“if we know that we are moving in the direction God planned, nothing will ever cause us to loose His blessing or thwart His purpose for us”. Pastor Stoper, Mission 119
Why is it sometimes- really most times- totally frustrating, lonely, unfun, and seemingly endlessly unrewarding to continue the direction that deep down we know is right, all the while urges just for a little relief drown us even deeper into love of self and if we concede we then hate ourselves and wonder whether we even know God at all. I mean seriously, life can really be a cross to carry, and it doesn’t always seem like an easy yoke to work under.
I fear God, and there are lines I won’t cross, but then sometimes I think I fear men more than God cause other lines I’ve already crossed could be worse than certain ones I won’t cause of upbringing, and then one must think, well, WTH, I’ve already done all that, and we are saved by grace through faith…. But true faith manifests in the works and so why should I plummet any further … I’ve gone far enough and climb up and sink back and climb up and sink back …..I do so get discouraged – where is the power of the resurrection? Where is the new life? Why is it an endless road of repentance? Where is the repentance not to be repented of?
I really am discouraged.
I posted Pastor Stoper’s quote on my Facebook page the other day, and an acquaintance of mine shared it to his page with his post in italics… as I read his words, I felt his genuine discouragement, and my heart broke. I believe these are the lies that the devil wants to continually barrage us with.. he knows we can be easily discouraged.
I have felt the very same way that my friend feels at various times in my life, especially when I’ve fallen prey to the same sin that I know God has previously forgiven, and beat myself up over why it happened. I really appreciate my friends’ open and honest dialogue as it shows our humanity, it shows we don’t have it all together. (I know I certainly don’t)
Romans 7:15-20 New International Version (NIV)
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
I am comforted by the fact that even the Apostle Paul wrestled with this… I have found tremendous comfort and healing as I read the Bible and see that the people who God uses to further His kingdom in mighty ways were not perfect. If nothing else, it shows me that God can stilll use me despite my flaws, despite the lives I’ve crossed (or not crossed). When my heart is right and contrite, God forgives and grows. It IS an endless road of repentance, but a road of growth and expectation as well.
Philippians 1:6 English Standard Version (ESV)
6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
I have felt tremendous discouragement very recently, and wondered if the path I travel really is the path He has for me, or if I’ve simply misread. As I Stare in His direction though, I am convinced now, more than ever, that I AM doing what He’s called me to do, and He is using present circumstances to strengthen my faith for the purpose to which He’s called me. I pray I can remain steadfast in His promises as those challenges continue (because I know they will). I pray for those around me, that they would see Him working in my imperfect life to bring about His purpose. I pray that for those around me as well.
In His Holy and precious name I pray, I am His.