We live in a world of lies. Some lies I hear pass right by me, some stick and some screech across the chalkboard of my heart and mind. I recently heard one of the screechers, again. A young man, isolated from his family, his youth group and other opportunities for community, is struggling. In one of his lowest moments, his parents suggested he pray and he responded, "I'm pretty sure GOD doesn't want to talk with me." Friends, nothing could be further from the truth. When you're down, broken, bruised and struggling, remember Jesus came for you. He cares about you, not what you have or haven't done for Him. Examine this promise of the kind of man JESUS would be:
“Look at my Servant, whom I strengthen. He is my Chosen One, who pleases Me. I have put my Spirit upon Him. He will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or raise His voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged. (Isaiah 42:1-3 NLT)
Notice He, JESUS, doesn't crush the weakest reed or put out the flickering candle. Instead, JESUS comes close to those who are hurting. This truth is hard to grasp because the world, and our enemy, does the opposite. In the world and in the marketplace, the flickering candle is snuffed out. We see the weak, bruised reed tossed into the fire or dismissed. We are used to seeing this lie played out, making it hard for us to believe the One strong enough to bring justice to the nations would ever stoop so low to see us, much less care for us.
The truth is, though, that is exactly who JESUS is. He not only sees, He loves and He cares for us.
"Weakness, weariness, and sin, never fail to draw forth the deepest sympathy from the LORD JESUS…He resembles the strong man, with muscles like iron, who stands like a rock, but who will bend in tears and tenderness over His crippled child." - F. B. Meyer
In Matthew's Gospel, JESUS tells us to come to Him, all weary and heavy with life. He will give us rest. He promises to be humble, gentle and to give rest to our souls.
As we walk through difficult circumstances, the lies surround us. In those moments, we have to remember the truth. We should battle to hear the truth. Truth is a person; the person of CHRIST, and He never presses down the one who struggles; He always comes alongside of us and offers a hand to lift us up.
The lies are easy to believe. We have an enemy whose voice grows louder in our difficulties. Our antidotes to the lies:
- Scripture – there are thousands of verses that affirm GOD’s love for you and me; check out Romans 5:8, Romans 8:38-39 and Ephesians 3:18-19. As we spend time every day in GOD’s Word, we begin to hear Him speaking and it yields an intimate relationship with GOD.
- Community – it’s crucial to have people walking through life with us who know us, our good and bad. Every week, I meet for breakfast with 2 guys and we share our ups and downs; we remind each other of the truth and help each other see the lies. Just this morning, they helped me sort through a lie that I have been struggling with related to how I lead at ACFnw. This isn’t casual and sometimes it’s not comfortable, but it’s the kind of community I schedule around and make sure I attend every week.
- Experience – when we “experience the love of CHRIST” (Eph.3:19) and see GOD provide for us, or deliver something we would never imagine possible, our faith grows and we have more resolve in the face of the next challenge.
When Scripture, Community and Experience are a part of our life, we’re not as susceptible to the lies. As we focus on GOD, our turmoil fades and we can rest in His truth, allowing us to experience His peace.