How Long Can Things Go On Like This?
OCTOBER 5, 2021
By Tom Sloan
Sometimes I wonder how long things can go on like this. And what is “like this”?
I don’t know cause I’m not sure.
“Like this” may just be my lack of satisfaction with life. “Like this” may actually be very good, and I just can’t see it. Maybe this is the way the Children of Israel felt in the wilderness, eating manna every single day. Maybe there is nothing wrong with “like this,” maybe it is just me murmuring and complaining.
Sometimes “like this” is me worrying about my sin. Me complaining about “like this” maybe my soul crying out – wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Sometimes “like this” is me not being able to make sense out of what my children are doing.
Sometimes “like this” is the guilt I feel about taking support from churches and me not being on the mission field or doing more in missions.
So, what options do I have in “like this”? Honestly, my only viable and sensible option in “like this” is God’s sovereign grace. I know that I keep coming back to His grace, but honestly, what else is there?
But I don’t like “like this” because I feel like I am not in control. So, what do you do when you have tried to do everything to remedy a situation, but to no avail? It honestly seems like nothing I have done or tried to do has rendered any good fruit. I have tried to fight to change things, or to maintain things, but still, it seems like the more I fight, the worse things get. So, I think that I have just given up and surrendered to whatever life has for me.
So, just let things be “like this.” Let them continue this way, and may the Judge of all the earth have mercy on me. May God, in His loving tender mercies, have mercy and grace on my wife and children. I do not understand.
I am not sure, but maybe the answer to all my misery is the “good fight of faith.” If it is not worth fighting for, then it is not worth anything. But what about God fighting for me? In the Bible, I see how God fought for some of the most worthless sinners, and He brought them to victory.
I think that this is the real question – my sin.
Maybe if I could sin a bit less, I would feel a bit better because my sin makes me feel like a loser. But can losers fight and win? I may not be able to win against my sin, but I can win against my unbelief because the victory in faith does not come from me, it comes from God.
So, like Martin Luther said – let your sins be strong, but let your faith in Christ be stronger.
1 Samuel 30:6 “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”
In “like this,” I will encourage myself in the Lord my God because He is my God. He is my God because He has forgiven all my sins and blessed me with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
So, let things continue to be “like this.” I will continue to fight the good fight of faith for me. In “like this,” I know that I will have both the good and the bad; my sin and God’s righteousness; the desire to sin, and the loathing of it. I cannot speak for anyone else on the planet, but I do know that I am, as Isaac was, the child of promise. And, in the meantime, while I wait for the redemption of my vile and corruptible body, I will simply breathe, by God’s help. I will do my best to remember that I am a child of promise, because God promised.
When I think about it in this context, “like this” is not so bad after all. It is actually very good. I mean, think about it, “like this” looks really bad to me, but this is God’s battlefield. “Like this” makes me frown and oftentimes depressed and discouraged. But “like this” makes God smile as He “gives His angels charge over me, to keep me in all my ways.” God has used “like this” to show me just how much He loves and cares for me. Every morning, things are “like this,” but still, every morning, His mercies are new. Sometimes, all I can see is misery, loss, defeat, and death in “like this.” But God still knows that the earth is still His, the fulness thereof, the world, and they that dwell therein.