September 27, 2012

What's Wrong With Me?!! Part 3

So, let's recap the last couple of posts.

When I get discouraged, there is a wrong and a right way to respond.  I think that Psalm 119 is among the many Scriptural texts that speak to the proper response of a believer in the midst of discouragement.  It is more than a simple statement of facts regarding obedience to God's Word, it is an emotional response to some spiritual experience.
Whenever life points out our inadequacies or failures, the answer is not to focus on ourselves in inappropriate pity asking, "What is wrong with me?".  The answer is three-fold.

First, ask the right question.  Knowing God is sovereign and allows or initiates all things, ask,
"How do I respond to God's Sovereignty in this?".  This accomplishes two things:  I t will always drive us back to God's Word for Truth, encouragement, direction, and counsel.  Second, it will always lead us to a place of praise for who God is and what He is doing.

The second step is to purposefully and actively wait for God's re-appointment.  Whenever God let's disappointment into the life of a believer, He always re-appoints them for His intended purposes.  The great thing about His purposes is that they are always "good, perfect, and pleasing" (Romans 12:2) to Him and us for His glory and our fulfillment.

The third step is this:  Take account.  The life of the believer is about putting off the old and putting on the new.  We have been secured in Christ, made a new Creation, and given a promise of hope that will not disappoint.  But we are still disciples, and thus, we will still undergo discipline.  So I label this third step (which may be many smaller steps itself) Holistic Faith.
 It can happen to the most mature believer.  Why?  Because we're not perfect yet.  discouragement can come and can turn the sinful flesh to focus on the wrong thing or expect something that is not right to expect.  We should only expect what God has promised.  Many well meaning people expect things they believe the Bible should promise implicitly, but the reality is it simply doesn't.  A good way to take stock of this in your own life is to see if your expectations are found in scripture first.  If it's not, but you think it may be implied, then test it against these two questions:
1) Is it eternal in perspective?
and
2) Does it glorify God primarily?
This isn't foolproof, but I believe that under humble prayer (which usually follows discouragement), it will bring you into clearer focus.

When we take account of our life biblically after discouragement, we should be taking stock of how our faith is played out in all of our life.  Where has it suffered?  Where does it need nourishment and fortification again?  What areas of life has faith become a scapegoat or a crutch instead of the foundation we walk upon all-together?  As we strive to accomplish and see God's work in our lives, we must be striving to live out His Image Bearing righteousness in every area of our life, not just the immediately affected area.  This gives us plenty to work on and trust Him with, and leaves us little time to dabble in the fleshly mental beatings that sometimes accompany discouragement.  And once again, it drives us into the arms of our Savior and Lord.

I hope you find comfort and encouragement in this.

With you for His glory-