people’s hearts will be healed, and more and more people will open their hearts to each other. If the saints have sincere fellowship, God will help them powerfully and stem the despair in them. Those who experience this understand the way to overcome their fear of despair.
Let’s Become a Church Which Overcomes Despair By the Gospel of Jesus!
We must build up a church which overcomes despair by the Gospel of Jesus. To do this, we must first recognize the Holy Spirit’s presence and never lose our respect and fear of Him. We must always be conscious of the Holy Spirit, who watches over our minds and behavior. We must not ignore even the slightest movement of the Holy Spirit.
Secondly, we should thank God and testify when we discover His help in our daily lives. Living in peace and quiet is evidence God prevents many misfortunes coming on us. We should remember God always helps us and thank Him for it. Many people have the habit of regarding His help as coincidence. We should discover God’s help deep in our lives, and continually give Him thanks. If God helps us and we do not appreciate it, it means we do not believe in His help and this is the same as rejecting it.
Thirdly, we must experience God’s miracles often. Christian life is to experience His miracles. Experiencing God’s works and sharing them in fellowship should continue without end.
Fourthly, saints should comfort each other. We should never stop speaking to encourage each other. In the church, we should heal both our spiritual problems and the pain caused by daily life. People are greatly comforted by a few words of care and respect, and by understanding another’s pain.
The Gospel is not only heard. It enables us to gain victory by God’s help. To gain victory, every member of the church must devote themselves and struggle. The Lord is our shield, and we are soldiers who hold this shield. If we do not go out and fight, a shield is useless. We must all stand and serve the Lord’s church, and fight against the enemy’s schemes to destroy it. God wants to fill us with His happiness. We must welcome His work and let Him work in us.