As Christians, we feel an overwhelming discouragement that the rest of humanity does not feel. Most people (including Christians) feel discouragement when facing difficulties within their work places, their marriages, their health, their relationships, and in their finances. However, Christians have an additional level of discouragement when they fail God. You see, those who are opposed to God, be it passively or outright—do not concern themselves with the realization that their thoughts, actions, and desires dishonor God. On the other hand… when those who love Christ realize that our thoughts, passions, and actions dishonor God we feel overwhelmingly discouraged!
The prompt for such discouragement is not our sins—for we have ALWAYS sinned against God--rather, the prompt for discouragement within us is our awareness that we still expect God to pour out His wrath upon us for sinning! This lingering expectation of wrath within us is dangerous for two reasons: 1) it demonstrates a lack of knowledge of and faith in God; 2) it steals ALL hope of joy and pleasure in Christ from us. As Christians, when we experience discouragement, we must understand that this is an attack from Satan intended to keep us from enjoying and glorifying our God. With this in mind, let’s use the word of God to combat this lingering and deceptive discouragement.
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our Spirit that we are children of God.”
“And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”
These three verses show us three major thoughts:
We face discouragement whenever we think that we are responsible for doing the work that only God can do. It is God who saves us. It is God who leads us. It is God who transforms us. Our responsibility is simply to place our faith in God and RUN into His presence. Instead of beating yourself up for sinning against God, return to His presence. When we realize that we are entangled in sin, let us cease from that sin and boldly run back to enjoying our God. We have ZERO ability to stop sinning (Rom. 7:18), but our God has the ability to give us life and sanctify us throughout life (Rom. 8:10-11).
So… what do we do with this? Here are three questions for self-examination:
It’s easy for us to beat ourselves up over how frequently we sin, the perversity in our sin, and our imperfections. However, it is equally easy for us to look at our God and rejoice in His work, nature, and love. Our work is that we must choose only one of these options two. We can either look at ourselves or God. Repentance is turning from ourselves and to God. Repentance is turning from our choice to dwell on sin, our failures, and our shortcomings in order to turn to the wondrous grace and mercy of our God. Our Lord invites us into His fellowship, Spirit-guided repentance brings us into His fellowship. We either trust God and approach Him, or we trust in ourselves and run from God.
Which one will you choose?
I love you!