Recently I have been struggling with discouragement. Yesterday I finally took time to examine why I was feeling this way...basically why I felt like things just weren't going so well. Well, I am so thankful that I have a faithful Heavenly Father who doesn't just leave us in our sin, but reveals it to us and then gives us the strength to fight against it. Oddly enough, my "Aha" moment of what was causing all my struggles came from hearing the sweet encouragement of a friend. This dear friend has moved away, but left me a message on my voice mail that spoke such encouraging words. I was rushing around trying to get our house ready for our community group meeting and just stopped and listened to her words. They were like a healing balm to my hurting heart, and God used them to point me to my sin. My friend was not praising all the things I had done. She was encouraging me with the things she had seen God do through me. And, that is when it hit me. I have been striving to be very self-sufficient lately. I have been trying to love my husband, care for my daughter, serve others, take care or our home, and all the many other things in my own strength. That is why I was so discouraged. Because when things didn't go so well, I would feel as if I was in this dark pit...I would feel like I needed to do better. When I just didn't have the right words to encourage someone, or I didn't love my husband well, I would feel like a failure. And, really, I was. I was trying to do so many things on my own, and that is prideful sin. I will not always be perfect, no one except Jesus will ever be on this earth. So, that is why I must run to Jesus...my perfection. He will give me everything I need for life and godliness. And, his shed blood is enough for my sin. He alone can enable me to love my husband, my daughter, and others in my life well.
I was reading Psalm 40 today and verses 1-5 were very encouraging to me. Perhaps they will be to you as well.
"I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie! You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.
Just look at all the things HE does! Not me! He heard my cry, drew me out of the pit, set my feet on a rock, and makes my steps secure. He put a new song of praise in my mouth. And He blesses those who trust in him. His wonderful works are too numerous to mention them all!
May we wait patiently on the Lord for he alone will make our steps secure. May we ever be praising our Lord so others will fear and trust in his name. May we make the Lord our trust and not turn to man (or ourselves). And, may we ever be recounting the wondrous deeds of our God...they are too many to recount them all. For, "your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve" us! (Psalm 40:11)