Over the years I have fallen in love with reading the Word of God. I love the truth that I find there, the promises, the grace, the freedom. But when my heart is heavy and I get depressed, I feel a war on my spirit that tries to keep me from the Word. I get caught up in sadness and loneliness. I know that in the Word I can find truth and comfort, and yet I get so sad that I don’t want to read. And I sure don’t want to write about it.
I’ve been in that place over the last few weeks. I have days when I want to read and write and pray, and other days when I can’t even hardly look at the Bible on the table, let alone read it. There is life there and I push it away in frustration, anger, hurt, sadness, or doubt. Why?
Because the Bible is no more an instant fix to my problems than Jesus. While it is a comfort and it holds truth and life, it doesn’t change the situations I’m in. It doesn’t fix all the worry or struggles I’m facing. It doesn’t shoot out twenty dollar bills when I open it, or cause wars to cease in the world or in my heart.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12
Because the Bible is only a glimpse of God. It’s only a taste of things to come. It offers the answer to life’s biggest problem: what can be done about the evil in the world, and how can we be saved from the evil in our own hearts. But the final judgement is yet to come. And until then, I’m stuck in this world, with the promises of God warring with the evil in my own heart.
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
So my sin will keep acting within me. I know the promises of God are true. I know that my only salvation from the evil of my own heart and the world is found in Jesus. And I know that He has given me the promise of His salvation by putting a deposit of His own Spirit within me.
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
And until that day that Jesus returns and I receive that full inheritance promised me. I must accept the fact that I’m going to have bad days. I’m going to have days of sin and doubt. Then enemy continues to war against me. My own sin wars against me. The sin of others wars against me. All of the things of this world war against me. I’ve got to be patient. I’ve got to wait it out. I’m not alone. We suffer together, struggling with the war that rages all around us. And we’ll all get through it.
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1 Peter 5:6-10
So, have hope. It’s not over yet. And Jesus will restore us. That’s a promise.