What to do When the Going Gets Reaaallly Hard
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
Matthew 7:7-11, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (8) For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (9) Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? (10) Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? (11) If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
Ok, I’m preaching more to myself here than anyone else, but thought I would put it right out here so you can benefit as well. Many of the readers of this blog are in hard, hard, hard spots. And you go through times that look hopeless. Nothing changes day after day, except maybe for the worse as your Pharaoh tells you to get out there and gather up your own straw, but your production level better not suffer for it. You really can identify with Moses here –
Exodus 5:22-23, “Then Moses turned to the LORD and said, “O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? (23) For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all.”
You talk about a crisis of faith! “Lord, I serve you, I trust you, I read my Bible and I pray and I ask for help and deliverance, and it hasn’t come. Why did I ever get started? I took that step and then another step and I thought it would help. I was sure you wanted me to do it – but you have not delivered your people at all.” Right.
Well, what is the answer? It is to trust in the character and attributes of God. Is God good or not? Is God a God who delights in His people, who delights in giving His children good gifts? Is God more willing to give us good gifts than our own earthly fathers? Scriptures says that He is, and He does.
Therefore, ask, seek, and knock. And keep doing it. Ask, seek, knock. And here is what I suggest. Don’t dive right in and ask for the whole thing right now. Ask simply for some tangible, observable, source of encouragement to come to you. Ask Him. Ask Him to give it to you, like, right away. If you need bread, He says He delights in giving it, and that means He isn’t going to sit back and wait another week while you are hungry. Ask. “Lord, please give me some encouragement, and soon. And do it in a way that even I can recognize it as your hand.”
He does it. “I want out of Egypt right now!” Well, maybe it is more appropriate to ask, “Lord, Pharaoh has really turned up the abuse. Now we have to get our own straw. I need your help. I need your encouragement. Can you send it, please?”
Then watch. I bet you He does it. Bet ‘ya!