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Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

Last Night’s Pit — And How God Pulled Me Out

Checking my email

At 10:15 last night I got an email.

I can’t go into the details, but as I read it my heart sank.  I felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach.

I felt hopeless — discouraged — devastated.

What to do?

I had a couple options.

I could ignore my feelings — and move on to something else.

I could sink into despair, self-pity, and anger.

I could try and will-power myself into feeling positive.

Or — I could turn to my Father.

God’s grace

God gave me grace to turn to Him — and I prayed something like this –

Father, this hurts.  Help me.

Thank You that because of Jesus’ shed blood I can come to You as I am — in my despair and discouragement.

Forgive me for the unbelief in my heart.

All I’m seeing now is this email.  I’m not seeing You — Your power, Your goodness, Your sovereignty.

By the work of Your Spirit — meet me.  Open my eyes to see You.  Help me.

In hindsight — this would have been a good time to open God’s Word and ponder His promises.

Because if I’m being attacked — why leave my Sword in its sheath (Eph 6:17)?

Lesson learned.

What I did instead of turning to the Word was to go –

Back to the email

I read the email again — more slowly this time.

Didn’t help.  I still felt despair.  I was not seeing God.

But thankfully — I did pray some more –

Father, what does this mean for me?

How should I respond to this?  Help me.

And then –

God answered

As I continued to pray and ponder — suddenly a new thought came into my mind.

It felt different than my usual thoughts.  It felt pure — good — loving — strong.

It was in sync with God’s Word and it exalted Christ — so I could tell –

It was from God.

God was giving me a different way to look at this email.

But I was still feeling pretty low, so –

Time for a walk

I put on my coat, and headed outside for a walk.

That’s when I pulled out the Sword.  I prayed over promises like Jeremiah 29:11 and James 1:5.

That’s when I started to see things more clearly.

I saw what God was saying to me.

I saw that this email was a gift from God — an opportunity to receive something from Him.

I saw that God was using this to confirm His calling on my life.

My despair and hopelessness had been replaced by faith and strength.

I felt His presence — sensed His love — felt His hope.

My walk had taken me around the block.  I was back home.

And — back Home.

Take-aways

Here’s what I learned from last night –

  • Every trial and pain is an opportunity to meet God in a fresh way (2Cor 12:9-10)
  • Because of Jesus’ shed blood we can always turn to the Father just as we are — and as we do He runs to help us (Luke 15:20).
  • When we seek God with all our hearts, we will find Him (Jer 29:13).
  • God will give us all the wisdom we need when we ask Him (James 1:5).

How have you experienced this?

I’d love to hear — leave a reply below.  Thanks!

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(Picture is from Everystockphoto by James Cridland.)

Category: Problems or Trials, Stories from My Life

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16 Responses

  1. Ron R. says:

    Steve:

    Thank you so much for being vulnerable and transparent in sharing your real life struggles. It really helps me to follow your thinking process when dealing with real struggles and hurts. Your modeling this behavior just makes it so much easier for me to know what I ought to do… run to the father. It is so much more “me” to sit in despair and get angry about things (of course I am talking about something specific in my life)… but to read your struggles with everyday things helps me to refocus on my Father in heaven and his willingness to meet me where I am at. Keep up the good work. And, thanks again for your love of the Father.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      You are so welcome, Ron. And it’s always a joy to hear from you — thanks for sharing how this helped you!

      You are so right — it is SO EASY to not turn to the Father. But oh, what love and joy awaits us when we do.

      Blessings on you, brother,

      Steve

  2. Johan says:

    Hi Steve

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I used to run away from God when there were obstacles on my path. Now it’s going much better and I do run to God, but still not all the time.

    I want to ask a question. I also learnt to turn to God’s promises in the Word. However, sometimes I just feel that a specific promise was meant for a particular audience and not for me e.g. Jer29:11.

    I’d appreciate to hear your thoughts on this.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      I’m so glad you found this post encouraging, Johan — thanks for letting me know.

      And you raise a crucial question about Jeremiah 29:11 — and other promises. How can we tell when they apply to us?

      I have jotted down notes on a future blog post dealing with that topic. But here’s a short answer for now –

      Some promises apply to us without any changes — because they are spoken to all New Testament believers. Examples: Matthew 6:33 and Philippians 4:19.

      Other promises apply to us with some changes — because they are spoken to specific believers for a situation specific to them. But even though we can’t apply all of the promise to us — there are parts of this that would apply to all believers at all times.

      And example is Jer 29:11-14. This is spoke to Israel and concerns what God will do in returning them from the exile. But parts of this promise do not apply to all believers at all times — like v.14, which says that God will gather them from the nations and bring them back to Israel.

      But parts of this promise do apply to all believers at all times — like vv.11-13. God has plans for each of His redeemed — and they are plans for well-being and not for calamity so we can have a future and a hope. And when we come to Him and seek Him with all our hearts — we will surely find Him.

      Let me know if this helps — and what follow-up questions it raises.

      In Christ,

      Steve

  3. Andy says:

    Hi Steve,
    My family and I planted a church about a year and a half ago. So believe me, I can relate to posts like this one. It’s been hard. But the Lord has really used you to minister to me and keep me clinging to God and His Word. Thank you for your vulnerability and willingness to share the real-life struggles that we all face, but few are willing to talk about. I appreciate you, brother.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Hi Andy –

      Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. And I’m glad to hear you are church-planting! Where are you located? I’ll be praying for you, brother.

      In Christ,

      Steve

  4. Johan says:

    Hi Steve

    Thanks for your response.

    I’ll rather wait for your future blog post and then ask questions if necessary.

    Blessings

    Johan

  5. Ash says:

    Steve, I can’t believe you posted this, because I had almost the exact same experience last night.

    I read painful words from someone, and I was feeling sick to my stomach. I won’t go into details either, but the bottom line is, I had lost something that I treasured. The feelings of despair were overwhelming, so I turned to these passages:

    “And we know that for those who love God ALL things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” -Rom 8:28

    “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” -John 6:35

    God changed my heart and gave me peace: He showed me that Jesus is an all-satisfying treasure that I can never lose. Thank you Jesus!

    And thank you for your post Steve. Because of this post, I have even more sin-killing passages that I can whip out the next time I am tempted to treasure something other than Christ.

    Grace to you.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your story Ash. Hearing about how you are fighting the fight of faith deeply encourages me.

      And I love how you sum it all up — that Jesus is an all-satisfying treasure that you can never lose. Yes!

      I also love you description of sin-killing passages that you can whip out next time you are tempted.

      Onward, brother!

  6. Jeanie Schwagerman says:

    Steve, thank you for your teaching of the goodness of God’s grace. It is a very intentional process that we must do but at the same it is God that does the work. It is more of us opening our hearts to him. I did have something like this happen. A relative had sent me a letter that was more or less a attack on me. Anyways, I wanted to respond back however, something held me back. The next day, in the mail from some company trying to sell something, was a verse in 2 Chronicles where it said that not to strife but God would fight for me. Several days later, got a 2nd scripture verse from Exodus pretty much saying the same thing. So needless to say, I did’nt respond but asked the Lord that I wanted to be the David and not the Saul in this relationship. I continue to rely on God and not my emotions or circumstances. God is so much better.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your story, Jeanie. That’s a powerful testimony of how God’s Word can strengthen and keep us from taking matters into our own hands. I hope many will read your comment and be encouraged by it!

  7. Doug Boys says:

    Steve,

    Your blog postings (like this one) are very valuable because they show us how to fight the fight of faith by following several steps.

    Of course, every person’s life is somewhat different, but in general a person can find really good guidelines here for what to do when faced with an attack upon faith.

    Thanks for being so practical and helpful (and thus valuable and loving).

    Doug

  8. Hope says:

    Thank you for your honesty and transparency. Refreshing. This is how God sees (through) us – we are no good to others if we don’t let them see who we are – even in the darkest of times. G-d bless you.

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