Many of us feel like we will never measure up or as though we should ‘be better’ sometimes. The Holy Spirit is more than capable of perfecting us if we will surrender ourselves daily to Him. Our trying to be good enough or a perfectionist will never work, because we cannot prove ourselves to God or buy His love. Trying to follow rules causes us to focus on ourselves instead of God. He gives us freedom to experience more joy and changes our hearts through the experience of His love and discipline. Through the choices we make, we can become more pure. Sometimes that requires a change in direction or surroundings, but it definitely takes commitment to see things through. If we are stuck in a repetitive sin, we may have to address something greater underneath it and make sure that we are not making excuses for it or giving ourself special concessions. Our body is His temple and our purpose is for His delight and increasing glory.
Without suffering, we could hardly expect to find greater intimacy with our Creator or each other. It would only grow our shallowness and pride, or at best give us over to habitual complaining and contempt. Pain strengthens our bond with Him as we realize the depth of our identity in Christ and it gives us greater resolve for His purposes because we find meaning in some of the most ordinary day-to-day experiences. We value each other and our time together and find our reason for living. We willingly pour ourselves out for the sake of others, because no matter what happens to our body, we will be perfectly resurrected with Christ! Paul said that if he lost everything and still had Christ, he was content and no matter what happened he could find joy in knowing that Christ’s message was being heard by and strengthened in those around him, advancing God’s perfect plan. He always embraces us as we obey Him completely and really trust the only One who knows all and is sovereign over all. Even the angels have to! So when we pray and ask Him for things, His answers can be different than what we expected. It has been the experience of this author that no matter what fresh and astounding troubles have come, He has always found His servant worthy of sustaining and replenishing for another deployment. If a man is to live, it is because God has decided that He will and that alone is reason enough to be willing to give your life so that others may know this love.
Try this when you begin to feel down or defeated:
- Hold to the truth, and speak it out loud! Satan can’t stand up to God’s Word. Declare that sin is no longer your master and Jesus has already freed you from anything that could hold you.
- Speak God’s name & give Him praise! Confess your sin to Him, allowing Him to empty you of anything that would prevent you from being His vessel. Just make it a habit of denying sin any place or opportunity in your life. When you or someone around you prays, you are not asking God to change. He is never surprised or outwitted. The enlightenment is always on our end. We simply ask that we will line up with what He knows is best. It is a call to our own action to bring Him glory. Pray for His guidance in what you are facing right now and trust it. Faith must be practiced.
- Find peace in God’s grace. As a brother/sister in Christ, we have been freed from condemnation and made part of the resurrection. What is true of Christ is now true for us. He knew we would all act like knotheads at times, and His sacrifice was sufficient for it once and for all, here and now.
- Be confident in God, keeping your focus on Him always. Faith in the heart that is released through the mouth can move mountains. It certainly did for the regular, God-fearing men of The Bible. With God, nothing is impossible and circumstances are of no consequence. Decide to live in Him, devoting your whole self to Him. He is with you and will always help you when you ask Him to. Evil has already been defeated and the fallen angels know they will not win. Worrying is a sign that you do not trust God.
- We are an actual family now. We must act like brothers and sisters, praying for and helping each other. The disciples even lived together at times. There were no walls between them and they worked together toward a common goal.
- Read these scriptures among others- 1 Peter 1:3-9; Romans 6-8; Colossians 3; Galatians 5; Philippians; James 1; Psalms 73:26; Isaiah 41:10; Hebrews 12. Read God’s Word on a daily basis, meditating on it. It has all the answers we need, if we will only consume it.
- Check out Jesus Wept, Why Is Life So Hard?, Controlled, Time-Tested Tactics for Fighting Temptation, What Not To Ask Someone Suffering, Spurgeon Almost Quit or the Authentic Serving reading plan, or messages such as ‘Why God, Why?‘, ‘For God’s Purpose‘, ‘Live To Die‘