Jesus Did It!
WHAT TO DO WHEN THE CARES OF THIS WORLD START TO OVERWHELM YOU?
By: Norm Rasmussen
Discouragement and frustration are visiting a lot of people these days. Maybe BOTH have been trying to camp permanently at your doorstep. You've been stepping out in faith ' trusting God for breakthrough, but it seems as though God isn't honoring it. Inwardly, at weak moments you may even find yourself doubting whether God even CAN be trusted to help you out of the dilemma you are facing. The Bible tells you He can be trusted ' but maybe it's getting harder and harder to keep standing in faith. What is a Christian to DO if this is happening to them?
Go to a place of Godly refreshing! Yes ' GODLY refreshing. Not earthly refreshing.
God full well knows about your trying situation, dear one. He hasn't forgotten your name, nor has He run out of options to help you make it through your trial. God has a place of peace for you; a place of refreshing; a place where you can pull away from your pain of discouragement and frustration; a place where you can have your soul and spirit recharged, so you can continue on your journey in the Lord.
Jesus found this 'place of Godly refreshing' when the cares of this world began trying to overwhelm Him. It wasn't around other people that He found it either. It wasn't on some exotic island with pristine white sand beaches and glistening waves gently lapping up on shore. It was simply getting away from the people for a short duration and getting alone to be refreshed by His Father. It may have been on a mountain top, or it might have been walking on the sea. The 'place' of seclusion wasn't really the important factor at all. WHO he got alone to be refreshed by WAS!
Dear one ' there is another person in the Bible besides Jesus who needed desperately to get alone with the Father, because the challenges of this world were pressing in too intensely. That person is nameless, though that person may likely be named: YOU.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 7, the Holy Spirit uses the Apostle Paul to give some understanding and advice to married people. In I Corinthians 7:5, he speaks of a person going to that 'place of Godly refreshing':
Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Take special note that fasting and prayer in this scripture passage is NOT a commandment from God. What, then, is it? The implication of it is that God's people from time to time may find themselves is such a depressed, discouraged, and/or frustrated place in their relationship with God ' that they need a supernatural 'recharging' from God.
Jesus needed that recharging from God, quite often. And again -- HOW and WHERE did He find that recharging? Getting alone where there would be no distractions, for the explicit purpose of having intimacy with The Father. Was fasting always necessary when Jesus spent time alone being recharged by the Father and the Spirit? We can assume it wasn't always necessary. Yet on other occasions it was. I make the assumption that when prayer alone to the Father didn't recharge Jesus sufficiently, He realized that He also needed to use the weapon of fasting to get that recharging.
Yet you aren't Jesus, are you? What Jesus needed at any given time and what you need may be greatly different ' or, it may not. But, it may be that you are so discouraged and so frustrated spiritually that you are even weary of praying right now period. If that is you, dear one ' I STRONGLY encourage you to consider some fasting. Fasting is a powerful spiritual weapon that God has given Christians to use when we need to use that weapon. When can we use that spiritual weapon and never be wrong in using it? When our relationship with God is starting to stagnate ' or already stagnated. When our faith level is at zero, and our flicker of hope is about to turn to midnight darkness. When our anger with God is beyond the RED ZONE ' when our joy has been totally depleted.
Please allow me to interject something here about fasting. Many Christians struggle even thinking about fasting, letting alone engaging themselves in fasting. Here's something you may not have told yourself lately. Fasting is not something Christians HAVE to do; it's something Christians GET to do. Fasting is a powerful weapon God has given us. God will teach each of us how to USE the weapon of fasting, if we're patiently willing to be taught.
I know of no 'formula' to give that works better than another when it comes to prayer and fasting. Some people get recharged by getting alone from distractions where they can immerse themselves in God's Word (the Bible) like maybe they haven't done in a long, long time. Other's simply trust God to give them some creative way to experience God's special touch in a way they've never experienced before. That might be in song and praise. Conversation with God (prayer) may be lengthy, or it may only involve just a few words. It might even be a time of great silence ' anxiously hoping that God will speak a Rhema word or more to you. When and if God does (and I'm thankful He DOES!) ' that alone can be a recharging second to none! A timely word from God is often what our spirit is crying out for, and we might not get a timely word from God until we choose to take time out of our busy-frustrated lives for the explicit purpose of showing God that He is more important to us than anything else. (In one sense, i Corinthians 7:5 is alluding to this, I confidently believe).
As we march closer and closer to the turbulence and anxiety that end times will bring us, I suspect Christians are going to need to go to this secluded place of refreshing more and more. Otherwise they will risk drawing further and further away from God, which is always what makes Satan the happiest.
If it was necessary for Jesus to have times of supernatural refreshing ' and Jesus was God in the flesh ' who are WE to think we don't need times of supernatural refreshing as well?
Prayer and fasting are weapons God has given to help Christians complete their journey in this life. But the very act itself of getting alone with God for times of refreshing is ALSO a weapon, and a very WISE weapon at that. Learn how to use that weapon WELL, brothers and sisters in Christ. We ALL are going to need every weapon God has given us to help us get through the turbulent days ahead awaiting us to maintain a healthy relationship with Him.
"Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful." - Mark 4:19 NKJV
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