The examples we have from the Bible of men who were so despondent of life make me wonder, what if these people had not been born? Of course, God can always choose another avenue to accomplish His goals, but He did use all of these men in mighty ways, and He wants to use you in a mighty way, too. Don’t dismiss that thought. Don’t think you are a nobody, and God can’t use you. God used many people in times past who others would just pass by.
In I Samuel 16, God speaks to Samuel about the choosing of the next King of Israel, “…the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” God did not choose any of David’s older brothers, who appeared to have more of what would be expected in a ruler, but he chose the youngest, the one others may have passed up, to be the next king. David, being only a boy still in his youth, was used by God to kill Goliath. We all know the story. Yet when you think about his chances of killing the great warrior, most people wouldn’t have placed their bets on David to win. But in 1 Samuel chapter 17, God used an improbable subject to accomplish a great thing. Can you almost picture God smiling when everyone’s mouths dropped at little David’s victory over someone who had unceasingly terrorized them for 40 days?
When Christians are despondent, many times they say things like, “I’m just taking it one day at a time. I’ll make it through somehow.” Well, if you are trying to make it through on your own, chances are you are not going to come through it okay. God doesn’t want us to be self-sufficient spiritually, He wants to be all-sufficient for us. When we have tried everything we know how, when we have exhausted all our resources, including relying on other people, that is when we are at the end of our rope, and if we look, we will realize that God is right there at the end of that rope waiting. That is when we need to just let go of the rope and fall into His arms and trust Him just like a child trusts the person taking care of him.
Emotions can complicate our situation. Do you know anyone who seems their life is ruled by their emotions? Okay, I apologize to any of you 50-somethings out there by what I have to say, but I have had to deal with some hormonal, menopausal women who are controlled by their own emotions and are impossible to deal with. Granted, this is a time in life that is very hard to get under control because of physical changes, but during that time, it becomes very evident that emotions can take over and transform a once beautiful woman into an unreasonable, cantankerous female. That is an extreme example, but when we reach the end of our rope, sometimes our emotions take over, and we turn into unreasonable, cantankerous Christians. People around us suffer, and we can become bitter toward God and others.
We cannot trust our emotions! We have to rely on what we know about God, that in that time of darkness, He is working on our behalf. If we could just see spiritually what He is doing, and what He is preparing for our future, we would be astonished.
Satan is adept at using our emotions against us, and many Christians have become defeated because of them. Discouragement has claimed many victims. Depression and anger have claimed others. Those emotions come from believing that God does not have everything in His control, and that He does not have your best interest in mind. Those emotions are the direct opposite of some of the fruits of the Spirit, which include joy, peace, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). So if they are the opposite of these fruits of the Spirit, it would make sense that those emotions of discouragement, depression and anger come from another source, our adversary.