More than once during my lifetime have I lost a job. And more than once—although I was still a relatively young man—did I let Satan feed me the lie that I would never work again.
For anyone who has ever lost a job, you know what I'm talking about, right? One of the first things that pop into your mind is, Wow, what am I going to do now? I thought I would be employed at that company for as long as I wanted to be. How am I going to support my family now?
And there's the devil, ever vigilant, feeding your mind with thoughts: No company is going to want you now. If you're not good enough to work there, you're not good enough to work anywhere. If you do happen to get a job, it's going to take you forever.
It's simply too late for you. It's over. You're done. What hope is there for you?
For a while, I actually believed that and thought I would never be gainfully employed again, that my career was finished and it was too late for me to make a difference again.
Hogwash. With God, it's never too late.
The last time I lost my job was a little more than four years ago, when I was 45. Only this time, I didn't buy into Satan's deception. I trusted God and, in less than three months, I became employed at Charisma Media. It's the best and most satisfying job I've ever held and the best company I've ever worked for, which includes NASCAR and International Speedway Corporation.
Instead of giving in to Satan's lies, I choose to believe the words of Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, whom I will write about in my next column, from his new book, Be Light: "No life is beyond hope, because no life is beyond the reach of a loving, forgiving, redeeming God."
A Widow Regains Her Son
My pastor, Ed Garvin, recently delivered a sermon centering on Luke 7:11-15, in which Jesus and His disciples encountered a widow near the town of Nain on her way to bury her one and only son. The woman was crying, obviously distraught over losing a second member of her immediate family.
As the son was carried out of the city toward the cemetery for burial, "the Lord saw her (the widow) and had compassion on her and said to her, 'Do not weep'" (Luke 7:13).
The woman must have thought, Is he kidding? Does He know what I've been through?
But then, "He came and touched the open coffin and those who carried him stood still. And He said, 'Young man, I say to you arise.' So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother."
Imagine what the widow thought when she saw her son raised from the dead. Probably the same thing that went through Mary's and Martha's heads when they witnessed their brother, Lazarus, emerge from his tomb.
Obviously, with God, it's never too late. It wasn't too late for the thief on the cross, was it? My grandfather accepted Jesus on his deathbed, praise God!
"Never doubt that God sees your pain," Pastor Garvin says. "Jesus was a man on a mission, but on His way to where He was going, He made many stops and showed compassion on many people. The love that is in Him compels him to act. It may not come in the timetable that you want or expect, but He does see your pain and He does care. And He will move."
In God's eyes, you are never too far gone in any situation. The word "deceived" paints a picture of a person who believes a lie to be the truth. According to Revelation 12:9, "Satan is a deceiver" and "he practices his deception in many realms" (Spiritual Warfare Bible).
In his book Hell's Spells, Pastor Jim Raley write:, "Satan and his band of demons are obsessed with influencing and affecting the individual lives of everyday people. The longer I've lived, the more I've come to realize that the devil has a scheme, but God has a plan. Satan will and is doing everything he can to thwart the plan of God for your life. ... Satan is pure evil. He exists and is supremely dedicated to this unholy cause."
So don't you dare listen to the lies of the devil and let him tell you that you're too far gone when life situations like these arise:
- When I've messed up so badly that no one in my family will talk to me
- When my employment history includes some jobs that saw me get fired for various reasons
- When I'm so far in debt that I believe it would take three lifetimes to dig me out
- When I can't go an hour without taking a drink of alcohol or popping a pill to kill the pain
- When the doctor diagnoses me with a disease and says there's nothing he can do for me
- When I believe God will never have anything to do with someone like me
Have you ever felt this way or do you know of anyone who feels this way right now? I ask you to please share this column with them. They just might need to hear these encouraging words.
With God, it's never too late. Remember what God's Word says, "In Him we have redemption through His blood and the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace" (Eph. 1:7, MEV).
Through His shed blood, we are indeed worthy.
And as I always like to say, "there is that."
Shawn A. Akers is the online managing editor at Charisma Media. He is a published poet and published a story about Dale Earnhardt in NASCAR Chicken Soup for the Soul. You can read his blog here. To sign up for his newsletter, "Step Out of the Boat," and other Charisma newsletters, click here. You can also listen to his podcasts, the Javelin Sports Show, on the Charisma Podcast Network.
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