Living By Faith Blog


Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

My Battle With Self-Pity

A nasty flu

It’s been 11 days.  (I just counted.)

I’ve been sick — exhausted — stuffed-up — achy — sleepy — feverish — no energy.

You get the picture.

So how’s my faith?

Umm — not good.

If joy and peace are faith-indicators — then this morning my faith needs CPR.

I’m frustrated that I’m still sick — that it’s been 11 days — that I feel so lousy — that my prayers for healing have not been answered.

To be honest — I’m having a pity-party.

Hold on …

Let’s be honest.  What I’m having is not a pity-party.

It’s an unbelief-party.  A let’s-not-trust-God’s-promises-party.  A let’s-believe-Satan’s-lies-party.

Putting it that way changes everything.

I see that I have a battle to fight — against self-pity, unbelief, and lies.

(I know — my flu is a grain of sand compared to the mountain of trials some of you are experiencing.  But I hope that hearing my battle will strengthen you in your battles.)

So here goes

Right now my heart feels like it can’t change — the frustration and impatience feel hard as cement.

But the Word of God is a jack-hammer.  The Holy Spirit is compressed air.

So let’s get to work.

Help my unbelief

That’s where I need to start.

So I turn to the Father just as I am.  I admit — and confess — my frustration and impatience.

I trust Jesus’ blood to forgive me and His righteousness to cover me.

And I ask the Father to —

  • help my unbelief (Mark 9:24)
  • increase the Spirit’s work in me (Gal 5:22-23)
  • fill me with all joy and peace in believing (Rom 15:13)

Faith comes by hearing

The needle on my faith-gauge is near empty.

But there’s good news — God promises that His Word will increase faith (Rom 10:17).

So I’m going to set my heart on God’s promises and pray over them until I feel the Spirit increasing my faith.

This flu is from an infinitely sovereign and good God

The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.  Job 1:21

Even though the Sabeans, a storm, and Satan were involved — Job knew his trials were ultimately from God.

So when it comes to my flu, I’m not dealing mostly with a virus, or with Satan.

I’m dealing with the God whose name is blessed even when He brings an 11-day flu.

Praying over this helps me — as it takes my focus off viruses, Satan, and how I’m feeling — and puts it back on God.

This flu can refine my faith so I have even more joy in Christ

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith … may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ … though you have not seen him … you believe in him and rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.  1Peter 1:6-8

Trials can refine our faith so we have even more joy in Christ.

They do this by showing how weak everything else is — so we will trust other things less and trust Christ more.

When we do that our joy in Him will increase — now and forever.

So for me — this flu shows that health, productivity, and physical comfort are weak and fleeting.  And it reminds me that Jesus Christ is strong and everlasting.

So — in my heart I am now taking my trust out of those things — and putting it into Christ.

I am putting my trust in Him as my joy, security, and satisfaction — now and forever.

As I do that I feel the Holy Spirit changing my heart.

I’m not feeling any different physically.

But my faith is stronger.  I’m feeling that God is in control and bringing me great good through this flu.

Peace is growing.  And even joy.

Broken-up cement

I’m not totally out of the woods.  But my heart is now in a much better place.

God used the compressed-air of the Spirit with the jack-hammer of His Word to break up the cement of self-pity and complaining in my heart.

And He is replacing them with peace, contentment, and joy in Christ.

This has been a good lesson for me.

From now on, when it comes to pity-parties, I’m going to be a party-pooper.

Comments?  Feedback?  Push-back?

I’d love to hear them.  Feel free to leave a reply below.  Thanks.

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(Picture is by KellyB on everystockphoto.)

Category: Stories from My Life


7 Responses

  1. Paul Walton says:

    I’m sorrowful that you have been suffering with the flu for that many days, I’m praying right now for you. I love a quote by C. H. Spurgeon paraphrasing- That he found much comfort in the fact that he knew God had weighed out the amount of suffering that he would have to endure. That it would burden him even more if he thought his suffering was just some random fate that God was not in control of. Love you man, get well in the name of Jesus!

  2. Cathy Charon says:

    Pastor Steve.. Well you have no idea how timely this blog post was for us today. I was just having my very own can I do this..where is the time..must I go there! Yet..the Lord is so gracious when he whispers in our ears “Am I not sufficient in providing for all areas of your life”.. YES LORD YOU ARE! So this morning with grateful and thankful hearts we put ourselves in his care. What a blessing to know where we lack he is fully able!

    • Steve Fuller says:

      I love it when what I post is timely for others — thanks for letting me know, Cathy. You and Craig are such an encouragement 🙂

  3. Ash says:

    Wow. Thank-you! And thank-you God for making me stumble across this tonight! 30 minutes ago I was sinking into a slimy pit of self-pity and despair. Out of desperation I googled “self-pity” cause I knew that was the culprit but I felt powerless to fight it. Now, 30 minutes later I feel lifted right out of that nasty pit and have hope and even thankfulness for my awful situation I’m in. Thank-you….again. 🙂

  4. guin says:

    jeremiah 23:29 is not my word like fire,declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces… i thought of this scripture after reading your article. thank you for your healing transparency that continues to point us to our only real hope–the lord jesus christ. your writings echo psalm 62:8 -trust in HIM at all times;ye people,pour out your heart before HIM:GOD is a refuge for us.selah. God bless and keep you pastor steve.

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