Friday, October 7, 2016

All By Myself

All By Myself 
by George W. Beasley

Life was once full of gloom. There was no hope and no promise of tomorrow, nothing but darkness. It was a very sad time and I felt all by myself. There have been many of these seasons in my life. I have often asked God, why? 

The darkness has been so great at times that life itself seemed to have no value, and to be completely honest I didn't want to go on. I had many friends around me, yet it seemed they were silent even as they spoke. Their words, although rich in understanding and wisdom, couldn’t penetrate my lonely heart. Their hugs, tender in touch, couldn’t waken my soul. Even the voice of my loving wife couldn’t soothe the emptiness inside. I felt all by myself.

I can’t explain these dark seasons other than to say that they are paralyzing. I have asked God numerous times to take my life, but He hasn’t. And I’m thankful. 

During every dark season I wonder if I will ever return to a place of joy and a sound mind. Life seems hopeless, and I cry out to God as the Psalmist David did during his times of loneliness: Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all! Psalm 25:15-17 (NLT) 

Perhaps you’ve been in this place I am describing. It’s real. Too many people know it and many lose their lives there. I lost a dear friend there last summer. He could not overcome the voices, and the screams of death and destruction, and in the end he took his own life and the life of his wife. 

Even if you haven’t reached this low of a point in your life, everyone has at one time or another felt completely alone. Often, people attempt to mask their loneliness. Some cover it with activities, relationships, attitudes, fashion, beauty, or perhaps even religion. Others numb it with substances, food, or sex… to no avail. 

What’s one to do when seasons of loneliness and despair come? How can one find relief from such pain?

Cry out! 

Cry out to the One who truly understands the depth of your pain. Cry out to the One who is able to penetrate the barrier of your loneliness, fill your empty heart, and rescue your weary soul. Cry out to Jesus. 

When you do, God Himself thunders down from Heaven, bringing with Him light, hope, and life. In His great mercy and grace, He will rescue you from the pit of depression and bring life to your weary soul. He did it for me. His voice broke through my fear; it unyoked me from my guilt and shame. He did it for David. (Read Psalms 18:4-19) And He will do the same for you!

Friend, God has no favorites. What He does for one of His children, He will do for another. Don’t give up on life, no matter how alone you feel. Cry out to God. He will answer you and come to your rescue. Give Him your loneliness and darkness. He will take it and make a beautiful exchange. “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever! (Psalm 30:11-12)

Psalms 18:4-19
The ropes of death entangled me;
floods of destruction swept over me.
The grave wrapped its ropes around me;
death laid a trap in my path.
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
yes, I prayed to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
my cry to him reached his ears…
The Lord thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded
amid the hail and burning coals….
He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
but the Lord supported me.
He led me to a place of safety;
he rescued me because he delights in me.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Waging War by George W. Beasley

No matter what version of the Bible you are reading, the following passage from Revelation remains constant in its message to followers of Jesus. There is a war, and it’s waged against us.

Revelation 12:15-18 (NLT)

The Woman and the Dragon

“Then the dragon tried to drown the woman with a flood of water that flowed from his mouth. But the earth helped her by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that gushed out from the mouth of the dragon. And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus. Then the dragon took his stand on the shore beside the sea.”

You might think that everything is okay. But think again. The people we see every day, the people we meet every day, and the people we love every day are in a battle. For the most part, they don't even realize it. They smile, they laugh, and they look as though life is good. Even writing this story has had its difficulties. I’ve had some strange dreams lately. I’ve been on edge and fighting to find time to write these few words about the enemy waging war against us.

In war, you don't show your weakness or your struggles. In war, you survive. The passage is clear that the enemy is angry and has declared war on all of us who maintain our testimony for Jesus.

We must remember that, as humans, we are jacked up and a complete mess. We can’t buy into the lie that maintaining our testimony for Jesus means we are perfect. We are not! Standing with our commander, Jesus, is our testimony. No matter where you are right now and what you've done, Jesus loves you and is fighting the war with you and for you. He wants you to win! Drop the fa├žade and ask your friends for help in this war. Do it together!

Don’t give up! You are close to the victory. The battle is most difficult near the end, but let me assure you, you will win. It doesn't even matter if you fall during the battle. Our commander, Jesus, will pick you up. He will pull you out of that pit, stand you on your feet, and give you strength to move forward. Jesus loves you!

Think about where you are in life right now. Did you ever think you would end up there? I never thought this would happen to me. Hell no, you didn’t. That’s the war that is raging around you and in your life. It’s a war! Wake up!

So, what’s next? After every battle, there is a time of relaxation, a time of peace. Enjoy those times as the war will continue. Note verse eighteen, “Then the dragon took his stand on the shore beside the sea.” The enemy stands, but so do we. Get up and fight!

You might have been knocked down, beaten up, broken, busted, and disgusted, but you are still alive. That means one thing—you are still in the battle, and you're not out! As a believer, you already have the victory, so claim that. Fight for what you know is true and fight with all your might.

Stand strong for those who will come after you. They will need you!

Still Running

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