An Encouragement To The Downtrodden
Updated: Aug 22, 2019
A few years back I was encountering a pattern in my life that kept me feeling defeated. In my heart, I was pursuing the Lord with zeal and passion; picking up my cross and following after the Lord everyday. Nevertheless, suddenly I would be attacked with things from my past that would spring up, seemingly out of nowhere.
At first when I would encounter these horrific attacks, I would feel as though any spiritual progress in my life had fallen by the wayside. Overcome by discouragement and condemnation, I would find myself falling away from the Lord due to shame and guilt from these attacks.
The attacks became much more sporadic as I grew in my faith - but yet when they did come, it felt as if all hell was breaking loose against me. Lustful in nature, these attacks were so overwhelming it would feel as if I were on the brink of giving up Christ all together when I was experiencing them in their fullness. Almost like a glue stuck to me I couldn’t wash off.
One day when I was experiencing one of these assaults, I came home to my apartment so discouraged. Downtrodden in my spirit, I cried to the Lord and asked for help! Why am I experiencing this Lord?! Why do I keep having these issues with this particular area in my life? Am I not free? Do I need deliverance? All these questions I brought to the Lord in hopes of getting an answer.
At that moment, the Holy Spirit brought the book of James before my eyes. In the same way you light a candle, put it on a candlestick, and it lights up a dark room, was the same way the Lord illuminated the scriptures to me as I began to read.
James, 1: 2-4
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
I read through the entire chapter and the revelation of what God was speaking to me picked up here…
James, 1: 12-14
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him. Let no man say when I am tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man: But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed.
Wow! Immediately the strength and encouragement of the Lord came all over me. I couldn’t believe it! Count it all JOY when you FALL into DIVERS TEMPTATIONS?! This is the way God broke it down to me…
Beth, when you are attacked count it all joy! Yes, it may be a legitimate issue you struggle with in your life or in your past, but when the attack comes, I do not condemn you. Stand and it will pass, producing patience and eventually you will be perfect and wanting nothing in that area.
The Lord showed me His great goodness that he can use something that you struggle with, to in turn, produce patience in you. If we run or crumble in defeat every time we fall into a temptation, how then will we ever overcome or learn patience to stand in that time? Know that God is on your side to help in time of great temptation or testing. Instead of being discouraged in those times, count it all joy that you are granted an opportunity to allow God to produce patience in you. You will see as you begin to walk this out that freedom is at the door.
Please understand that I am not saying to act like it's no big deal when these attacks occur, seeing how we just read in scripture that we are drawn away by our OWN lust. And when it is fully conceived, it will bring forth death. What I am saying is what God said to me that night. Count it all joy when these things happen! When you bring these assaults before the Lord, He will teach you to stand and resist, building your faith, and allowing patience to have her perfect work in you, eventually becoming entire and wanting nothing!
So friends, be encouraged today! A struggle in your life God can use to bring freedom and build strength and patience in your spirit!
Beth Holiman is a teacher and minister of God's Word. If you would like to invite Beth, or any other Daughters of Zion member to minister at your church, group, or event, just click on the invitation tab or email Daughters.Zion@yahoo.com.