Ever get so depressed that you have longed for nothingness to enshroud you? Sometimes my trials feel like pure torture! At times, in this state, I have mourned as one who has lost all strength, hardly able to lift my head to face a new day.
“For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.” John 3:34
The Spirit was given to Jesus without measure. What does this mean? Jesus experienced what no man experienced because no other man is worthy of such an honor, nor is any man capable of enduring the entirety of God’s Holiness. Jesus IS the goodness, the Holiness, the righteousness of God in human form; therefore the Holy Spirit was in no way limited in expression or in communion with Christ. Yet, there were times that Jesus was very human. He voluntarily limited His understanding; He did not know the time or the hour of His return, only the Father; He wept for sorrow. He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46. He skirted the edges of hell. Was the Spirit of God withheld from Jesus in those moments? Jesus did not always feel God’s presence, even though the Spirit remained without measure.
So also with us. We may not always sense the presence of God in our lives, but God’s Spirit is with us even when we drag Him through the sinful portions of our lives. If it is possible for God to be with us in the presence of our sinful nature, how much more are we assured of His work in us when we cry out to Him for His help, even should we feel no response.
This is a good ache—the loneliness, the longing for God’s help and presence—when we allow this pain to have its sanctifying work. There we wait for God’s restoration and His answer to whatever dilemma we face, preferably with patience. I do not suggest this glibly. Soon enough the resurrection will arrive—God will breathe life back into our troubled body.
Jesus sweat drops of blood, died with a ruptured heart, yet rose triumphantly from the grave. Religious zealots stoned the Apostle Paul to death, but God restarted his heart and let him finish his course. The fabric of your soul and body may be, today, wracked with tremors and boils. You may wonder how it is possible for anybody to feel as mentally and physically ill as you do, yet still continue to live. Here is our promise.
“If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11
Oh Jesus, help me trust You, though the gates of hell open beneath and threaten to swallow me whole. When my heart beats for loathing and my chest hurts because of the pain, grant me the faith of Abraham who believed that you would even raise his Isaac (laughter) from the dead. Let me trust that I will yet again praise You, the health of my countenance and my God.
“Wait upon the Lord and be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, upon the Lord. Ps 27:14.