I've decided that as I mature with Christ and go deeper into his Word, I get sadder. As I have gotten deeper into a relationship with Christ I have become increasingly more aware of people around me. More and more I think of others instead of myself. More and more life becomes less about me and more about the lives of others. The sadness comes when the people around me are hurting. When the people I love are miserable, I am miserable with them. Sometimes it is bad choices, sometimes it is an illness that they have no control over. But, seeing the people I care about hurting makes me hurt, too. Lately, even seeing people I don't know hurting, hurts me too.
Here is a list of Satan's footholds that make people miserable whether they know it or not. These things keep them in bondage, tangled up and bound to Satan's schemes me:
Loved ones who do not believe that Jesus is the Savior.
Marriages in turmoil.
Christians who hold onto anger and bitterness and think they have the right to not forgive.
People who do not hold God in high regard in their speech and actions.
People who quit (whatever) and do not press through to the blessings on the other side.
People who follow whims and the changing tide-- not stable in what they do.
Action do not match words.
People who are selfish and don't think of another's point of view.
At times I am guilty of all of these, too. Thank the Lord for mercy and grace. I want what He has promised, not what I deserve.
I could choose to focus on my life, my circumstances, my needs and wants. It might make me hurt less if I were to do that. But, I choose to be concerned about others and go out of my way to help them. I choose to continually pray for them. I could say I don't have time because 'out of sight it out of mind' right? But Christ did not do that to me, he will not do that to me. He will intercede for me through all my shenanigans just as I will for others.
Even though I am sad Satan has a foothold in those around me (in area of my life too), I also have a deep well of joy. I have joy in every situation (even bad ones) because I know God will use all things for good. My prayer life has become stronger, deeper, and more frequent. I have become more forgiving and sympathetic to the situations people find them selves in. I trust in God more and more because I know and see Satan attack the 'weak-in-faith' and I know God conquers all. I read and study more.
Studying makes scripture fresh on my mind and during situations, scripture pops into my head. Here is a list of scripture that 'popped' in my head as I typed this:
Prov. 24:32 I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.
Matthew 6:14 If you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Romans 12:10 Honor others above yourself.
Phil 2:3 Consider others better than yourself.
Eph 4:27 Do not give Satan a foothold.
Romans 8:37 We are more than conquerors through him who loves us.
Heb 10:35 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.