Feb 13, 2013
It was Saturday night. I was ready for Sunday morning, so I thought I’d check email and Facebook before going to bed.
I clicked on Facebook, and a post I read made my heart sink with discouragement, frustration, hopelessness.
In less than a second my heart changed from peace, contentment, and hope — to worry, pain, and fear.
What Can I Do?
Moments like these show the true state of my faith. They show what I am really trusting as my treasure. So was I going to —
- wallow in the dark pleasure of self-pity?
- complain to my wife?
- seek the satisfaction of bearing a grudge?
- head to the refrigerator to find something to eat or drink?
- channel-surf the pain away?
- come up with my own plan to solve this problem?
- grit my teeth and try to feel peace and joy through will-power?
- beat myself up because I’m not rejoicing in the Lord?
Or — was I going to turn to Jesus Christ, and trust Him to help me, save me, change me?
What I Did
God gave me grace to turn to Jesus Christ.
I sat at my desk, put my head in my hands, and turned to Jesus just was I was —
Lord Jesus, I’m a mess. Look at my heart — full of despair and anger and frustration.
Help me. Forgive me for the unbelief that’s fueling my discouragement.
Thank you for giving me faith to turn to You.
Help me. Show me who You are. Strengthen my faith. Change my heart.
What He Did
Usually my next step would be to find promises in God’s Word to strengthen my faith and overcome my hopelessness.
But while I was still praying, God did something different. He reminded me of a blessing He had recently brought me.
And almost instantly my heart changed.
It was not a matter of looking on the bright side. It was that the blessing reminded me that God is faithful (Deut 7:9), strong (Isa 26:14), rejoicing-to-do-me good (Jer 32:41), and the only Treasure I will ever need (Psa 73:25-26).
And when I remembered who God was, I saw that Facebook post in a whole different light —
- God was in sovereign control of it (Gen 50:20).
- God had ordained it to bring me even more joy in Him (2Cor 4:17).
- God would give me wisdom to know how to deal with it (James 1:5).
This took maybe 15 seconds. And as a result (honest truth) my heart was transformed.
I felt sweet joy in God, strong peace about this situation, and rock-solid hope for the future.
Not How It Usually Works
But this is not how my battles for faith for usually go.
Usually they take more time. Usually they involve lengthy prayer over God’s promises before I feel the Holy Spirit strengthening my faith and changing my heart.
But even though this time was different, the point is that God delivered me.
And He will deliver you, too.
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(Picture is from everystockphoto and is by jasonhe.)