To The Battle-weary

While I still have symptoms such as a splitting headache and dizziness from coming off prescription pain pills (I’m on my 6th day; see previous blogs), I’m tired of writing about it for now.

Every day it seems the same words bounce around my head “like a beach ball at a Nickelback concert,” as they said in the movie “Hot Rod.”

Those words? “I’m tired.”

How ya doin’, Rob?” I’m asked by the handful of people who know I struggle with pain, depression, etc.

Tired, man,” I reply. “How YOU doin’?

I’m not just trying to build myself up as some mighty warrior of God; we all have battles.

Everyone you pass by on the street is fighting some type of battle, I think. So, with that in mind, and inspired by my work supervisor’s devotion this morning in our staff/prayer meeting (thanks, Todd!), I thought I’d share a few of the “swords of offense” I use against the darkness when the weariness of life is really kickin’ my tail feathers.

 “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).”

Yeah, I know, this one is quoted often, but it’s still one of my favorites. To simply rephrase this into the ever-popular “Have no fear!” is to sell this Bible verse short. First, you’ll note that fear is a “spirit.” It’s sure not a spirit from GOD, so this means fear is a demonic spirit, out to destroy our peace of mind.

Instead, God wants to give you POWER. He doesn’t want you to always be a victim of your own bad habits and weaknesses. Lest you begin to think you should go Rambo on someone, however, He also says He seeks to give you LOVE. Love for Him, love for your fellow human beings and, hardest of all for some of us, love for yourself. Finally, this verse promises A SOUND MIND. Not an anxious mind, or a brain which strobelights thoughts and worries all night, keeping you from sleeping, but a quiet, peaceful mind.

God, you are the one who saves us. We will trust in you. Then we won’t be afraid. Lord, you are the one who gives us strength. You are the one who keeps us safe. Lord, you have saved us (Isaiah 12:2).”

Many are afraid these days. Afraid of walking out of their house and getting attacked, afraid of saying the wrong thing to the wrong race and starting a war, afraid of not getting their bills paid, afraid of losing those they love, afraid of falling short of someone’s expectations…

And on and on it goes. But this verse asks you to trust God. He has your best interests at heart. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord will give you strength and keep you safe.

Note it states we must trust in God…THEN we won’t be afraid. Did you catch that? I hope so, because it’s important. First comes TRUST, then the fear will skulk back into the shadows where it belongs.

Use this verse when you feel scared. Carry it in your pocket and quote it all day if you have to, until it sinks in.

The Lord himself will lead you and be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you, so do not lose courage or be afraid (Deuteronomy 31:8).”

You are not alone. We walk into the uncertainty and anxiety of each day with the Lord Himself leading the way. He will not fail you. He will not abandon you.

Keep your courage, and don’t give in to fear!

Only keeping our eyes on our problems seems to promote the microscope effect; they end up looking MUCH bigger than they actually are. Keep your eyes on God. Surround yourself with encouraging people who will build you up. Seek out gentle warriors who will lift you up, not tear you down.

Jesus looked straight at them and said, ‘There are some things that people cannot do, but God can do anything’ (Matthew 19:26).”

My 18 y/o son, Trey, was healed of a stutter he’d struggled with for over 10 years. I was able to detox myself off a hydrocodone addiction, and now am in the 6th day of breaking a Tramadol addiction (both prescribed narcotics for my chronic pain). My Uncle Kenny was diagnosed with stage four cancer and should’ve been dead years ago, but he’s still here. I took over 60 pills when I was in my early 20s, in an attempt to commit suicide, but lived, because God wasn’t through with me yet.

What is impossible with us is fully possible with God!

You have given me your salvation as my shield. Your right hand, O Lord, supports me; your gentleness has made me great. You’ve set me free from captivity and now I’m standing complete, ready to fight some more (Psalm 18:35-36)!”

WOW, I love this translation. God’s right hand supports me, and, get this: His gentleness makes me great. When I come at Him with complaints and stress, God never responds with anger. He listens intently, and then, after my shouting has morphed into tears, His blanket of peace is wrapped around me, gently, lovingly.

I may walk into the war room of prayer angry and stressed, but I walk out with a quiet confidence, and—my favorite part of this promise—ready to fight some more! 

It is true that I am an ordinary, weak human being, but I don’t use human plans and methods to win my battles.  I use God’s mighty weapons, not those made by men, to knock down the devil’s strongholds. These weapons can break down every proud argument against God and every wall that can be built to keep men from finding him. With these weapons I can capture rebels and bring them back to God and change them into men whose hearts’ desire is obedience to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).” 

We don’t wage war as the world does. Taking a cue from Dr. Martin Luther King, JR, we fight hate with love. We use the weapon of peace to combat war. Patience is our sword of choice when anger tries to swallow us up.

Thus, I implore you, stop letting yourself be the martyr, and rage forth in victory!

Stop letting your “issues” drown you in misery, and start devising methods to war against them!

The only one who can turn you into a victim is you. Clearly, you can see by the Bible verses above, God doesn’t want you to wallow in your own weaknesses and fears. He wants you to stand tall, in quiet confidence and peace, strolling through this angry world like a cool, spring breeze.

And remember…

Never give up, never give in, never surrender! 

blog possible 10-31 2

7 thoughts on “To The Battle-weary

  1. Really great post–thanks for those verses, Rob. I’m hoping to soon access the dunamis power of Christ/Holy Spirit–because that’s what it’s going to take for me to be a done-deal “overcomer”. Battling depression/anxiety for 6 decades has not been fun, but I truly believe it HAS brought me into a close, intimate relationship with the Lord–for that, I’m grateful everyday. I’ll keep you in my prayers, as I know what it’s like to come off Rx pain meds…not fun, but you’ll feel like a new person when the process is finished, I promise! God bless you.

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    • Thanks so much for your comments, and your honesty. What many people don’t realize is that, often times anger and depression, along with a sense of hopelessness, accompanies chronic pain. People who don’t suffer in this manner don’t realize the mind games you end up playing. It is astounding to me how many people suffer from depression, and yes, even Christians. People who say those who follow God should not be depressed have obviously not read the Bible, because people in the Bible also suffered with it. I will be praying for you. I have a burden for people who are suffering, and I am praying that God sends me to the front lines to minister to them every day. Through Christ, we can do anything, including beat chronic pain and depression. It’s time we stopped accepting our issues and started fighting!

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      • Love every word, Rob! I’m committed to being genuine, authentic, honest–because the alternative simply doesn’t work (small disclaimer: I don’t use my legal name on the blogs, for personal security reasons–but my character and beliefs are the real deal). The Church has been slow to wake up, regarding the fact that so many Believers struggle with all manner of afflictions. I heard someone say, “Christians should be the happiest people in the world”. Really?? Hello–the Abundant Life is not Disneyland. Joyce Meyer said something that rings true for me: “my worst day WITH Jesus is better than my best day Without Him”. Hang in there, Brother–and thanks much for your prayers. God bless you abundantly.

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      • All true, unfortunately. For those who claim Christians shouldn’t suffer from anxiety or depression, I would counter, “You’ve obviously never read the book of Psalms.”

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      • Or Job, or Daniel, or Lamentations….all of the “Hall of Faith” folks suffered, were flawed–yet God made them victorious. We are in excellent company, Brother, with a great destiny planned by our God.

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      • Very true. For quick research, “Google” is my buddy. I do a search for “people in the Bible who were depressed,” or “Bible verses about depression,” and find all the information I need to help me.

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      • It fascinates me that the God of the Universe long ago thought ahead to “technology”–He purposed it for “good”, providing the Internet resources (Google and tons of Bible reference help sites), and even free WordPress blogs to connect people who wouldn’t otherwise have opportunity to meet, share, encourage. Ya gotta LOVE Him!!

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