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The Pilgrims Progress discuss soul searching in the The Christian Walk forums; I don't really know how to start this, so here it goes. All my life I have viewed two things as constants: God (and his ...

  1. #1
    calvinistkid is offline. Inactive User
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    soul searching

    I don't really know how to start this, so here it goes. All my life I have viewed two things as constants: God (and his church) and my family. Over the past year, it seems that both have been stripped away. First my parents split up. My church stepped in to try to resolve the conflict, and handled it very poorly. My mother ended up fleeing my church and is now attending the only other reformed church I felt comfortable attending. Because of the conflict, I now feel uncomfortable at BOTH churches, and no longer attend. My mother has told me she doubts my faith. I doubt my faith. I don't see God's hand in any of this, and on top of it all, I have had experiences I can only write off as demonic. All my life, my faith has been my identity. Now I don't know who I am. Pray for me.
    Leon Eubanks
    not currently attending


    -I shoot squirrels with guns and eat them in tacos.-
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  2. #2
    Ianterrell is offline. Inactive User
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    I will.
    Ian Brown
    Attending Messiah's Covenant Community Church.
    Student at Hunter College CUNY

  3. #3
    a mere housewife's Avatar
    a mere housewife is offline. Not your cup of tea
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    Leon, I'll pray for you. I remember when I no longer had any concept behind the word "faith". I'm very sad that the d.evil is using all of these hard circumstances to get at you. But Christ does pray for us, that our faith fails not; and His prayers are always answered. It's always through groaning and travailing that we are made new. It's in this time when you're stripped of almost faith itself that the [i:21675fc8af]object[/i:21675fc8af] of your faith is most important. And I think that is what real faith is: clinging to the last thing left to us, God Himself, and finding that What we are clinging to has been clinging to us all along, and that "even if we believe not, yet He abides faithful: He cannot deny Himself."
    Some of the advice that was given to me was to saturate myself in every available means of grace. You won't "want" to, and the d.evil won't want you to, either; and he's not going to lie down nicely about it. But it's what you really need. Also, don't waste energy looking at yourself and trying to figure yourself out right now. We are not those pure and lovely things God tells us to think about, and we're not ready to face ourselves until we're steeped in Him.

    "Rejoice not against me, O my enemy:
    When I fall, I shall arise:
    When I sit in darkness,
    The LORD shall be a light unto me."
    Micah 7:8

    How is your sister?

    [Edited on 6-11-2004 by a mere housewife]
    Heidi
    Steger, IL

    'I cannot live like Jesus, example though he be
    For he was strong and selfless, and I am tied to me.
    But I have asked my Jesus to live his life in me . . .
    Behold his warm, his tangible, his dear humanity.'
    -Betty Stam

  4. #4
    Irishcat922 is offline. Inactive User
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    Leon,
    Hang in there Bro. I went through some struggles a couple of years ago, not to different than yours. The one thing that really got me through it was meditating alot on who i was in Christ. I found as many positional scriptures as I could and commited them to memory and meditated on them all the time. The two scriptures that probably helped me most were;

    Matt. 28:18b All Authority is given to me in heaven and on earth. and
    Matt. 28:20b And, lo I am with you allways even to the end of the world.

    It was a constant reminder to me that Christ was in control, and that no matter what happens in my life he is always there with me.

    I'm praying for you.
    Sean Jones
    Covenant Presbyterian Church OPC
    Fort Worth Texas

    Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of Truth.
    2Timothy 2:15

  5. #5
    sastark's Avatar
    sastark is offline. Puritanboard Graduate
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    Leon,

    I have prayed for you and will continue to do so.

    A feel a little unqualified to speak to your specific issues, but I can tell you, I know, first hand, what it is like to be mistreated by the "church". I've been there. It sucks. And yet, God is still there. He is putting you through every single one of these events for a reason. ("And we know that [b:3e6c33dab2]all things[/b:3e6c33dab2] work together [b:3e6c33dab2]for good to those who love God[/b:3e6c33dab2], to those who are the called according to His purpose." Rom. 8:28).

    There was some good advice given, when some one said not to look to yourself, but to God. Everytime I focus on myself, I become discouraged. I am a horrible sinner. I can't do anything right. I bear no fruit. Why in the world would God waste His time with me? And yet, He has told us "I will never leave you nor forsake you." (Heb. 13:5). Do you feel as though God has abandoned you? I assure you, this is not the case. ""What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and [b:3e6c33dab2]one[/b:3e6c33dab2] of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to [b:3e6c33dab2]seek the one[/b:3e6c33dab2] that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish." (Matt. 18:12-14).

    And also, "he calls his own sheep by name" (John 10:3). Leon, God knows you. He is working all things for your good. I know it is hard, if not impossible, to see right now, but God's Word can never be broken and He has said this.

    One more word of encouragement: "Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us." (Romans 8:34) and "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32).

    Only Christ can condemn us. How could he condemn those for whom he died? Christ died for you, Leon. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).

    Despite all the doctrine we discuss on this board, this simple truth remains: "Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." (Romans 10:13).

    Call out to him. He will hear, and He will answer.

    God bless you, Leon!
    Seth Stark
    Member, Grace Presbyterian Church (OPC), Springfield, IL (though I live in Decatur, IL)

    (Formerly Ruling Elder, Communion Presbyterian Church (ARP), Irvine, CA)
    M.A. Science and Religion, Biola University
    The Ruling Elder Blog
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  6. #6
    Joshua is offline. _
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    [quote:35768bf294][i:35768bf294]Originally posted by calvinistkid[/i:35768bf294]
    I don't really know how to start this, so here it goes. All my life I have viewed two things as constants: God (and his church) and my family. Over the past year, it seems that both have been stripped away. First my parents split up. My church stepped in to try to resolve the conflict, and handled it very poorly. My mother ended up fleeing my church and is now attending the only other reformed church I felt comfortable attending. Because of the conflict, I now feel uncomfortable at BOTH churches, and no longer attend. My mother has told me she doubts my faith. I doubt my faith. I don't see God's hand in any of this, and on top of it all, I have had experiences I can only write off as demonic. All my life, my faith has been my identity. Now I don't know who I am. Pray for me. [/quote:35768bf294]

    Leon, I can't really empathize with you, b/c I've not been in such a situation. I am saddened by the news of your parents' split-up.

    You said, "I don't see God's hand in any of this..."

    Have there been not much any other times that you haven't seen God's hand in the situation. I'm very sorry for what you're experiencing, but it's these things that build perseverance in the believer.

    "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."--James 1

    I am by no means playing down your experience, b/c, like I said, I've not been there, nor do I want to go there. However, just think about some biblical examples of believers.

    Poor Job. He went through a lot at God's initiative. Satan did not come to God asking to test and tempt Job. God said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job?" So God made it happen of His own desire. Satan got involved because of God's initiation of such. As we know, Job went through hell on earth. And even though all that took place was not because of Job's sin, God still did not answer Job's "whys", and in fact said, "Brace yourself" and proceeded to give Job some hard sayings.

    Consider Hosea. He had to marry and stay faithful to a woman that prostituded herself continually. Ouch.

    You said, "All my life, my faith has been my identity. Now I don't know who I am. "

    Don't have faith in your faith, have faith in the Object (Christ) of your faith. Remember, even faith is a gift given by God, not something inherently within. I will pray for you.

    Meanwhile, get back into Church and under the preaching of the Word. Examine yourself under the scrutiny of Scripture.

    Praying for your soul.
    Josh
    CCRPC, RPCGA

  7. #7
    JonathonHunt Guest
    Fear not! I am with thee O be not dismayed!
    I, I am thy God and will still give thee aid
    I'll strengthen thee, help thee and cause thee to stand
    Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand!

    When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie
    My grace all-sufficient shall be thy supply
    The flame shall not hurt thee, I only design
    Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine!

    The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose
    I will not, I will not desert to its foes
    That soul, though all hell should endeaviour to shake
    I'll never, no never, no never forsake!

    From 'How firm a foundation', 'k' in Dr John Rippon's selection.

    Do not lose heart Leon. Lean on the Rock with all your might. Praying for you!


    Jonathan

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