Thank God 

cross.jpeg


I'm on an interesting journey in this life of chronic battles with emotional and physical challenges.  March has been a difficult month for me the past several years, and I’m finding this year not all that much different. The one difference is that my thought life has been far more challenging.


So, I've been doing a lot of reading and searching to see exactly what changes need to be made in my life.


One of the books I am reading had an interesting suggestion.  As an "exercise," one was to think of a person who we deemed as "successful" in this life and look at the reasons why we thought this was so.  What was their inner life like?


I thought a moment and God brought to mind the name of a friend who is finally seeing success in a long-term endeavor.  I thought about the attributes I could use to describe her.


In her I saw: perseverance, faith, being able to wait on God's timing, seeking, being open, being persistent (I know close to perseverance, but to me, a bit different), trust, having a message other people needed to hear.


The next question was, if I wanted to have these attributes in my life, what would I need to do?


I wrote, "Stay close to God.  Do my part.  Believe in God's plan and timing."


The next bit of the assignment opened my eyes.  It asked, "What things do I allow to get in the way?  What things can throw me off track?"


My, what a list I came up with!


Getting discouraged.

Negativity

Doubt

Fear

Stop trying

Focus on the unnecessary

Want to give up or ... Just give up.

Complain

Grumble

Go off in a million different directions.

Procrastinate

Not follow through


I was beginning to feel pretty bad about myself as I read and wrote all the above.  


Then came an interesting instruction.  


"Congratulate yourself on uncovering and recognizing these destructive patterns."


Huh?


Then it dawned on me.  How can I seek God's help in changing things that I don't realize I am doing?


As getting discouraged seems to be my number one game killer, I decided to focus in on that one.  


What things can I do when that discouragement hits?


So, the first thing I did was head to my Bible and do a search on discouragement.


There were several verses that spoke to me immediately.


"You will not have to fight this battle.  Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Go out to face them tomorrow and the LORD will be with you."  2 Chronicles 20: 17


Then from Deuteronomy 31:8


"The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you;  He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."


And this ...


"David also said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work.  Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.  He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished."


There are more verses.  Most of them pair being afraid and being discouraged.


I wondered if it was fear that was helping these feelings of discouragement.  


How good it was to read the appropriate response when these feelings arise.  Each and every one spoke of the Lord as the reason for having strength and courage - remembering that He is with me.  And, if the task is one that the LORD wants to succeed - I must just do the work - and leave the results to Him.


So, once again, it is time for me to write down verses to have handy when those discouraging times hit.


I need to do the same type of seeking out from God’s word for each of the other things that can get in the way for me.


And give thanks to God that He is helping me see all the things that stop my right relationship with Him.


Because, I know that as soon as I do get discouraged, there is something amiss in my spiritual life.


It's hard not to get discouraged when one faces physical challenges on a daily basis.  It gets hard to keep going.  But, God has given us provision in His Word, and through His Son.


More and more I see the importance of hiding God's Word in my heart.  


There and there alone, do I find my joy.


"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."  John 1:1


And for that, I thank God.


And something else I have noticed.  It's hard to be discouraged when one is thanking God.




 © deni weber 2010-2015