“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair. Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. (II Corinthians 4:8-9)
We should not be crushed despite being perplexed with everything that happened in 2020, from the presidential election, the coronavirus pandemic and other matters that affect our lives. Be mindful despair is a sense of hopelessness that could make us vulnerable to the devil and his demonic schemes. For some people hopelessness leads to depression and suicidal thoughts. Therefore, it is crucial to keep our minds set on Christ for peace that surpasses all understanding.
The Bible speaks of many who maintained their integrity and love for God while going through troubled times. These men, as well as many others, did not allow their circumstances to send them into the valley of despair.
A well-known example is Job. I cannot imagine the pain of losing one child. Job did not have to imagine but actually felt pain of losing all ten of his children. He also had to deal with his wife who sounded like a foolish woman stating “Curse God and die.” (Job 2:9) He did not call her a fool but stated that her words were like those of a foolish woman. God removed the hedge of protection from around him to allow the devil to do what he does best tempting us to sin against Him. Instead of falling prey to the devil, Job maintained his integrity, righteousness and faithfulness to God. “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped” [instead of falling into the valley of despair.] (Job 1:20)
Another example is Joseph. He was put in very vulnerable positions to fall prey to the devil’s schemes. However, he chose not to hate his brothers for selling him into slavery and he did not fall prey to Potiphar’s wife; instead, he fled. For his integrity and obedience to God, he was elevated to a second-in-command position to help others. “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (Genesis 50:20)
Another example is a about a certain righteous man who loves God. He strives for perfection in pleasing God in obedience, service and worship. This certain man was promoted to the position of sergeant. Sadly, there were men plotting against him. First, they demoted him; however, this certain man stood firm and maintained his integrity. Therefore, God started moving in the lives of everyone involved in the devil’s scheme against His son. This certain man was promoted to a sergeant again. Then this man was offered and accepted a minister’s position and simultaneously offered a promotion to lieutenant in his secular employment. However, he turned down the promotion despite the huge pay increase to focus on the Body of Christ.
As time passed, this man was offered the position of captain. After praying about it and sharing his thoughts with his wife he accepted. Just like Joseph, he did not fall prey to the devil’s schemes and God elevated him to a second-in-command position to help others. Oh! By the way, God removed those who conspired against this certain man known as my God-fearing husband. My husband held his peace without doubting that God would fight his battle. (Exodus 14:14)
I have been in the valley of despair and it is not a place I wish to return. What about you? Is your faith strong enough to withstand those who conspire against you without taking vengeance? Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to help handle the side effects of distractions? How do you prevent from falling into the valley of despair? Remember, God is well-please with us when we do not waver but hold onto the faith we profess. (Hebrews 10:23)
SIDE NOTE: Has anyone received WordPress error message “Updating failed. Sorry, you are not allowed to assign the provided terms?”