“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again…” –Proverbs 24:16
I was walking, rushing briskly, through the linoleum, white washed hallway to catch a ride with my mom after serving the youth for Wednesday night bible study. As I was about to walk out the hallway, a cute, little girl, in a tiny dressy white sweater, with neat braids and caramel skin, skipped alongside her sisters and her mother down the hallway. But her shiny, suede shoes did not grip too well with the floor, and she fell belly first on the floor. The fall knocked the wind out of her, and she laid there in shock. Everyone walking in the hallway began to surround her, and ask: “Are you okay, are you okay,–are you alright sweetie….?” I reached for her, along with many others, to lift her up.
Her mother, pulled her up gently on her feet. Her older sister comforted her.
She nodded slowly, still in shock, at her fall. She walked slowly with her mother as every one went on their merry way to their cars.
But I, looked right at her, and said, before the threat of further embarrassment hit her: “It’s okay, every one falls sometimes….I even fall sometimes.” And walked away.
I almost forgot about this moment, when God brought it to my attention again.
It can be discouraging, quite devastating, actually depressing when we fall as followers of Jesus Christ.
It can even shock us.
How did I get here?
One minute I was walking with Christ, doing what it takes, walking in faith and love, and now….here I am…lower than low.
How did end up at the bottom?
How did I get here?
Will I ever get out of this?
It could be an addiction.
A deadly secret revealed.
A financial catastrophe.
A family betrayal.
A debilitating disease…
Whatever it may be, it may have caused your faith to dwindle. And here you are, lying flat on your belly, looking up, wondering how in the world did you get there?
And if it was something you caused: how did I let myself fall? God, warned me, God tried to protect me….why did I not listen? Why did I get in the way of God’s best for me?
God, why did I do that? Why? Why?
Before shame begins to overtake you, before satan can whisper lies in your ears:
God still loves you. God will still save you.
If you let God in so He can correct you.
If you let Him to humble you, and redirect you,
If you let God in to transform you, and heal you.
God will lift you up, high above the mess, high above the mistakes and bring you back to where you should be.
When we fall, God lifts us up.
God uses each and every one of us, to lift each other up.
We are a family, His Body, The Body of Christ, that is. And we are to lift each other up,whether in prayer, or through words of encouragement so that we can continue spreading the kingdom of God.
We are, as believers and disciples of Christ Jesus, are to encourage, surround, protect, defend, lift up those who are weak, feeble, and weary among us (1 Thess 5:14).
We are to bear each others burdens (Gal. 6:4).
I recall a moment recorded in Acts 14.
Paul, the outspoken unapologetic apostle, is stoned and left for dead by a group of dissenting Jews from the city of Iconium and Antioch.
I know that Paul had many low moments, or soul crushing experiences as a believer and as an apostle–but these people, whom he preached with such conviction and supposed success, had turned on him and wanted to murder him. And almost did.
But something beautiful happened.
God did not leave Paul there.
“Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. 20 But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe” (Acts 14:19-20).
A group of disciples surround Paul, sprawled on the ground–black, blue, and bruised.
Fallen, broken in more ways than one.
The disciples stand quietly for a moment around him, not leaving his side.
But Paul is still lying on the ground.
In more ways than one.
But the disciples of the Lord will not leave him. They keep standing there, waiting, willing him to get back up–to not die, declare His Glory.
Will I ever get back up from this?
Paul raises slowly from the ground and goes right back into the same city that stoned him to preach the gospel and spread The Lords Kingdom.
It is almost as if the silent support of the believers surrounding him that day, reminded Paul he was not alone, neither was he going to finish this alone….and to keep on going. It gave Paul the strength to complete the mission Jesus Christ gave Him.
He will send people, disciples, dedicated to The Lord, to you–to stand and surround you. Their testimony silently penetrating your broken heart, awakening it to their pain, failures, struggles, which are now non-consequential, because there they stand– conquering it all. Their silent testimony. invigorates your bones to rise, and keep going.
One thing we should not do is isolate ourselves, because we make ourselves vulnerable to the attacks, and tactics of satan.
We must understand if one of us falls, when one of us suffers, because we are all made up of each other, we all are apart of the same body; it effects our ability to carry out God’s plan in the earth.
We must encourage one another.
We must allow God to lift us up.
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up” (James 4:10).
Humbling ourselves includes allowing God to correct us–through His Word, through others, and through the leading of The Holy Spirit.
God will lift you up. You will rise again.
You will be resurrected from your fallen state, and receive the strength needed to finish all God has called you to be.
After reading Psalm 41, I realized that there are conditions to God’s promise of being delivered and lifted up:
1. Consider the poor (Psalm 41:1,2).
Consider, pray, help, uplift, encourage those who are discouraged, help less, powerless, afflicted and wronged–God promises to deliver you in your time of trouble.
2. Keep your integrity intact (Psalm 41:12).
In times of persecution, oppression, problems and it can be easy to let things slip–but God promises us that if we keep our good character intact, by walking in love, speaking and doing good, sowing righteousness, and good deeds before and behind closed doors, He will keep blessing us, and He will upholds us, and set us before His face forever. (Psalm 41:12).
3. Keep placing your hope in God alone (Psalm 43:11).
We all get discouraged. Whether it is because we are unfairly persecuted for righteousness sake, stumble in our walk of faith because of our own failures and mistakes, we can get to a place where we can not even function because we are so depressed, so disappointed, so cast down that we feel like we can never be picked back up again.
These are the very moments we need to push into His Presence and draw closer to God. I came to a place where I could not even think straight because I felt my failures could never be reconciled. But I came to God, cried out and spoke the truth of my pain to Him. God came rushing in with His love forgave me, and came to my rescue. He lifted me, making me stand on two feet, planted on the rock of His Word, and began making me whole that same hour.
By pouring out your soul before Him in sincerity, transferring the weight of your suppressed sorrow, pain, anger, fear and grief to Him, your heart opens up, and now He can enter in to heal you. You allow God’s healing power to fill you with joy, hope, and love and make you whole again.
Draw close to Him, and He will comfort you and strengthen your heart (Psalm 27:14).Take courage–have hope in Christ.
Keep your expectation up when it comes to receiving from The Lord. When you expect good from Him alone, God will not only give you the peace and strength to walk through hard times, BUT, He promises to save you and deliver you.
A just man falls seven times…and more. But he rises again.
Do not get discouraged.
You will rise again.
And the Lord, through other believers will lift you up.
Let the Lord in to heal you so you will continue the journey of faith with other believers, disciples of The Lord, and spread the Kingdom of Jesus Christ all over the world.
Therefore dear ones, may you keep going, allowing the Lord to continually humble you, so He may lift you up again.
Jesus, thank you for your promises of lifting me up. I ask you to help me humble myself so you can keep me grounded in Your Kingdom, Your Will, and lift me up from this place. Jesus, forgive me. I turn away from it. Keep me, and help me. Thank you for surrounding me with other disciples who love you that will stand with me. Give me strength as I go forward, just like you did for Paul.
I love you, thank you for everything. In Jesus Christ Name I pray, amen.
*Originally posted near Thanksgiving Day*
Have a great Thanksgiving with your family dear ones,
God bless you,