Will it Ever Stop?
If you have ever felt shame for your behavior, then you understand today’s blog. It seems like no matter how often you try; you just keep falling to the same temptations. Will the temptations ever stop? Will I ever be strong enough to fight? Will God keep forgiving me?
Brethren, we do not want you to be ignorant of the affliction we experienced in Asia; for we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself. Why, we felt that we had received the sentence of death; but that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead; he delivered us from so deadly a peril, and he will deliver us; on him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us in answer to many prayers.2nd Corinthians 8.1-11
Saint Paul experienced many hardships during his ministry. He was shipwrecked, stoned nearly to death, chased from city to city, beaten, and imprisoned. (2nd Corinthians 11:24-26) Through all his struggles never gave up hope that God would save him.
It is easy to feel like we are in a pit of despair. Temptations surround our daily lives to the extent that it can feel overwhelming. Sometimes we even feel like we are spinning out of control. You may be experiencing that today, or you may be remembering the time you felt it. We all feel it at one time or another, and God always comes through to deliver us.
I’m sorry to tell you that the temptations will never stop, but God’s forgiveness will also never stop. Through the prayers of the Church, especially when we cannot pray for ourselves, God will deliver us again and again. I pray this is a comfort to you.
If you are reading this in the midst of trial, have hope. The Church prayed for you today. We all prayed that you will find the courage and strength, with God’s assistance, to climb out of the pit. Take time today to stand in front of your icons and focus on God’s love and grace. If you are able, visit an Orthodox Church where you will be in God’s physical presence for peace. He will deliver you.
If you are remembering a time when you felt despair, be thankful for your deliverance. Make a commitment to pray for those in despair. You know their pain. You know their fear. You also know the joy of being delivered by God. Pray fervently for those who cannot pray for themselves.