And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
I’m so sorry to do much the same thing as I did last time in my previous article! But I have been so touched by the fellowship I have received and yet grieved by the lack thereof in the Church at large that I must post more about this subject. But, first, I must confess…
Indeed, it has been a rather hard time for me. As of the past several months, I have fallen into an unescapable depression. I have had times of joy, but my spiritual life (though I grow in knowledge) has been at a standstill. I have hardly felt the presence of God or that He hears my prayers (the truth be told, I struggle to pray). I have seen little to no fruit in my life. Perhaps my eyes are blinded by dark powers to discourage me. I have thought much on depressive topics like blaspheming the Holy Spirit and death and suffering. I have been driven near mad with these things, yet I remember Job. How I do always question God! I wish it were not so, yet I also wish things were…more comfortable.
After having met you all, I have felt a spark of hope reach my longing soul. I have seen a little life in my dead bones. I have seen a little light cast upon my darkened heart. I have been needing (desperately needing) this fellowship and encouragement. How far can one go in one’s spiritual life when they are in such heaps of riches and pleasures daily? It is true, sadly, that it is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. I have wished that I had been born poor that I might not have to so strongly fight this overwhelming clinging to comfort! I have so little faith in God, born of such a sense of independence and confidence in man. I have been marred by trials, yet my sincere belief in the Truth of the Word of God has driven me when I otherwise would have never continued. Such a pitiful worm am I, and I see it daily! It is a constant vexing to my soul. And all these…these…pleasures and riches spent in vanity and pride! To see the culture of my people and know my own mind has been so poisoned by it! Oh! My soul is vexed daily!
I ask for you all to pray for me, as I have confidence you sincerely will. I have never before felt such resistance in my heart and soul. I have never before faced such spiritual trials as this! Dark powers cling to me and drag me down! Yet I cannot afford to give in. I so often doubt my own salvation and sometimes even the Truth of God’s existence! Yet it has been proven over and over. I cannot convince myself it is not true. But there is still a war waging within me. I ask for prayer for victory! I ask for prayer for peace within! I ask for prayer for hope and joy and life to return to a soul which has been so long dormant! I ask for the breath of God to enter my lungs and fill me up again! That my life may be an everlasting light, shining more and more unto the perfect day! That my life may be an overflowing fountain where many a traveller may stop and drink! That my life may be a mighty instrument of the Lord, to do His will and win many souls, bringing hope to the desolate, light to the darkness, help to the helpless, freedom to those in bonds! May I be like Isaiah:
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me;
because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek;
he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all that mourn;
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion,
to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
that they might be called trees of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
I’m sorry for such a long rant on my own behalf, but I need prayer desperately. I shall pray the same for us all. That we all may be mighty instruments of the Lord, working His will in desolate places full of hopeless people!
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
That no flesh should glory in his presence.
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
Honestly, this was not what this article was to be about. It was to be about brotherly and sisterly love in Christ. More about it, rather. For there is yet one more passage I would like to share (I apologize for this article’s length!) that has truly touched my life in this respect and has brought me to tears in reading it before. May God continue in making me more like Him and allow me the priveledge of growing in Him daily. May God make me more loving and concerned with others! If any of you wish for prayer or any thing, please let me know! I wish whole-heartedly to quit my addiction to myself and esteem others better than myself! Allow me, I pray thee, to end with this:
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all!