The following is a Newton hymn I've often used in the ministry of cheering the brokenhearted. It would do you well to read it slowly and thoughtfully. It has been a great source of comfort and encouragement to me for years, and it is amazing that it is still all but virtually unknown.
[i]I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.
Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once Hed answer my request;
And by His loves constraining powr,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry powrs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.
Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
"Lord, why is this," I trembling cried,
"Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?"
Tis in this way," the Lord replied,
"I answer prayer for grace and faith.
"These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou mayst find thy all in Me.[/i]
- John Newton
Paul Frederick West
| 2008/8/6 22:16||Profile|
| Re: Help|
We'll be praying for you.
You are in a good position. we must be in such desperate shape to see God work mightily in our lives DO NOT GIVE UP. no matter what comes against you! Hudson Taylor also was in an unsatisfied state for a long time but he never gave up till he broke through with God! (Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret)
May I encourage you please don't give up. Maybe a time of seeking God by not getting up till you have met with God No matter the cost to you.
When you meet with God it will cost you!
Some have got victory over themselves when they started thanking God for everything they had from God. Such little things as breth, health.. We may think little of till we lose it... then we see how the sustaining hand of God is so merciful to us even when we do not pay the slightest attention to him...
I hope I come through clearly...
At least with a little help...
I will be praying for you..
Read your Bible and spend much time with Him.
| 2008/8/6 23:35||Profile|
| Re: Help|
Reply to paulmcg1
I admire and respect your spirit of humiliation. When I came to the point that you are at my first thought was to hide from God in my shame and it was a mistake. When I fail I repent and move on, and believe you me that is often.
A prodical son is always welcome home in The Kingdom of God, but a rebellious one is always chastised. You can not expect anything from your Heavenly Father until you surrender.
The Kingdom of God is in you. The laws of justice, rules, graces, precepts, wisdom, truth, Psalms, Proverbs with examples are found line upon line in the Word of God, your Holy Bible.
Manifest God words in your life and walk as a chosen vessel, build your life again by always having Gods words before your eyes and His Holy Spirit in your very soul.. If your clay vessel is empty fill it to the brim with the unleavened words of God, then when your soul is at rest, Gods word in you will began to overflow into your home and community and you will be a blessing to all.
| 2008/8/7 8:48||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Help|
...only wounded soldiers can serve
It's wild how I see the Lord use this very thing you speak of over and over again in the lives of His children.
Have to agree wholeheartedly. Any number of cliché' like sentiments come to mind and it is unfortunate that they can be turned out that way when they are the truth of the matter ...
Being made broken bread for others and for their sakes. That the Lord does not use a man until He breaks him. So many like this and more.
Dear brother - It is difficult to try and find something to latch unto in a season like this, it seems most everything is a religious platitude or a [i]just[/i] do this that and the following. We can all share our own experiences and give back what we ourselves have gone through. What will stick? What will help? What is merely opinion?
Now I'm a broken mess. I can't even describe how horrible I feel. I've desired strongly for my life to end.
If I can take some liberties I would suppose this has caused some alarms to go off but will climb out on the limb and wonder if you are putting it as Job did;
[i]Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?
Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me!
I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.[/i]
It was often his lament, I share it many times, given certain circumstances, either personal or just looking out upon a world gone mad.
Dear brother I would give you from the earnestness of my gut, the innermost part of me that this is ... a privilege. Hard to hear that now and would expect you to reject it immediately though it will come back to you later. And that it is the point, it is not that you [i]get[/i] through this as much as you [i]go[/i] through it. You have to stop and recognize the paradox of it all. What is the trouble? Why are you troubled? If none of these things were true then the whole conversation here would be quite different. Think yourself not a Christian? Would be far more concerned if you came here speaking of how wonderful your life is, how prosperous you were, how you dance in gold dust and have angels speaking to you, prophesying all manners of foolish notions ...
Rather you are in pain - suffering for a season;
[i]Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.[/i] 1Pe 4:19
That verse, one of the first I had tried to memorize many years ago from a scripture memory system (Apparently not my particular penchant or way of going about things) nevertheless stuck and was timed perfectly. Brother, my two bit's here are just that I have been through what you speak of. I truly thought I was completely losing my mind, that I was going insane and that I was also a complete and miserable failure. Whether or not I was truly a Christian - How I could do certain things and worse [i]think[/i] certain things - Confused! Full of anxiety and perplexity at one point so distressed thought I was medically speaking in depression. Went to a doctor, was somewhat mocked even by my wife and had the doctor tell me that there was nothing wrong with me! I thought are you kidding me?
But siting there on that table waiting, just before she came in (the doctor) I knew internally that this was going to be a waste of time though I was hoping to be relieved and proved wrong. It was almost indecipherable in my condition but I knew right then and there that trying to get a doctors prescription to a spiritual condition was indeed folly. It was a humiliating moment in a number of ways. It made me recognize that [i]Only You Oh Lord[/i] can remedy that which ails me and I had to repent that I didn't yet fully trust Him to do so. But it also began to pave the way to many things I had yet to consider. One was that there was no blame nor 'guilt trip' so to speak for having gone to such lengths, No, not at all. The Lord knows what He is doing dear brother even if we falter and flail about in His hands.
[i]Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.[/i] Psa 42:5
One of the other great helps was from some experienced and wise older brothers right here that admonished me with some things I was not ready to hear but took them to heart anyway.
Too much introspection. Examine ourselves we should and ought and in this day of .... distraction and passing the buck and blaming anyone but ourselves not enough can be said ... generally. But the admonishen was on the order of paralysis by analysis, over analysis. You will need to force yourself into some distraction - somebodies else's problem or plight, somebody far worse off than yourself. Count your blessings lately? I mean are there not very many things to be thankful for, even the most simplest of matters ... Hot water for your shower, food to eat, a place to sleep - another day and another chance to learn of God and be made into that disposition that you are at bottom longing for? Again that paradox ...
There is much more I wanted to say dear brother but must get to work. One last thing, the comparison to others worse off is a great thing to contemplate, it is a very healthy thing to do - not to pile on more guilt for feeling the way you do, your circumstances are as real and as painful as any, it is only a matter of perspective, it is a blessed thing to be made more humble and lower brother, trust me ... it calms us down and puts us in a right state, for more grasp of this I am constantly at battle with.
A piece of help from another;
[url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=23155&forum=35]Even our "Hero's" of the Faith Struggled!![/url]
My earnest prayers brother, the Lord is at work as sure as the sun is out this day.
| 2008/8/7 10:21||Profile|
First, thank you for responding. [b]I'm not going to respond to everyone's post but I have read them.[/b]
[...]this is ... a privilege.
I could believe that but what if I'm wrong? What if I go to hell the moment I die?
I truly thought I was completely losing my mind, that I was going insane and that I was also a complete and miserable failure. Whether or not I was truly a Christian - How I could do certain things and worse think certain things - Confused! Full of anxiety and perplexity[...], was somewhat mocked even by my wife[...]
That sounds just like my situation!
Well, now I have to get to work.
| 2008/8/7 17:20|
Paul, I will continue to pray for you. I've prayed for you at other times but to my shame it has slipped from my mind since I haven't seen or heard anything about you.
May the Lord Bless you.
- Josh Parsley
| 2008/8/7 19:59||Profile|
Paul Washer asked a girl who couldn't find assurance of her salvation to do it. He also mentioned that no one who did it did not find assurance after some time. She was willing.
I have never forgotten this and finally plucked up the determination, courage and 'ability to understand a bit better' to say it. I said it when I was already a Christian. Said it not to be saved but because wanted to 'grow closer to God' among other things. Every time I said it, God supplied the feeling and tears. The next day there was deep peace and joy. I've incorporated a shortened version (without the hell part etc as do not need to keep reminding me of hell among other things) in my everyday prayers. I do intend however, to say the full prayer every once in a while so as to sharpen my walk with God
I hope you will ponder over it and if and when you are ready, to say it. It is a very powerful prayer indeed.
I took this from Paris Reidhead's sermon Ten Shekels and a Shirt
"Lord Jesus, I'm going to obey you, and love you, and serve you, and do what you want me to do, as long as I live, even if I go to Hell at the end of the road, simply because you are worthy to be loved, and obeyed and served, and I'm not trying to make a deal with you!"
| 2008/8/8 2:37||Profile|