[This post is excerpted from Chapter 3 of From Heartache to Healing: Finding Power in Christ to Deal with a Loved One’s Sexual Addiction by Colleen C. & Philip A. Harrison.]
Coming to Know the Unfailing Love of God, Even in the Darkest Times
There are so many ways that the adversary is literally drowning the human family in lies in this day and age. We can hardly get through an hour of our day without something discouraging and disheartening bombarding our hearts and minds with negative thoughts. Thanks to our modern media and technology, the whole world has become the equivalent of a tiny village where we can hear (almost instantly) about enough sad, traumatic things to last a life-time! And then, to find out that the influence of the adversary has reached right into the heart of our marriages and our lives–it is enough to crush every hope we have. And that is exactly what he is working for and planning on—to convince us that life isn’t worth living.
The only thing that saved me from this lie when I was going through the darkest times in my first marriage was coming to the Savior, personally and directly—the way Alma the Younger did in Alma 36:17-18.
I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.
Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.
Of course, in Alma’s case he was suffering for his own sins, but the truth is that sin–no matter who commits it—has the potential to drag us all down into the “gall of bitterness” and the “everlasting chains of death,” unless we can turn to the Savior and call on Him for salvation.
As I went through those terrible, dark years, there was only one way and means by which I could find “rest to my soul,” and that was by establishing my faith securely on the Lord Jesus Christ Himself—not just on being a member of His true Church. Membership and activity alone were not enough to save me. I needed Him. I needed to come to the veil and converse with Him, sometimes every hour, in order to receive His Spirit and His guidance about what He would have me do each day.
It was also during this time that I was delivered from Satan’s lie that God is a stern and punitive being who will not bless me if I am in any way “unworthy” or unfaithful in my own thoughts and actions. I was so grateful to learn, instead, that my Heavenly Father and my Savior are both “big” enough and spiritually secure enough to handle my anger and bitterness, even if, in the midst of my pain, I direct it toward Them. I have learned by my own experience that literally nothing can separate me from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39).
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