Thursday, July 5

faithims: hannah singer

why do people continue to struggle with sin
when they know and love Jesus? 


hello. my name is hannah.
i was converted just before i turned nineteen.

before that, my life was easy.

actually it was despicable and depressing. rife with inward and outward contempt and disrespect for god and his word.
but it was easy, because i wasn't at war with sin. i embraced my sin. i loved it.

once the lord began working on my hard heart, i started to see my sin for what it was. my sin bothered me.
this made my life miserable. until the lord drew me to himself, once and for all. and i surrendered my life to him.
i was no longer my own, i became his. adopted into his kingdom, forever.

i have been crucified with christ.
it is no longer i who live, but christ who lives in me.
and the life i now live in the flesh i live by faith in the son of god,
who loved me and gave himself for me.
{galatians 2:20}

i'm soon coming up on thirteen years as a redeemed, blood-bought daughter of christ.
but i am still a sinner. and sometimes it takes a hold in my heart,  and i forget the price that was paid for my life.

why is that?
why do i still sin?

i am human. the end.

not really.
here are my thoughts:

i mentioned that my life was easy before christ, because my sin didn't concern me.
things are more tricky for me now that i know the lord and his ways. with my new heart,
i recognize things that offend jesus more easily and strive to keep from becoming entangled by them.

in jeremiah 17 we read about the one who trusts the lord being like a tree,
planted by the river, rooted in christ. no fear and anxiety for harm
"that does not cease to bear fruit"...such a beautiful, hopeful picture, yes?

are you familiar with the very next verse?

"the heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick; who can understand it?"

maybe you're like me, and don't love reading that one quite as much. but it's there, y'all. truth.
this is the state of our hearts. we will always be bent toward sin apart from the grace of god.
because our  hearts are wicked, we sin. sometimes we even seek out sin.

loss and defeat often lead me toward depression if i don't run and cling to christ,
laying that burden full on him to bear. when i am in that state? i fall.
sadly, i even know exactly what i'm doing. {like this time or this sin battle i fight now.}
but sometimes, it's like i am completely disassociated from myself while i'm sinning!

a few years ago, i experienced hardship after hardship. at first i responded with trust in christ to heal my hurts and bring joy.
then i was surprised that my grief was making a home in my heart. i hadn't expected to be in pain as long as i was.
this made me feel hopeless. i was tired of fighting it, you know?

it was actually easier to feel hopeless than to fight for joy.

one day at work, i was caught stealing from my employer, by my employer.
a shock came over me that i don't think i'd ever known or have known since. what the heck am i doing?
is what i kept asking myself over and over in my mind. as my boss, and the other owners of the company, 
led me to a private office, it was like i woke up from a foggy senseless sleep.
i had been stealing for months.
and while i knew i was doing it, i sorta didn't know at the same time.
i'd never thought about it, never told my husband, and mostly spent the money immediately.
what kind of crazy person am i?
this cannot be happening. how is this happening? i am a horrible wife.
a horrible daughter, sister and friend. and i am going to jail.

it was happening. and i think it was happening because i hadn't been having much/any time in the word on my own.
but i was a great small group leader, worship team singer, youth group helper
and otherwise faithful and long-time employee at my job...
who needs the word when they're so wonderful?!

i was caught taking what didn't belong to me.
i was presented with my sin, i felt completely exposed, naked before that room full of my bosses.
who also happened to be my friends. that i love.

i believe that repentance and self-defense cannot coexist.

and i am grateful to god that he granted me a broken heart right then. i didn't try to explain it away,
i admitted all to my bosses and asked their forgiveness. and i asked jesus to forgive me.
i was possibly facing frightening consequences, yet i felt as free as the day jesus rescued me and called me to himself.
i was right with christ again, so my fear was gone.
the lord was gracious, he gave my bosses huge love and mercy toward me. i became right with the lord, through some amazing biblical counseling and spending time daily with jesus on my own. it took two years to pay back all i had stolen. and every time i sent money, i included the scripture that was my focus to steer clear of being a thief again:
"let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands,
so that he may have something to share with anyone in need." {ephesians 4:28}
hear that? we can't just stop sinning. we must replace it with god-glorifying!

i don't struggle with even wanting to steal now. but temptation to sin in other ways is always near.

for me, i have noticed that even greater temptation presents itself to me right after some "mountain top" experience.
i think i sometimes slip into the mindset of being above the means of grace.
like i don't need jesus as much,
because i am now so spiritually mature in some area.

and even though i love jesus. even though i have been having some excellent time in his word?
the struggle with sin, the battle for my affections is ever-present.

because i have a heart of flesh. my nature is to sin. and because i am being sanctified. not sanctified already.

j.c. ryle says:
"sanctification requires growth and is present in differing degrees. 
a man may climb from one step to another in holiness
and be far more sanctified at one period of his life than another."

one area of sin can be defeated, and maybe once and for all, but we will never stop sinning until we see jesus in glory.
as believers, we are not sinless, rather we ought to sin less.
like paul says in romans 7, we are at war with our bodies!
our souls delight in god and his word, but our hearts are wretched a self-seeking.

friends. fighting sin is hard. it's painful and tiresome. but fight it we must!

"it is a fair assumption to make that god
would not send his servants to fight with shoddy armor.
but if we neglect to put on our armor each and every day
that we go forth into this world, we have only ourselves to blame
if we are badly wounded and almost killed."
{maurice roberts, the christian's high calling}

i want to encourage you. if you struggle with sin so much that you are questioning your security in christ, fear not.
if you are struggling, that is a good thing! press on!
if you didn't struggle, were not grieved and troubled by your sin,
then i would venture to say you may not know christ. or have certainly neglected communion with him!
sin is seen clearly when we abide in christ. sin cannot live where jesus lives.
seeing your sin, being troubled by it, that is the best start ever to becoming free from its grasp!

ask the lord to help you.
every ding dang day. ask him!
when you fall? get back up. and get back up again.
jesus knows we are weak, he delights in being our strength. his grace can never be used up!

take a look at your life. and if there is sin, turn from it right now.
john owen said "be killing sin, or it will be killing you".

if you cannot come to jesus with a broken heart, come to him for a broken heart.

{if you have questions, or wish to discuss anything more in depth, email me!}


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you can find hannah here:
blog | twitter

35 comments:

  1. I am blessed just by having read your testimony.

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    1. so glad. thanks for reading, comeca! xo

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  2. one word. WOW.

    Hannah, you are an AMAZING testament to God & his overwhelming love for all of us! Thank you for sharing this!

    I am blessed by you. xoxo

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    1. god is GOOD. amen, overwhelming is his love.

      love you! xo

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  3. if you cannot come to jesus with a broken heart, come to him for a broken heart.

    powerful... powerful stuff!
    thanks for sharing, hannah.
    you are a blessing!

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    1. thank you, stephanie! grateful to share HIM.

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  4. this is absolutely excellent, hannah.
    thank you so much for taking the time to share it.
    blessings to you!
    xoxo

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  5. Hannah!! Thank you so much for sharing today. I am so blessed by your words.

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  6. Hannah, you are such a priceless gift to me. (to all of us) thank you for sharing this part of your testimony... so powerful and such an illustration of Gods continued work in your life. I praise God for you everytime I think of you, beautiful friend :)
    xo
    Aly

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    1. aly, you bless my socks off.
      thank you. praise jesus for YOU.

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  7. Praise God for truth. For grace. For mercy. For redemption. For all that we do not deserve.

    I do declare my sweet Hannah, God makes me love you more everyday.

    Thanks to Danielle for hosting such a lovely post!

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    1. amen amen amen amen amen!
      love you too, sweet joy! xo

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  8. You are beautiful. Inside and out. Your story is beautiful. Don't stop telling it. "and ask for His help every dang day" love that part. And that's how we're going to make it... By His help. Love you more every time I read something new about you.

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    1. i love you! and i need him every minute! amen!

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  9. So thankful for grace and how God uses every last ugly thing in our life to bring glory to Himself. Thanks Hannah for sharing your heart and putting yourself out there in such a vulnerable way. Thanks Danielle for hosting. To God be all the glory (every ding dang day)!

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    1. girl. that's exactly it. the ugly things i do on my own, he makes beautiful and for his glory! i can't escape him. he's got me tight! blows me away, humbles me. love you!!

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  10. so thankful for God's story of redemption, restoration & grace in your life! you are a beautiful woman and I am so thankful to know you! love you miss hannah <3

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    1. so grateful for restoration! LOVE you, kara! xo

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  11. thank you for sharing your story! His grace is so amazing.

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    1. thanks for reading, jacky! amen! god is good.

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  12. Ahh, thank you sweet friend for sharing this!
    Your candor and honesty is so refreshing to my soul.
    Your words are just the conviction in needed.
    Love you!!
    xoxo

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    1. love YOU.
      grateful for the lord turning my mess into a message for his glory.
      xo

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  13. love this: "jesus knows we are weak, he delights in being our strength. his grace can never be used up!"

    thanks for your words.

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  14. i adore you both. thanks for thinking up this awesome series, Danielle.
    Hannah, thank you for sharing your heart and your struggles in a raw, real way that reflect God's grace.
    you're a gift to this community!

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    1. love you, friend. thank you! #praisejesus

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  15. Thank you thank you for this testimony! This is so encouraging.

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  16. Thank you thank you for this testimony! This is so encouraging.

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    1. thanks, whitney! so glad to hear that, god is so good!

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  17. hannah. just now getting around to reading this. thank you so much for your honesty. i love the words...."it was easier to feel hopeless than to fight for joy." love that. joy IS something we have to fight for sometimes. it doesn't come naturally to have joy in the midst of trials. i love you. just wanted you to know. :)

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    1. amen. and i love you, too, katygirl. to the max.
      xo

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  18. Hannah, thank you for being so honest and vulnerable. There's something very beautiful about a woman sharing her failures and foibles to encourage her sisters - something about in our weakness, He is stronger? :) Thank you. You have a soft and bold spirit.

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  19. amen hannah.
    i echo some of what you said here in my own heart.

    i sin all the time.
    sometimes the same things. over and over.
    and i get mad at myself. where is the fruit?
    but sometimes the fruit is the being mad at myself (the part that you said it bothers you!)
    YES.
    keep checking my heart.
    keep pleading with the Lord.

    and like you said, pleading for a broken heart, even if i don't have it.
    break my heart for what breaks yours.

    and love your people Lord, the way YOU love them. because, ding dang if i hardly love them at all.
    but HE does. and HE will grow that in me.

    so PRAISE HIM.

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