I love it when God sends one of his “ah-ha!” moments to me like a slap upside my head. I got one of those slaps recently.
I had been seriously down in the dumps for a few days. I was feeling discouraged; not good enough. I was feeling like I was “good” at a lot of things, but “great” at nothing. The result was a moody, short-tempered human being who was snapping at her family and was so negative that I was doubting myself in all ways.
I knew I needed to get out of the “funk” and knowing that The Truth can be found only in The Word, I grabbed my Bible and turned to my concordance for verses on discouragement. Well, it’s not an extensive concordance, so it didn’t really offer me much. My second source was to turn to the internet. I didn’t find much there either, mostly because I wasn’t depressed or suicidal, just annoyed at myself.
Finally I came across a site that was all about discouragement and I thought, “jackpot!” I was hoping for a nice little Bible study that would give me some verses to read and I would be reminded that I was a child of God and then feel all warm and fuzzy inside and my little “episode” would be over.
And then God slapped me upside my head.
Jesus recognized the things that often lead to discouragement — coveting (a greedy desire to have more wealth), dangerous and destructive wickedness, deceit; unrestrained (indecent) conduct; an evil eye (envy), slander (evil speaking, malicious misrepresentation, abusiveness), pride (the sin of an uplifted heart against God and man), foolishness (folly, lack of sense, recklessness, thoughtlessness) (Mark 7:18-23)
I took a hard look in the mirror through those words and realized that the person who was staring back at me was not a person suffering from discouragement, but a woman suffering from covetousness, envy, and pride. These sins were bogging me down, making me negative, and breeding in me the seeds of doubt about my own abilities and talents.
Wow. God smacked me. Hard. And it was awesome. I almost broke down crying with relief, knowing that my God is a God of mercy and grace, and within moments of my repentance, I felt like my old self again. No more “down-in-the-dumps” about being discouraged– because I wasn’t discouraged. I was coveting what others had, envying their rewards and their talents, and being prideful enough to believe that I, too, deserved the same.
Not everyone suffers from discouragement for the same reason, but my reasons became obvious to me, allowing me to make the changes in my life that I needed to make. Pride, envy, covetousness; these are sins that require a constant vigilance to overcome.
God has reminded me repeatedly over the past couple of weeks of his promises in his Word. What an amazing comfort to know that I am a child of God, worthy of his love, and made in his image and that I don’t have to “do” anything but remember that everything that I do is for His glory. What a blessing to recognize what I’m good at (and what I’m not), rely on his promises of truth, and continue to grow in Him. What a wonderful comfort to know that only HE holds the future!
I’m feeling pretty warm and fuzzy. What about you? If you are fighting the feeling of being discouraged in some area of your life, I’d love to pray for you. I know just how heavy that burden can feel, and just what joy comes with lifting it!