All the Feels // Defeated

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Have you, like me, struggled to find God in the midst of your adversity? Wondered if God had your back when a coworker talked about you behind your back, without any repercussions. Or if He saw when an unfair situation made you out to be the bad guy. Or maybe asked “where are You” when you have felt alone in your troubles.

Even though we read in the Bible that God is our Defender and Protector, we may wonder if He is really there. Questioned if He’ll come to our rescue. Because sometimes it seems the bad guy gets away while we hurt. Or see no justice immediately. How do we know God has our back when the going gets tough?

Psalm 108:13 is a basic but powerful reminder that with God there is victory over our enemies.

With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.

Know that Jesus has the victory and that nothing in this world can overcome you when you are in him and the victory is his! God is with you in different situations and in different ways, even if you may not feel it or see it. Let's look at a few examples.

For When You Feel Alone

Sometimes we can go through trials and wonder if God has abandoned us for better things to do or other people to care for. I’ve felt that many times and in my loneliness cried out to God for some glimpse of Him. I want you to know that we’ve all felt that--you are not alone.

Even the great figure Mother Teresa felt distance from God. She once wrote:

[But] as for me--The silence and the emptiness is so great--that I look and do not see,--Listen and do not hear.

What I hope to leave you with today is a promise that will carry you in your loneliness and trial. You might feel as though God has left you in your low point, but know that He hasn’t done so at all. Look at what He tells us in Isaiah 43:

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze...Do not be afraid, for I am with you.

Let those words soak in for a moment. Take in the precious words of the Father and know that even when you go through your greatest struggles, God is with you. He cares for you.

Perhaps there will be times He seems far off but we must take heart there is a reason we emotionally feel distant. There is purpose in everything God does. No experience, emotion, or trial goes wasted. He is working good on your behalf. When you do feel this way, however, carry with you the promise that God is with you and He is working, even if you can’t see Him.

For When You Wonder If He Has Your Back

Nehemiah was a godly man who set out to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. His work was noble and his heart pure. Yet, people came against him in opposition. People taunting him and setting out to thwart his work. They ridiculed and insulted him even though he was doing good.

Sometimes you might feel bullied; perhaps your name is being dragged through the mud. I’ve experienced this and know how it feels. To have a good heart and do the right thing, only to unknowingly push a button in someone who then goes and does harm to your character. I also know what it’s like to not feel comfortable to share with someone what happened because the person is respected and looked up to at work. So in silence you feel hurt and betrayed, wondering how people will see you. But you did nothing wrong and you want to believe that God will take up your cause. That He will defend your character. Yet the person gets away with it. You’re left wondering how someone could get away with doing wrong while you get hurt int he process.

Will God show up? Will God defend my name?

Nehemiah’s response to the unjust treatment towards him wasn’t to go back to Artaxerxes and complain about Sanballet, the man who was taunting him. Or to confront with threats or defense. Nehemiah’s response was to pray and continue working on the wall.

When you are being bullied or treated unfairly, your instinct might be to get back at the person by smearing their name or to defend yourself by pointing blame, or many other options that seem fair.

The best thing you can do is pray and keep doing the good work God has called you to. Not to get sidetracked by discouragement from others; that’s exactly what the enemy wants. You keep doing the good and right thing and let God worry about the other person’s treatment of you. Maybe you’ll see Him publicly come to your defense but maybe you won’t. Either way, trust God to work all things out for good!

I want to leave you with three verses you can carry with you to remind you that God is with you and will take up your cause:

God is just and fair.

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
— Deuteronomy 32:4

God is a shield and safe.

I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies.
— Psalm 18:1-3

God fights for you.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.
— Exodus 14:14