The following was written by our 20 year old son. I stole it, (with his permission) from his facebook page. It was so encouraging and again, convicting, that I wanted to share it here. I hope you'll read it and be blessed!
Lately I, along with many of my close friends, have been going through a period of hard times emotionally, “an emotional rollercoaster” it has been called. It comes and goes without warning and doesn’t seem to have a consistent logical reason. One day it will be the fact that I will soon be moving out. While I am excited, I get depressed thinking about moving away from my parents whom I love so dearly. The next time it will be an “I am single” blue funk. Then frustration comes because of the fact that so much has changed with my ministry downtown. Of course all of it is because life just isn’t going the way “I planned it.” It is at these times that God intervenes, an understanding but sad smile on His face I’m sure, lovingly asking, “the way you planned it?”
God warns us against making plans without Him: In James 4:13, He tells us: “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.: Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.” When we make our own plans, we, (at least I) rarely want someone to come along and say “that’s really not a good idea, let’s try this plan instead. Because this plan doesn’t involve you messing up everything that I’ve been working on for the past 500 years.” They are usually made with one person in mind: Me, myself and I. Even if the plans we make are for the benefit of others, we often don’t want God to come along and tell us that it is going to happen His way. Because His way almost never makes sense – to totally depraved, obstinate and wayward lost sheep, (us). Of course, we have it all together, I mean… after all… I’ve been around for like twenty years… of course I know what I’m doing… yeah right! Whether you’re just a twenty-year-old young kid like me, or you’re fifty, or seventy, or nine hundred, we just don’t get it. We aren’t going to get it until Jesus returns in all His awesome glory and gives us resurrected bodies, bodies that don’t decay, don’t fall apart, don’t get sick, aren’t depraved…
It all comes down to our perspective. Are we focusing on what is going to happen today? Are we focusing on how we want the day to go? Are we focusing on what we don’t like about the day? Our life? If I get stuck behind that stupid school bus again, does God still name me as one of His beloved children? If I get a flat tire, did Jesus still die for me? If I lose my job, did He still raise Himself from the dead, proving that He has the power to raise us on the last day? If my car blows up and I am paralyzed, is Jesus still returning for me? If I am single for the rest of my life, does that mean I have to be lonely? If I flip out because the guy in front of me is driving ten miles under the speed limit, I cuss under my breath, and make it obvious that he isn’t on my top ten list as I pass, does Jesus love me any less? (I don’t condone raising a certain finger or make a practice of it you are wondering…) If I am His child, and I take my own life, is that sin covered by the cross? I will let the Apostle Paul answer: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angles, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39
Jesus Christ loves His children through thick and thin, through hard and easy. Scripture says: “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” –Romans 10:9-10 The most amazing news? Sometimes we think about “judgment day.” Guess what? As Christians, our judgment day doesn’t exist! It’s gone! Romans 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Now? Yes, the verdict has already been declared. “Not Guilty.” But what about my sin? Isn’t that going to be brought out? It was already brought out, and paid for. Jesus told Nicodemus the Pharisee “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” –John 3:18 We already have the verdict! Not Guilty! No Condemnation! But we may say “what about sickness?” When I get sick, or get cancer, or get hurt, or lose loved ones, isn’t that judgment? Isn’t that condemnation? The answer is an almighty “No!” I cannot put it better than John Piper does in a sermon I was listening to the other day: “What Paul is saying is that all of God's condemning wrath and all of his omnipotent opposition to us in our sin has been replaced by almighty mercy and omnipotent assistance. In other words, if you are in Christ Jesus all of God's action toward you is almighty mercy and omnipotent assistance.”…He also quotes Micah 7:8-9 "Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise [So there has been a temporary "fall"]; Though I dwell in darkness [so there is a season of darkness and guilty feelings], the Lord is a light for me [so the Lord who is angry with him is nevertheless his light]. (9) I will bear the indignation of the Lord [so the Lord is displeased, and angry with him -but it is not the anger of a condemning judge, but of a light-providing disciplining Father! He spanks the child and sends him to his room for a time, but he does not turn off the light of hope] Because I have sinned against Him [so there is real sin], Until He pleads my case and executes justice for me [so this angry God is FOR HIM and not against him. He will justify him and not condemn him!]. He will bring me out to the light, And I will see His righteousness." Piper explains that God uses pain in our lives, not to condemn, but to guide us ever back to Him, to punish us when needed, so that we will not fall permanently and thus be condemned. I firmly believe that such an awesome loving God is much more capable than we are of making good plans for our lives. Let's just stand back, and let Him, and praise Him all the while!What an amazing Father!
In this light, how can I be depressed? Praise be to our everlasting Holy Father for His never-ending love for us!