“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” – Romans 7:15
Some people will say that when you are already a Christian, you shouldn’t feel depressed or frustrated for the joy of the Lord should be in you always. Many people will claim that whatever will happen, we should not have mental health problems for true Christians shouldn’t have that problem for God is the keeper of peace— in mental, emotional and physical. However, this is not true at all for some part. Indeed Jesus the keeper of peace and that God gives peace that transcends all understanding but we should remember that this peace is not an absence of war but it is a peace during our thoughts wage war and peace even when we lose control. People should not marginalize Christianity and mental peace because all of our feelings are valid.
There is nothing wrong with depression or getting frustrated because in fact, our verse today is all about Paul being frustrated. The battle within is one of the hardest battles a person must face. A battle with oneself is draining, tiring and sometimes motivates you to give up. Paul was feeling the same thing, there was battle within him. He even wrote it in present tense meaning, it was during that time, it was a present battle— an inner battle he has to fight during the time that he is already a Christian.
This verse denotes confusion and frustration. Paul was very confused and was struggling because he doesn’t understand why he is still sinning. He doesn’t understand that he was already cleansed and saved by Christ but he still sins even if he doesn’t want to. Therefore, indeed, our feelings are valid for Paul felt it too. In fact, the moment we became Christians and the moment we accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, it was the start of the unending battle within us.
We are sinful by nature and we always crave for sin. Our flesh will always delight in sin and despise righteousness. However, as we receive Jesus and believe in Him, the Holy Spirit is within us, giving us new nature and cleansing us. So, our sinful nature is battling against the new creation God has put inside us because once we become a Christian, God gives us the delight in following Him, in walking in truth and holiness and in obeying Him but our flesh is contradicting this.
Indeed, the battle within us is very real and is always happening everyday. We fight against our sinful nature for we know that we only want to glorify God in our actions but this sinful nature is stopping us. As what Paul said, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” This is just indeed a very struggling position. We do not understand what we do because there is something we want to do but still we don’t do it but there is something we hate yet we keep on doing.
Paul is referring to sinning. As Christians, it is natural for us to delight in God’s Will and to always want to do His will but still, we fail to obey Him because we instead do what we hate to do because of this sinful nature inside us. Indeed this is very confusing and frustrating. Therefore, we cannot say and judge Christians who are depressed and struggling because a Christian life is not just rainbows and flowers.
Let us be mindful of everything and always remember that all our feelings are valid. If we are depressed, sad, frustrated, angry, paranoid or even bipolar, it is because we are fighting an internal battle. We are fighting to keep what God commanded us to do and we are fighting against our very own nature so we cannot blame ourselves for being depressed or frustrated.
Christians who are struggling are really factual and even Paul can testify to do that. It is true that we have a battle within— a battle we need to win with the help of Jesus Christ. We must always remember that Jesus did not promise us life without problems, trials and battles inside the moment we accepted Him, but He promised to always be there and to make sure that we win those fights. Again, our feelings are valid so don’t let other people tell you otherwise.
This is not your fault but it is our sinful nature’s fault why we do what we do not do instead of doing what we want to do. God clearly understands this and He knew that it will be so hard for our nature to accept this, so that is why He has given us His Scriptures to guide, to help, renew and restore us everyday. He has given us the Holy Spirit so that He will be able to cleanse us everyday by the blood of Christ every time we fall short of His glory again. So don’t feel ashamed or bad that you are still sinning and you are already a Christian, instead rejoice because God’s grace is sufficient and that He promised to be with us in every step of the way.
Let us always remember to hold on to His promise and to never lose hope. We must remember that our feelings are valid and that we can feel bad, frustrated and depressed because it is indeed draining to always fight a battle within. Let us encourage one another for everyone is really struggling inside. May we always be gentle to everyone who has these struggles and always remember to meditate on God’s Word for this is where we will find our strength. God is always there to restore us and to replenish our strength. He doesn’t invalidate our feelings, but He understands these and will give us more strength. Jesus Christ died on the cross for us so that we will be clothed in perfect righteousness but He knew that we will be struggling that is why He left us His Word. Therefore, let us meditate on it day and night so that we will always face a brand new day— restored, renewed, cleansed, strengthened and ready to fight another battle within.
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