"What do you do when you believe even God has abandoned you?"
I looked into the face of the man who asked me that question. Tears were running down his cheeks, and his eyes were filled with anguish and shame.
His question shattered my heart.
It is a myth that being in ministry means you will never have difficult seasons or feel lonely. All ministers and leaders get hurt and feel alone at times. It is nothing to be ashamed of, nor is it a sign of weakness. It is, however, something we can and must fight against with the power of the Holy Spirit.
Everyone has a desire to belong, to fit in somewhere and feel valuable. We were made for relationship, for community. We each have a created purpose to fulfill and an innate desire to fulfill it. When we feel isolated from others or struggle to affect positive change around us, it just feels wrong. If the situation doesn't improve, it can be an open door for the enemy to bring discouragement, despair, and eventually, bitterness.
While depression and the trauma of abandonment are deeper concerns that must be dealt with over time, healing from loneliness and hurt can begin, as always, with the truth. In this case, it is the truth that you belong to Jesus.
Reminding yourself that you belong to the Almighty God of heaven and earth will motivate you through any trial or tribulation. Because I belong to Jesus, I am loved, secure, safe and able to live out my purpose and calling. When I choose to belong to God, it takes the pressure away from needing to belong in a certain social group, the biggest ministry or the workplace.
Knowing I belong to Christ through every circumstance, that in all things He is there to comfort me and provide for me, is what brings me abundant joy in a world that so often tries to drown us in a sea of anxiety and loneliness.
It may seem overly simplistic, but meditating on this source of belonging—the source of belonging—is highly effective. I learned the impact of confessing this truth years ago as a way of dealing with hurt, challenge, sickness or financial crisis, and it has never let me down.
Every day, these words come out of my heart: "I belong to You, Jesus."
In hurt, I declare, "I belong to You."
In challenges, I declare, "I belong to You."
In sickness, I declare, "I belong to You."
In financial crisis, I declare, "I belong to You."
On good days and tough days, I declare, "I belong to You."
When my family is doing great or falling apart, I declare, "I belong to You."
In school, business, church or anywhere else I can declare, "I belong to You."
When I affirm those life-giving words, God stirs up new, powerful strength and peace in me. The more I say it, the more I believe it. The more firmly I believe it, the more the truth transforms me and shapes how I view my life, relationships and ministry.
I know this will work for you too. Humor me here and try it. Wherever you are as you read this, close your eyes and declare, "Jesus, I belong to You." Repeat it over and over again in your spirit until you feel at peace or feel released to move on. Make this a habit, and it will buoy you up in even the direst of circumstances.
You are never alone. You belong to a loving Father, and He will see you through to every victory in life! Trust in Him. Rest in knowing you belong to Him, and allow that truth to fill your spirit and change your heart and life.
You're beautiful. I see Jesus in you.
Have an awesome week!
Mikel French has challenged spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with the book of hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide soul-winning celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor's conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia's 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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