It seems as though every day I am made aware of yet another of God’s children who is feeling broken and beaten down by this world. The numbers of people who regularly attend church that are frightened about the future, discouraged by their own lack of spiritual progress, and frustrated at the apparent lack of love and concern from their church leadership is nothing less than staggering.

The battle is real friends, and the pressure from every angle is only intensifying in these dark days. On one hand we in America are inundated with spiritual attacks on our minds, largely due (I believe) in part by our insatiable appetite for the things of this world. On the other hand, we see Christians in many other parts of the world being killed for their faith in Christ. Both groups are in the midst of a fervent battle, both groups must make the choice to stand or give up.

I feel it too. This battle is draining, both physically and mentally. At this stage of my life, I just don’t have the stamina I once had. Studying and preparing a weekly Sunday School lesson, a weekly sermon, editing two services worth of video, maintaining and updating a website, along with a myriad of other responsibilities (not including my own family and home) leaves me drained. This blog is itself a casualty of too little time to do everything I’d like to be doing. While desiring and determined to finish well, I wonder how much longer I can do this. 

Fortunately, there is a remedy for the desperation that many are feeling today. The God that so loved this world that he gave His only Son as a sacrificial sin offering for us, is nearer to us than the enemy of our soul wants us to believe. One of Satan’s greatest joys is to convince us that we are of little to no worth, that God is far from us and uninterested in who we are, thus condemning us to a life of defeat and discouragement. God, however, says that “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope”(Jer. 29:11).

This brings us to a dilemma, a fork in the road: whose voice do we listen to? Will we choose to listen to the One that David said, “is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit”? The One who said that “many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all”?

Or will we choose to listen to the one who offers all the glory of this world in exchange for our souls? Will we listen instead to that one who said “you shall not die” when he deceived the couple in the garden? Are we listening to the one who said, “you will be like God”? (Genesis 3:5)

This much I know, that I am determined to endure until the end. God, in His infinite wisdom and care, has brought all of us to where we are today. You have not come through everything you have had to endure just to be defeated now. No indeed, God has been preparing you for just such a time as this.

I choose to listen to God’s voice no matter what it costs me. The road I have travelled to get to this point in my life has been very difficult at times, yet I have never journeyed alone. At long last, I can see the finish line up ahead, and by God’s grace I will not be denied. This world is not my home and I have no intention of becoming so comfortable here that I don’t want to leave it all behind when that time comes.

All that matters is that we make it to the end.

 Psalm 34:18-19

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,

And saves such as have a contrite spirit.