I started questioning why I don’t just follow the flesh too. Why not indulge my rage? Why not indulge my lust? […] Why take this harder route? Why not enjoy myself instead? Everyone else is doing it, why bother trying to show people anything different?
Hello Readers, hope all’s well with you. Not everything is so great with me, I’m afraid. When I was trying to think of what topic to write on for my Friday End Times post, I realized that I should write about what’s on my mind. It’s all I can think of right now anyway.
It’s a good thing, then, that I’m taking a vacation from the blog for one week. I’ll be here in my country, of course I’m not going anywhere special because of the COVID-19 situation. But I will be taking a break from the blog, and only posting minor little updates. As you’ll see from today’s post, now is the time for me to do it.
So what’s going on with me right now? I can sum it up in two words: I’m tired.
Hurting from all this Hatred
These End Times are painful … they’re horrible. Of course everyone knows that. So much suffering, everywhere we look. And so much disgusting, filthy hatred and anger on display. This hatred, this is really what hurts my heart. And also what gets me angry. In fact it gets me enraged. It offends me, as it offends God. It gets my blood boiling, and I indulge in rage (rage is one of the fruits of the flesh). I have thoughts of rage and don’t reject them, I indulge them.
I saw a video yesterday that got my blood boiling. This video set me off.
Here’s a link to a Newsweek story about it.
Three volunteers from a Lutheran church in Los Angeles harassed a young Black girl who was harmlessly sitting on their lawn, studying. Instead of explaining to her they would like her to move, these people disrespectfully nailed a “No Trespassing” sign to a tree right in front of her (so, not even facing the street for passers-by to take notice). They told her that no, the church was not welcoming her.
In a telling statement showing how little they apparently know Christ, one of the men said “I’m putting a ‘no trespassing’ sign right here…that’s for you. You know we used to be real nice about it, not anymore. When people are not nice, we’re not nice.”
Of course that statement is completely wrong for a Christian to say! Jesus Himself taught that not only are we to turn the other cheek in the face of any attacks, but also to bless those who persecute us, and if someone takes our shirt, we give them our cloak too (Matthew 5:38-48). So when people are not nice, we must get nicer!
But what really set me off was the condescending, disrespectful, and hateful tone and demeanor of the three church volunteers. It was infuriating to watch … mainly because these people would assert that they’re Christians. If that’s the case then I expect so much more from them.
I got so angry, I picked up a chair in my kitchen and threw it at the wall, damaging both the wall and chair. I threw some other small objects as well. I was enraged. How dare people claim Christianity and act so condescending, disrespectful, intimidating, and hateful to someone who wasn’t posing any harm? How dare they claim Christianity and act in such a way towards anybody? “They’re not Christians!” I said to myself. I was furious at them.
And I was furious that a lot of Christians in the U.S. and elsewhere act like this too, neglecting the hard work of turning the other cheek and instead choosing to follow the flesh. To indulge in hatred and retaliation. Of course, by indulging my own anger over this problem, I was doing the same thing as them. I was refusing to turn the other cheek for them. These unforgiving, unwelcoming Christians are following their demons instead of Christ, but my angry outburst was opening the door for demons of my own.
I got so angry, the devil managed to get me for awhile. “I don’t even want to be a Christian,” I said, “if these people think they’re Christians.” To be completely honest with you all, I was angry at God too, feeling as if we’ve been abandoned down here on a hell planet full of demons. Because everyday I see another video of someone suffering from demonic hatred, and unleashing their filthy hate on someone who’s different from them.
I started questioning why I don’t just follow the flesh too. Why not indulge my rage? Why not indulge my lust? What’s the point of walking in the spirit anyway? It doesn’t change anything in this world. Why take this harder route? Why not enjoy myself instead? Everyone else is doing it, why bother trying to show people anything different?
And I even thought, why follow God at all? Does He even care about what’s happening down here with all these demons inside of people?
Yes, I’m sorry to say that I really had a crisis of faith for a little bit. It’s unfortunate. But we all fall sometimes. The ugliness in the world today should not cause me to have a crisis of faith. Just the opposite—I should see it as confirmation of Scripture and let it strengthen my faith. Every day that goes by brings us one day closer to The End. But damn is it painful to watch. More painful all the time.
We Must Hurt to Grow … but how much?
I get so tired of seeing this hate. It’s not easy to turn the other cheek. We have a natural, human impulse to fight back when attacked. Overcoming that natural human impulse is harder than fighting back. Harder than fighting hatred with hatred. Overcoming that impulse is what Christ demands of us because He teaches us how to overcome our flesh and grow spiritually. So turning the other cheek might be better, but that doesn’t make it any easier to stomach. Every time we turn the other cheek in the face of hatred, in some way it’s like hurting ourselves.
We could say it’s like hurting ourselves to grow, or hurting our natural, fleshy selves to put on Christ, to put on our true spiritual selves. That doesn’t change the fact that it hurts. It hurts to turn the other cheek. It truly is mortification of the flesh. I understand that things worth doing aren’t easy but … damn! It hurts so much to turn the other cheek, there’s a limit to how much we can do it! We are only human, after all. Yes we’re spiritual beings, but we have the flesh too. We have our limits.
How much can we kill the natural selves? Can we really turn the other cheek forever?
Turning the other cheek isn’t something that gets easier every time we do it. It will always be difficult, and that’s why we have to work hard at it. We have to consciously think about it and avoid our immediate gut instinct, because our immediate instinct is usually to retaliate in any kind of confrontational situation.
And it will always hurt each time we do it. That’s OK, because we as Christians must stay focused on our spiritual growth and our promise for eternal life. We must accept our suffering here on earth during our physical lifetime. Our suffering here, no matter how painful, is temporary. Our eternal life will last forever. The sacrifice we make here on earth, the pain we endure, is worth it.
But to keep making this sacrifice, to keep doing violence to our natural selves by turning the other cheek, we need to take a break from time to time. We need to get with God in prayer and recharge. When we turn the other cheek to hatred, we need to practice a little self-love. We need to withdraw from the world for a bit, talk with Jesus in prayer and know that He loves us unconditionally, even if others hate us.
Rest up … We Need Our Strength
We need to take a break from turning the other cheek sometimes, for our own sake and our ability to keep going. And that doesn’t mean retaliating, it means self-love and recharging through prayer. Turning the other cheek is a spiritual exercise. Well we wouldn’t do physical exercises 24/7, would we? We all need a break.
Practicing physical austerity is good because it mortifies the flesh and boosts the spirit. I was fasting up until yesterday. I started Sunday, and had been planning to do it for a week (One Meal A Day [OMAD] fasting). But when I got triggered by the display of hate I saw, and I gave in to my own rage (my own flesh) in response, I knew I needed a break. “OK, this fast is over,” I said.
I knew I needed the physical, fleshy consolation of more than one meal a day to keep my head on straight and my emotions in check. The spiritual growth that fasting causes is amazing, but I knew that right now was not the time. I needed a break from my spiritual regimen. And so, I did. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the consolations of the flesh, physical pleasures. After all, God put these things here for us to enjoy. Overindulging in them with no moderation, and being driven by our pleasure seeking is where the problems start.
Anyway, I got out my blender and put some fruit in there. I made a fruit smoothie, and I enjoyed it. I sated an appetite of the flesh. But it did make me feel better. I ate some more after that too. And I felt better in general, less angry, not so hopeless. And I feel a lot better today, one day later. Stopping my fast was something I needed to do. It wasn’t weakness in this case, it was wisdom.
And this brings up an important point. If we’re going to endure to the end, if we’re going to uphold Christ’s teachings until the day He returns, we need to take good care of ourselves and each other. We must take a break when we need to. Especially while we still can, because as bad as 2020 has been so far, things will get worse. We need to take a break and rest physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Even God rested when He made the earth, so why do we so often try to take on too much, attempting to soldier on through a rough patch when what we need to do is slow down? These End Times are hard. They’re painful. We need to be at our best if we’re each going to make it. That means we need to take appropriate rests. That can mean physically resting, or it can mean resting from spiritual exercises such as fasting.
We’re in this for the long haul. It’s only going to get more difficult as time goes on. We need to be there for each other, support each other, and encourage each other to stay on this Christian walk. Christ is returning soon, yes, but “soon” is relative and it can mean years. **(And I know from an earlier dream I’ve had, which I talked about all the way back in Part 5, that this world will last until 2022 at the very least. Anything more than that I don’t know, of course.)
So to endure to the End, we need spiritual fortitude.
It’s going to be hard. But we have Christ on our side, of course, and He strengthens us when we’re weak. Let’s rely on Him, and rely on each other. We need to take good care of ourselves and each other if we’re going to endure to the End. It’ll be here sooner than we all think I’m sure. But it’ll take everything we have to make it through these terrible times. If we don’t properly rest, we won’t have the strength we need to keep going, and we’ll fall before it’s time.
It’s not easy to stay on that narrow path, but we know the promise and we know it’s worth it. It’s the only way! I’m sorry that my flesh, my rage got to me yesterday. For an hour or so I was even having a crisis of faith because these times are so painful and I feel alone. But none of us are alone, we can take all our troubles to Christ. I knew all these things, of course. It was always in the back of my head the whole time. But in the heat of my anger, I lost sight of all that.
It’s easy to lose sight of what we should know when our pain is great. It’s a very human tendency, to do that. Well, I guess we can only keep learning, improving, praying, and trying to do better, right?
If you’re feeling tired too, I don’t blame you at all. Take whatever kind of break you can. Remember to take good care of yourself and look after all aspects of your health. It won’t be easy to endure to the End, but it will surely be impossible if we don’t properly rest!
And that’s why I, as I’ve said in every post this week, will be going on vacation from this blog next week. Expect shorter, more minor updates while I relax a little and enjoy myself and nature. I’ll be back the week after to resume my normal content. See you then!
Well that’s all for this week. If you enjoyed today’s post, please be sure to Subscribe using the link below. And please consider Supporting My Blog using the Tip Jar. Any amount is much appreciated!
Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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