We live in increasingly difficult times, as prophesied in the Bible. Evil men and seducers are waxing worse and worse. We are well on our way to arriving at the very worst time in human history--never to be paralleled. In the evil times in which we live, many people have been abused and mistreated (tv, by itself, is spiritual, physical, and intellectual abuse vomiting out the foul ideas of men and devils). The abused will continue to increase in numbers as the days go by. Those that survive their abuse often find themselves chronically and debilitatingly pained and frustrated over the violence done to them--but yesterday it came to me that there is no need for this. As I was in the car, a saying from the black community came to my mind,

"One monkey don't stop no show."

Explanation: In a circus, there are lots of acts and animals amongst which may be a side-show troop of monkeys of minor importance. Out of that troop of minor importance, the antics of a single monkey will in no wise stop the show. If he cuts up and chooses not to perform, it makes no difference. In this life, people cut up and act up and do evil, but just like that monkey, they don't stop the show of our lives.

If you have been hurt by one or many people, understand that who you are is not defined by man and his deeds--never. Your life is not defined by the abuse perpetrated upon you. You are yourself. What somebody else did was them. We are not defined by the incidents and accidents of this life. If we do wrong, we repent. If somebody else does wrong, that is not our load to carry, they made the wrong move and we are free. Our emotions are not ruled by man and his deeds--never. Men are sinners. They cannot be entrusted to exercise control over us. Someone may have decided to put you through some tremendous difficulties, but that does not mean a lifetime of chronic, debilitating pain and frustration. Some people have taken their own lives over the chronic pain. Some have engaged in destructive habits trying to escape the pain and frustration--they may wonder if they can be forgiven of all that they have done. They can be forgiven--see our article, Will God forgive me?". We can all be free to live a productive, holy life. As we try to obey the Bible, God helps us to obey. We have to understand that our experiences do not define us--I was in my 40s before I learned that I am a person, not an event or series of events. As Christians, we are who we are as individuals. Our relationship with the Lord completely defines us. Paul said,

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Life may have been tough on us but we can repent of our own sins (for all have sinned), and we can learn to forgive those that have harmed us. Those high commands, "Love thine enemies" and "pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you" are ever before us for us to obey--let them keep away destructive bitterness, remove what could easily become a foothold for Satan, and make us free to thrive before the Father (who will by no means acquit the wicked if the wicked turn not from his way). Prayer, obedience to the word, and performing necessary daily tasks are critical for walking as a free person. Pray. Pray without ceasing. Read your Bible. It is your bread and will give you direction, power, energy, support, help and comfort. Please see the Deliverance Series for ideas on living what I call "the work lifestyle." The flesh, the devil, and the world would have you to dry up and die. God calls us to study to be quiet and do our own business, working with our own hands. Life, for me, is like a series of projects. We can actually be unfettered, functioning members of God's kingdom.

I was once having serious issues and I asked God to remove the rancor (deep resentment) from my heart. I went to sleep, and when I woke up, I knew that I was different. I don't know how God does what he does, but I know that he does it. Some stuff is grandiose, the enemy is busy, but we keep reading, praying, asking, supplicating, and doing. Keep going. My part is to do my part--to keep on trying. As I pray and try to do my part, God takes care of the invisible part.

In these last and evil days, Satan and his minions increase and overspread abominations victimizing many, but be not overcome with evil--rather overcome evil with good (see Romans 12). I was once one of Satan's hordes and killed my own helpless child (or children) through abortion. God spared my life and forgave me. He now commands me to forgive others--forgive if you would be forgiven. Think about how God forgave you. Now turn around and frankly forgive your debtors and go forward. Leave the past. If your current reality is hard, look up and set your sights on heaven (that is where our conversation is--Philippians 3:20) and focus on what works in your life, don't focus on what is not working. "What works in my life? My apartment works. I'll pay attention to it. That junky drawer over there does not work for me, I'll clean it out using the rule of fives. My bed works, let me change the sheets. The park works for me, I'll take a walk as I read a printout of Hebrews..." Take care of your daily tasks, read the word, obey, and discover what other things God would have you to do in the kingdom...

Even when we do not understand all the whys of life, we still believe in love. Somebody loves you, even if you do not know them. And yes, God loves you. The Bible says that God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). This earth is the proving ground for how we shall be. It is from this place that men shall rise to live forever with God. This has always been God's plan--to gather his family for a pleasing eternity. We can be calm in our spirit, pray, work, and obey God's word. God is indeed building his family--even in the midst of this waste, howling wilderness. Just be calm in your spirit, trust in the Lord, and keep going forward.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

How will you spend your time here? Drowning or thriving? Thrive, my brother, my sister, in Jesus' name thrive and overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of your testimony; and love not your life to the death (See Revelation 12).

Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

We may have been through some things, but we are not chained (who even wants to employ that word) to the past or the present. Although the Deliverance Series is for those Christians trying to be free of certain persistent habits, it offers a number of ideas that might assist any Christian on his way in these vexatious, troubling times. The Christian Family Page also has a number of practical ideas for living the Christian life--the family page is for everybody, whether they are single or married, whether they have children or no children.


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