There are some really depressing verses in the Bible. If you read through the “Key Chapters of the Bible” Chronological Reading Plan, you hit a few!
But I may have found the most depressing set of verses there is. Prepare to feel hopeless.
So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?
These eleven dismal verses are brought to you by Paul and found in Romans 7:14-24 (NLT).
If the man who wrote approximately 30% of the New Testament feels this way, where does this leave the rest of us?
I Want to Do Right
I can relate so well to these verses. I really, really want to do the right things. I deeply desire to have a servant heart, even when I am tired. I want to be patient with my children and those around me, even when they make my life harder. I long to have self-control, even when I am very angry.
But, I can’t.
And if I stop there with that failure comment, I have every reason to be depressed. I have every reason to wallow in my sin.
But, Paul doesn’t stop there. Scroll back up to the scripture passage above and read the final verse again. The one that ends with a question mark.
Who will Free Me?
Notice that Paul doesn’t say “What will free me?”. Paul says “Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?”. He continues the chapter with one of the most exhilarating verses in the Bible.
Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.Romans 7:25
The only answer to the “miserable” people that we are is Jesus Christ. Change isn’t about doing more, following more rules, or trying harder.
Are you unable to get out of a cycle of sin? Jesus is the answer.
Are you continually yelling at your spouse or children? Jesus is the answer.
Are you desperate for peace and control over the insecurities of life? Jesus is the answer.
I hear ya! The answer seems so frivolous and impersonal. Just get Jesus and all will be fixed.
And I used to be frustrated with the “Jesus” answer too because I felt I needed to do something: read more self-help books, exercise more, change jobs, or devise a plan. Something to make me feel in control.
But I learned that while these solutions may appear to help for a while, nothing is going to fill the hole in my life that demands attention. Only the person of Jesus Christ can transform my life. And, only He can turn the most depressing Bible verses into pure joy.
Jesus desires to be the solution and the one that we daily run to for strength and wisdom. Jesus wants to be our change. And, Jesus longs to be the answer to all of our questions.
Are you letting Him?
What to learn more about Jesus? Click to read more.
What to know how to deepen your relationship with Jesus? Read “A Quiet Time, Worth the Time” or the popular Quiet Time Blog Series.
Still want to know more? Email me as I’d love to share more with you.