Feeling Overwhelmed?

Take Heart

By Vic Kohring, August 10, 2015

"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."  

~ Isaiah 43:2

While in the feds crosshairs during my final year in office as a state legislator, I was nearly overwhelmed. The FBI was hounding me and dishonest government lawyers were building a fraudulent case based on flimsy, almost nonexistent evidence that relied on their central witness lying on the stand. He lied to protect his family after they were threatened with decades in prison, but were instead given immunity from full prosecution.

Compounding things, I was in a car accident with my attorney and incurred injuries requiring spinal surgery, I was being sued for millions over a spurious personal injury matter at my rental house, my legal situation was bankrupting me, my home was being foreclosed on and my Russian wife filed for divorce (despite always being on great terms) out of fear that the government may also falsely implicate her, which could force her out of the country and separate her from her daughter. My life was crumbling around me. 

Many people face seemingly insurmountable problems in life - some a lot worse than mine - and may question why God subjects them to so much anguish, particularly Christians. But there is a reason and purpose from which good is ultimately revealed. Look at Job from the Bible, a man who led a prosperous and successful life, only to have it all taken away while God tested his faith. Yet he refused to turn against his creator and was blessed with even greater abundance and joy. Many Christians are tested the same as Job, myself included.

The Scriptures tell us that God will never leave nor forsake us, but also that He will never allow us to become overwhelmed even if our problems appear hopeless. The book of Isaiah discusses how the Lord shall renew our strength during times of trauma and keep us from becoming weary or faint. These powerful words helped me endure during my own "perfect storm" as I found myself pushed to the limit.  

My legislative staff assistant, attorney and long-time friend John Davies, a devout man of faith who witnessed first-hand my fight for survival, assured me that despite the enormous pressure I was experiencing from nearly all angles, God would never place more challenges before me than I could handle, that He would not abandon me and that good will eventually come from my trials, as with Job. Davies words were tough to accept at first as even a single one of my predicaments were distressing and enough to last a lifetime. Yet I was confronted with not one, but a multitude of grievous challenges. Davies added that in all of his years practicing law, he never witnessed a situation worse than mine.

I thank God that my faith never wavered, nor was I angry that He chose to put me through an ordeal which took nearly everything from me, short of my life. Disaster struck, I hit rock bottom and had nowhere to go but up. It would have been easy to give up when surrounded by such darkness as the ground trembled under my feet. But thanks to the support of many and my well-grounded Christian convictions, I forged ahead, refused to allow my spirit to be crushed and kept the faith that God's plan would be revealed someday as He prepares me for eternity. 

I encourage you likewise to be strong and maintain your faith during troublesome times. And if you're ever close to the breaking point as I was, take heart by remembering that God loves you, is there for you and will give you peace and comfort as you achieve victory over despair.