I don’t know about you but there are times when either fear or frustration can be overwhelming in my life. As I thought through specific issues in my life as well as counseled with others as a friend and Pastor, I have discovered that everyone deals with these two issues in some way. There are times that they still get the best of me - in fact more times than I want to confess they seem to overwhelm me. As many times as I have faced these foes it seems like I would have learned how to consistently defeat them, but sadly I still fail miserably. However, I have learned a few things that help me greatly and in fact, have allowed me to achieve victory at times. They are simple to remember, but much harder to live out. I want to mention them to you in hopes that you can learn to apply them better and more quickly than I have.
- We Live In A Fallen World: It seems like all creation is against us and, at times it is because we live in a world that is destroyed by sin. If I begin with this, I will understand that life is not going to be easy. I have a long quote by Spurgeon on my wall in front of me everyday in my study. Part of it says: “Ministry is a matter which wears the brain, strains the heart and drains out the life of a man if he attends to it as he should…Any service, for God, if it be done at all should be hard work. If you want to be feather bed soldiers, go and enlist somewhere else, but Christ’s soldiers must fight and they will find the battle rough and stern.” We are in a war and things aren’t always going to be okay. But we serve a Sovereign Lord who controls everything.
- I Must Preach To Me: I must give truth to myself. There are things that my head knows but my deceitful heart doesn’t want to believe. I must tell myself truth from the Word. I must talk to myself and give myself the Word of God when my soul least feels like hearing it. After all, the times I least want to hear it are the times that I most need it. There are times I must do like David and encourage myself in the Lord. The battle will be fought, won or lost in my heart: in the darkest hours my heart must have truth!
- I Will Run To Something: Where do I go for refuge? I will go somewhere. I will run to Christ or I will run to another god I have created in my own image. I am created to run somewhere for rest but the only true rest will come from Christ. My tendency is to first turn to friends, or diversions and that will always leave me wanting. I have learned that if I run to Him and find my rest there, there is joy, peace and rest that is indescribable.
I could list countless other things, but I have found that remembering these three will at least get me on the right path in the most difficult of days.