Honest Advice on how to get your Christian life back on track


Honest Advice on how to get your Christian life back on track

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Our Friday Night Article

Pastor Steven Birnie

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A very good evening to our friends and regular readers and if you’re visiting our Bookshop for the first time, then welcome and I do hope you enjoy our message tonight. We’ve been extremely busy over the past while with our children and with work not to mention Church and of course our Website, so apologies for the lack of posts in the past few weeks. I’ve been working quite hard on two projects at the moment, one is the upcoming ‘End Times Illustrated EBook’ and the other has been building a Rabbit Hutch for David and Emily, so I hope to have the book finished soon and the rabbit hutch finished tomorrow! So, onto this evening’s article and I must say from the outset, that it’s a subject which has been coming to mind quite a lot this week, so I do hope a reader will blessed by this teaching/testimony.

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The Christian life should be the very peak of living in this present world considering what’s available to us as Christians in the Lord, from true peace and joy to great revelation and vision but hand in hand with that, can come some hard and even dark times as we walk out our life. For most, the Christian walk most certainly has it’s ups and it’s downs to which experienced Christians could share multiple testimonies of difficult situations, when the Lord has indeed come through for them however, there are a certain few, who can experience moments in life, where their entire foundation is ripped out from underneath them causing them pain over a very long period of time and it’s those individuals, this article is pointed toward this evening.

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It’s easy for someone to say “well they should have had their confidence in Jesus and not in man” when an individual gets very hurt by a situation, which is true in some ways but not helpful to the person hurt because sometimes, Satan’s arrows can penetrate very deeply indeed, catching a young or in-experienced Christian by surprise. The even more surprising thing though, is when these arrows come not

The North View of Loch Ness Scotland

The North View of Loch Ness Scotland

from an unsaved family member or a work colleague, but a person professing to be saved, someone we’ve trusted and shared many secret things with and it’s then, when the arrow goes deepest of all.

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Over the course of my own Christian life, I’ve heard and observed some terrible situations indeed, situations a young Christian would just not think possible from a Christian circle yet, it’s far more common than we might think at first. One of the worst I’ve heard, was a message by Steve Hill the Evangelist who dealt with many individuals who had faced difficult situations and been cut so deep, that the pain was almost physical, even drawing them away from Church altogether. This particular woman he’d encountered had been in full time ministry and one day she was called to her Pastor’s office, when she got inside, totally out of the blue, he touched her (being appropriate for our readers). Years later, Steve was visiting a Church and this woman was up teaching a group of individuals and he was so taken by her preaching, that he just had to talk to her afterward. He said to her “why are you not in full-time ministry and holding conferences, you’re just an amazing speaker” to which she relied, “I was…”. She told him the story and he could hardly believe his ears, this woman had been so totally flattened by the breach of trust that she had pulled back, keeping herself in the shadows as much as she could.

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For many experienced Christians this account is unfortunately like many other instances where Christians have been so flattened by a situation, that it’s taken years for them to recover. I have to say, I can relate to these kind of situations and it’s events like this, I’d like to share from my own experiences tonight, in the hope that it might encourage the reader either for themselves personally or, for them to help another. Just after I had been diagnosed with an incurable disease (healing testimony for another day!) and it had came at a point when I felt God had really spoken to me saying, “it wasn’t my time yet”. It was stupid really and in some ways my own fault however, an individual whom I trusted in a great way was preaching on healing and the sermon for me lacked a little, so I spoke to them afterward, even though I was very weak physically and emotionally, sharing with them quite excitedly about what I felt God had said to me and how he’d took away my fears. I never really expected it, but they rebuked me harshly for my lack of faith in his healing saying, God would never delay healing and that it was unlikely he had spoken.

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I was in-experienced at the time and quite vulnerable and where I’d came forward for comfort and a friend, I found a rebuke and a scorn. I just couldn’t believe this individual was more interested in being right than to help me even if I was wrong, and the situation just flattened me. That evening I sat up on my bed alone and I looked to God, picked up my bible and opened it randomly. The passage opened up at the book of John at the chapter of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead and as I read, I saw Jesus hang back two days then take two days

Our Emily enjoying Loch Ness

Our Emily enjoying Loch Ness

to travel to reach the already dead Lazarus and just then, I felt a deep impression of “yes I do delay healing for my plans and my purposes”. You could have knocked me over with a feather and I was so glad that God had came to my rescue, as I was very ill and very weak. It reassured me that he would indeed heal me and that healing would come in his time.

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As the week wore on though that situation with my friend just kept coming back to me like a dark dream or thought and before long, my moment with God was just becoming duller and duller and the reassurance I once had, all but left within a few days. I just couldn’t get over or get past, how this trusted individual could have not only rebuked me while I was ill but do it in such a way where they were far more interested in being right than anything else. The next four years would be spent with me being ill and let me tell you, that doubt remained constant like a bad dream, right up until God healed me that is! Oh Christian I could tell you of some other real hard one’s like the time I had just came out of hospital after my first major operation when again a close, trusted Christian friend took it upon themselves to visit me at home and rip into me about a certain belief. I got so mad I tore strips off his argument but it was at a cost, I had got so angry I damaged my wound and had to go back into hospital for the next four days! Another situation came even more recently in the past few years when again another close Christian individual ripped into this Bookshop ministry, almost completely out of the blue, causing a lot of damage to my own confidence in this call.

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To a reader looking on you might think “man what a winger (moaner/complainer) this guy is”, but when you are part of a close Christian fellowship, when you let your guard down being open, honest and vulnerable as the Lord wants you to be, these darts can penetrate even the toughest of individuals often causing great and lasting pain. For me it took a lot of time to get over, to forgive and understand the individuals involved and even more time, to realise I might have actually done the same thing to others without realising it, so what would my advice be as a Christian Pastor and one who cares about your spiritual well-being? It would be to follow the same path I was impressed upon to follow, to get over it (not harshly said), to forgive and to understand the person who dished out the hurt in your life for one simple reason, it might just happen again.

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Now friend, it’s difficult to convey just how much I’m not being abrupt or insensitive due to the nature of writing instead of talking so, I hope you it’s clear to see, I’m trying to be open and compassionate. Some things happen which are just terrible, some far worse than the examples I’ve shared but God’s Word and his advice is clear, to forgive. This takes time and getting over it and forgiving, is a process in which only Jesus can accomplish in you, as it can’t be achieved by strength of will alone and it is something which needs to be faced up to if this article speaks to you tonight. If you don’t face up to it, it’s the very thing which will hold you back and stop you dead in your tracks and you deserve much more in the Lord than what someone did to you and that my friend, is the starting point.

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If you have been seriously hurt then your own personal healing begins with a decision in which the Lord himself can respond to, the Lord can’t make you face up to anything, he wont force you and he will never manipulate you and this is why we have to decide to accept the Lord’s offer, for him to come into the situation and solve it for us. It begins with this, when we decide that no matter how terrible the event, no

Proof that Nessie lives....on the window of our boat at least...

Proof that Nessie lives….on the window of our boat at least…

matter how awful the treatment, that you want to be free, put it behind you and live your life the way the Lord intended. Jesus can help you friend, I assure you of that, no matter what the circumstance he can fix it, I know it’s hard and I know it might be difficult to make that decision, especially if you are indeed out with a Church fellowship at the moment but again I ASSURE YOU, Jesus will meet you just where you are and take on your problem, no matter how difficult or how much you’ve messed things up with the things you’ve said and the things you’ve done.

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Jesus doesn’t know how to throw in the towel and quit on you, he doesn’t know how to give up and get fed up with you even when all of your friends and even Christian friends have laid you aside, he can’t, he won’t. Friend, turn to him, right where you are, turn to him, talk to him and allow him the opportunity to prove to you that your hurt, your situation was not him and was something he never intended for you. There’s another thing I can assure you, if you really would like to be free, that there are Christians and Pastors, who absolutely would never hurt you and that’s the truth, man I’ve mucked up a few times in the past but around me, are some great Christians who walk in the character of Jesus Christ and again another assurance, people like that won’t let you down and they will lead you through your pain to come out the other side.

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One of the great benefits and yes I say benefits, is that in time you will be able to help others who experienced the same kind of hurts just like I’m doing just now. Many Christians have had dark times and it’s from those times that they gain experience, not something they’ve just read in a book but something they’ve actually felt and it’s that, which helps heal others in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. You’re hurts may have been bad, really bad but friend that’s something God can use, in a very powerful way and let me tell you from experience, when you help someone, being able to share from experience, there’s no better feeling than seeing the relief and the trust they see in you because you know what you’re talking about.

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Don’t let another’s actions hold you back any longer, there is a way through which will take you to the things Jesus has for you but friend, it’s time to face up to the hurt and allow Jesus to heal of your pain.

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God bless

Pastor Steven Birnie

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About Pastor Steven

Steven Birnie is a former local Church Minister and the author of Christian publications which include non-fiction, fictional and teaching eBooks with audio sermons. From the north-east coast of Scotland, Pastor Steven is married to Sharon and together, they have two young children called Emily and David. After seven years of training, three years of overseeing youth and young adults and, three years of being the Assistant Pastor in his local Church, Pastor Steven moved on to focus on writing Christian Publications. In the future, he hopes to open a Christian Children’s Home in his home town and write The Tribulation Soldier, his newest Series of Fictional, Military EBooks on the End Times, the Rapture and the Tribulation Period, as a 2.5 Million Word Series. But despite continuing pastoral work and writing, Steven remains devoted to his children, enjoying his family life with caravan holidays in the Highlands, fishing, canoeing and his favourite pastime, riding his motorbike through the Scottish countryside.