What to Do When You Hit the Lowest Point in Your Life

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You and I can be brought low by many things in life. We can be humbled by our own actions or hurt by the actions of others. We can be broken by what seems like a random series of events, but nothing in life is random. C.S. Lewis once said, “God allows us to experience the low points in life in order to teach us lessons that we could learn in no other way.

Jeremiah the Prophet spent his entire life and ministry moving from one low point to another. He proclaimed God’s Word in Judah for 40 years and no one ever listened to him. He was repeatedly rejected and plotted against. At one point, Jeremiah was even thrown in He was thrown into a muddy pit and left to die. No wonder Jeremiah is known as “The Weeping Prophet” (Jeremiah 9:1).

You may be able to identify with Jeremiah’s experience in the muddy pit. You feel like you are the lowest point in your life. You are confused, lonely, and afraid.

There’s hope! Jeremiah made it out his pit and you can too. If you read about Jeremiah’s life before and after the muddy pit, you can discover three ways of escape.

Jeremiah was thrown into a dried out well because he was encouraging the Jews to surrender to the Babylonians who had laid siege to the city of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 38). Some of the city officials were disturbed by Jeremiah’s messages and complained about him to the king. King Zedekiah was a weak leader and allowed the city officials to do whatever they wanted to Jeremiah. The officials were afraid to kill a prophet directly, so they lowered him into an unusable well and left him to die. When Ebed-Melech, another city official, heard about what happened to Jeremiah, he went to the king and pleaded for the prophet’s life. Ebed-Melech made a harness of worn-out rags and rescued Jeremiah from the well with the help of 30 other men. Jeremiah continued to deliver God’s Word even after he made it out of the lowest point in his life.

Jeremiah’s experience in the muddy pit reveals three ways of escaping your own low points in life. One way is obvious from the story itself and two more are implied from Jeremiah’s life.

1. Accept help from your friends.

If can feel pretty lonely struggling through a low point in your life, even if it’s not your fault. Even though you feel alone, you are probably not the only person who has ever dealt with your particular problem. Even if you are, you have people around you who care about you and want to help.

In my experience, those who really need help tend to resist it because of pride or privacy. Some people know how to give help others but don’t know how to receive it. Ecclesiastes  4:9-10 is helpful here: “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up” (NASB).

2. Remember your calling (Jeremiah 1:1-19)

The first chapter of Jeremiah records his calling from God. Jeremiah was marked out at an early age for what seemed like an impossible ministry. Jeremiah was used by God to call the nation of Israel to repentance. Even though the Jews never responded, God never left Jeremiah’s side.

No matter who you are, God has a calling on your life too. First and foremost, you have been called to salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9, 4:1). If you are a follower of Jesus, you have also been called to spiritual growth and Christian service (1 Peter. 1:15). You may also be called to ministry leadership or specific ministry assignment (Luke 5:1-11). Jeff Iorg’s book, Is God Calling Me, is a great resource for assessing your calling. Jeff Iorg’s book, Is God Calling Me? is a great resource for assessing your calling.

3. Trust God’s plan (Jeremiah 29:10-14)

Later, God gave Jeremiah a message for the Jews who experienced their own low points while in exile in Babylon. Jeremiah told them to make the most of their lives because God is still in control. He encouraged them to rest easy knowing God still had a plan for their future. The prophet also urged them to anticipate a time when you would have a personal relationship with God.

God has a plan for your life just like He had a plan for Jeremiah and the Children of Israel. Your challenges and struggles may be unique to you, but they aren’t a surprise to God. Trusting God and his plan is one of the surest ways of escaping the low points of life.

Like Jeremiah, you or someone you know may be stuck in a muddy pit. Not only has God provided a way of escape, but He also wants to use the experience to teach you some lessons that you cannot learn on solid ground.

 

We’re Headed to Ashland KY, and Unity Baptist Church!

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It has been a long journey, but my family and I are finally headed home – to our new home in Ashland KY.  This past Sunday, August 10, Unity Baptist Church voted to make me their next Senior Pastor.  We are thrilled that God has made His will so clear and given us such a strong, loving, and prayerful church family.

As we prepare to make our move, I would like to express my gratitude to the people and organizations that helped and encouraged us along the way.  I appreciate that Billy Yates and Alan Brady from Pedal Power Bike Shop let me live my childhood dream by building and selling bicycles.    I am thankful for the people at Central Baptist Church in Paris and Cornerstone Baptist Church in Lexington who loved and accepted my family and allowed me to serve them as an interim pastor.  I wouldn’t have made it through this transition without the help support I received from Paul Chitwood, Karl Babb, and the rest of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, Ronny Raines from First Baptist Church Bradfordville FL,  and Ron Edmondson from Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington  In addition, David Stokes has been invaluable, even before he became the Executive Director of the Elkhorn Baptist Association (soon to be the Central Kentucky Network of Baptists).  I also need to mention Kevin Milburn, Senior Pastor of Union Baptist Church, for being such a good friend and counselor.

Thank you again, everybody, for all your thoughts, well wishes, and prayers.  We have some of the best friends and family in the world!  We are excited to see what God has in store in Ashland.  If you are ever in eastern Kentucky, stop in and visit us.  We’d be glad to have you.

Are You Called?

5-Phone-Calls-That-Saved-Me-100I think one of the reasons that believers fail to live like missionaries is because they don’t feel “called.”  Pastors and missionaries are the ones who are called, everyone is else is just along for the ride.  That is simply not true.  God has called all of his children to salvation in Christ.  He has called everyone so they might walk in “good works” (Ephesians 2:10).

In Ephesians 3:1-13, Paul reflects on his calling to ministry as an apostle to Gentiles and in doing so gives us some very helpful instructions for understanding and fulfilling our own calling.  In Paul’s reflection we learn that God’s call is always personal.  He has a place for you to serve that only you can fill.  We also learn that God’s call is always timely, His plan for you may be redirected or refined over time, but his timing is always right.  Finally we learn that God’s call is always clear.   Not only will He show you what He has called you to, He will also show you how to fullfulling your calling.

Where has God called you to serve?