Sunday, April 10, 2016

Has Your Soul Ever Felt Tormented?

Mine has.  Maybe you and I are unique in this.  It's possible we've suffered feelings of despair the average Christian never really encounters.  It is possible, but not likely.

We tend to think more highly of our own trials than we do of those of others. We cast ourselves as the maligned and mistreated protagonist, worthy of pity and honor for what we've had to endure.  Whether we are agonizing to find a spouse, discouraged by the same besetting sin that has plagued us for years, or afflicted with chronic physical pain, it just feels like other Christians have it easier than we do.

Be careful with this kind of prideful thinking.  It has an isolating effect; keeping us from loving each other, and making us easy prey for the devil.  Paul encourages the church in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man."  Statistically and biblically speaking, most of us are average.  That's not to say we haven't faced intense struggles, but that the intensity of our struggles should inform us as to what the rest of the body had to overcome in order to make it to church today.

As we fellowship, let's assume the brother we shake hands with, or the sister we awkwardly side-hug, has had to press through hard trials and resist every effort of the devil, just as we have.  This should remind us to encourage, give grace to, and boast in each other.