God has seen me through a lot of different battles in my life. He alone has gotten me through them, and I cannot say that there have been too many instances where I have felt overwhelmed. He has given me strength to face a lot of battles, provided ways for me to avoid many unnecessary confrontations, and grown me to be more of a person that can handle what is thrown my direction in a healthy fashion.
However, I remember a time that still seems to be marked a dark day in my heart. Many of the battles I have faced I have seen much good come from. They have caused me to grow and see a different perspective.
This battle, even though I have healed from it, caused me a lot of hurt.
I was at the first place I was called to minister. I was often given opportunity to teach. There wasn’t much guidance, but there was opportunity to do what I enjoyed and felt called to do. One Sunday evening, I was given one of these opportunities and began my sermon. The basic theme of the message was, “How often do we weep for those who do not know Christ, whether they be friend, family, or a stranger?” it wasn’t anything flashy, my delivery showed my inexperience, but the basis of the message was biblical and honest.
Part of the way through the sermon, one of the elders got up and left. I didn’t think much of it; maybe he had somewhere to be. After the service ended, nothing much was said and I went about my normal Sunday evening activities and went to meet some friends. I went home and called the pastor, just to touch base with him and ask for some pointers on things I could do better. The conversation began poorly as he told me several families in the church wanted to leave because, not only did they not enjoy my sermon, but they felt I was “preaching their guts out.” I still am not sure exactly what was meant by that, but the idea that I got was that I was being too harsh with them.
Who was I to question their prayers?
I was told there would be an emergency elders meeting the next day to which I should attend.
That was a bad night. I was still young, I had just started in what I had felt my calling was. How wrong was I? I began to weep. The apartment I lived in had no windows in the bedroom, it was pitch black. I stayed in that room crying, praying, wondering, wandering, miserable, and overcome.
I woke up the next day after a very short night, still miserable and realizing I still had to wait till the evening for the meeting to take place. It was a terrible day. Finally, I walked into the room and sat down at the table. It began much like I expected. I was threatened, berated, and told that I was very lucky that I was given this opportunity and they still weren’t sure if they wanted to keep me on staff.
Then something happened.
One elder, one, said, “Hold on. Adam, do you believe what you said in your sermon was true?”
He added, “Is what you said in your sermon based on Scripture, Scripture that can be proven to back what you said?”
“It doesn’t specifically say to weep, per se, but we are to pray for those who do not know Christ, yes.”
“Is that the message God gave you? You heard from Him and this is how He guided you?”
“Then guys, I am not sure what the problem is. I don’t see anything that happened here that gives us cause to be angry. I heard nothing in his sermon that gives us cause to terminate his employment or reprimand him.”
The whole mood took a might swing. There was no response. After a long time of venting, with a short conversation the whole conversation turned. I was so thankful, and still am, for that man.
There were still some issues and heart matters that needed to be addressed and I did end up moving on shortly after that meeting, but I was justified. It wasn’t about me being right and them wrong, it was about me being right in hearing God’s voice in the way He called me. I was called.
We will face many varying trials in life. Some minor, some major, some that are off the charts, but God is faithful. We are not overcome. We may want to hide in the dark bedrooms and not come out to face the reality, but no matter the reality, He has overcome and we are His children and because we are…
…we are overcomers…
We are the head and not the tail, we are His heirs, we are a part of His family, we are His children, we are His handiwork, and yes we do have an enemy who wants to destroy us, but our Father is much greater than that enemy and He will not let us be overcome by that enemy because our Father has already defeated that enemy and so our enemy no longer has a hold on us. Be of good courage, be of good faith, we have been redeemed, we have been freed, we have been empowered!
I don’t know what you may be facing, but there is never a time where there is no hope.
“Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good!” Romans 12:21