When You Feel Close to Quits

Have you ever felt that you just can’t keep going anymore? Are your relationships a mess? Have you been ridiculed for your uncompromising stance in support of biblical truth? Have you been trying to walk along the straight and narrow, but find yourself struggling to stay steady?

There will be times when we feel our strength is all sucked up, and the tears come in endless gushes. Those we used to feel close to seem to accuse and criticize us, look down upon and misrepresent us. We long for eyes that see who we truly are, that pierce through the outer bulk into our very souls. Eyes that know our sins and shortcomings, and still see the good, the beautiful, and the pure. What if Jesus could sit down next to us, look into our eyes, and see the real us? What if He could wrap His strong arms around our trembling shoulders in a compassionate embrace? What if we could tell Him how tired and hurt we are and hear His words of comfort and healing? Wouldn’t we feel relieved? Wouldn’t we feel invigorated? But where is He?

Jesus is here. He is with us through the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit that He sent to be our Comforter. Jesus says,

 

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient [advantageous] for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you…Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth come, he will guide you into all truth… 

John 16:7, 13a

 

How is it advantageous to have with us the presence of a Spirit that we can’t feel, see, or touch? How is that better? One advantage I can think of, is that the Holy Spirit can be everywhere at once. So, He can reside within all believers, everywhere in the world, at the same time. That’s called “omnipresence.” Another benefit is that the Holy Spirit, because He is a spirit and not a physical being like we are, can be in us.

 

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him: for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 15:16-17

 

Isn’t that amazing? That God the Holy Spirit is in us! (who are true believers in Jesus Christ; who believe in His divine nature and His physical death and resurrection from the dead; plus, have committed to making Him Lord of our lives). Why, then, do we feel like we do? Why do we feel so alone? Where is that promised comfort?

Do you remember the story of when Elijah was hiding in a cave out of fear for his life? (1 Kings 19) He’d just about given up. He’d just about called it quits. Then, God showed Him something.

“And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah? And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword: and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire: but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice [delicate whispering voice]. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave, And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said…”

1 Kings 19:9-13

So, God wasn’t in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire. Those were the results of His mighty presence, for sure. But He wasn’t in those things. Then Elijah heard a tiny whisper. That voice was God’s voice. How awesome! Even today, God dwells not in the great, thunderous, awestriking manifestations of power; He dwells inside our frail, human hearts. And that voice of His, it isn’t likely to come to us through a bullhorn: it most likely will be in the form of an itty bitty breeze inside our souls, that gently carries us in the right direction.

In times of devastation and despair, God is with us. His eyes take in everything, from the stinging tears that stream down our cheeks, to the torment of a heart in deepest pain. He hears the cries coming from far within, those dark groans that are wrenched from blackest anguish. And then He speaks to us.

Don’t call it quits yet. Listen for God’s voice. What is He saying to you? Be sensitive to the tiniest breath of wind. It might be in the form of a child’s loving caress, as your little one asks you, “Mommy, are you okay?” Or perhaps the inconvenient ring of a phone and the conversation which follows, distracting you from your bitterest moment of hopelessness. It could be that verse from the Bible that you can’t get out of your head. Maybe that song on the Christian radio station. Or, it could be an actual word spoken to your heart: “It’s okay. I love you. I’m right here.” You can’t be sure if you heard it, or not. It sounded just like a still, small voice.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “When You Feel Close to Quits

  1. Dearest Jessica,

    Thank you so much for this post. I felt that it came directly from your heart and soul. In the midst of trials and difficulties, we are often tempted to be defensive and self-pity ourselves, but you are different. You are crying out to God in the midst of the agonies and sharing your very wounded part with us. It reminds me of King David. Many of his Psalms were composed when he was chased by Saul and he was in the most difficult situations. I wondered,,,what if he did not express his heart in the form of Psalms at that time?,,,then what had happened? Millions of people had lost the opportunities to be comforted by these Psalms.

    I needed this post this very morning, Jessica. You asked us,
    “Have you been ridiculed for your uncompromising stance in support of biblical truth? ”

    Actually, after publishing “the intolerance of tolerance” post in Japanese, I have received harsh criticisms and personal attacks from people who read this post. That’s because I declared that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6). One person wrote to me that I am violating the freedom of religion. Another wrote to me that I am a discriminator.

    However, as you wrote in this post, the Holy Spirit has comforted me like a gentle breeze.

    First of all, our sister Sanae stood by me and publicly declared (left a comment) that “to declare our faith that Jesus is the only way to reach Father is not a violation of the freedom of religion.”
    In a word, she risked her own reputation and carried the cross with me.How I was encouraged and strengthened!

    Second, I received an email from our Kegan. She said that her little brother decided to pray for me yesterday and “knelt down with his face to the ground in a passionate, silent prayer.” Tears rolled down on my face when I read this. It was the Holy Spirit who moved this little boy to intercede for me.

    And then, I read your post this morning! It was as if you were writing just for me!! Again, I saw the working of the Holy Spirit in the midst of us and between us.

    Now, I have received so much power and comfort from your spirit-filled writing. Let’s go forward together. God is with us.

    from your fellow sister,
    Kinuko

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Kinuko!
      I do have times of self-pity, though. For example, just recently, I have been feeling trapped by my emotions. I feel like they are controlling me, causing me to see nothing but my hurts and disappointments. I cry out to God, but to be honest, I don’t always have the faith that He will answer–doesn’t that seem like a contradiction of everything I wrote in this article?!

      Like I wrote, even Elijah, strong man of God that he was, had moments of insecurity, self-pity, and doubt. We’re all human. Even as I attempt to encourage other people to trust God in the midst of difficult experiences, I also am encouraged by them!

      Thanks a ton!
      Jessica

      P.S. If anybody can say that you’re intolerant for simply writing what you believe to be the truth, what about them? Aren’t they being intolerant when they harrass you? Doesn’t seem consistent, does it…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What often makes christians dispute may be pointing out sins,I think. If somebody point out your sin and problem ,it is a great chance for you to return to God.So big blessing.
    But our sinner’s nature do not think like that.It denies to listen,refuse what they say,attack them,make them feel sad.Confessing our sins each other may be best way for believers to throw away sins. The enemy we should fight is just only ourselves, who want to hide our sins,not anybody else.
    When I feel dispair in something,I also ask the holy spirit inside as you say.
    When I was a highschool student(of mission school), we pupils sang 2 songs from ‘Elias(Elijah)’by mendelssohn at graduation ceremony.One song’s lylic in German was from 1 kings chapter 19 you cited.
    I remembered that memory.I like these words.In spite of suffering, we can still find hope.Small voice from our Lord.Thank you for precious sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Sanae,
      Thank you very much for your comment! I especially liked what you said here: “If somebody point out your sin and problem ,it is a great chance for you to return to God.So big blessing.” That’s true! Why don’t we (I myself included) think of it that way? When our sin comes to light, it’s a wonderful chance to get right with God–what a great blessing!

      Sometimes I wonder why other people are so resistant to the truth about themselves. I think you’re right, that it’s because they don’t want to deal with their sin. But then I think: What about me? Am I that way, too? Maybe, sometimes I am! It’s often easier to see (or at least think that we see) what’s wrong with somebody else. Am I doing the things I tell other people not to? I sure hope not! Your reply has given me a lot to think about, as far as being the type of person who is willing to receive correction.

      Thanks. You’re such a good friend!
      Jessica

      P.S. Thanks for sharing about the songs from Mendelssohn you sang in high school. What a beautiful memory!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In the moments like that, I remind myself that the ‘Lord knows the beginning from the end’ nothing is surprise to our God. Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength: a very present help in trouble” and the other one is Phillipians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”
    Great post

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You always bring comfort with the Scriptures that you quote, Irina!
    “the ‘Lord knows the beginning from the end’”–> I like this one a lot! How true, that God knows what I will go through, even before it happens. He prepares me for it beforehand, it always feels like. But only afterwards do I see it.

    Sometimes I don’t feel that I “can do all things.” But then, it does say, “through Christ.” Thanks for your reminder that God gives me strength, and is my refuge.

    Thanks so much, like always!
    Jessica

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s