Originally published Thursday, 31 January 2013.
"Give up! You’re not good enough," says the voice of our enemy. Time and time again, I’ve heard the devil whisper discouragement that is false and unrealistic. Even while I am trying to write this blog post, the evil one is lurking. The enemy does not want us to use our God-given gifts to bring glory to God’s Kingdom. More than anything, the devil wants to distract and cause us to turn away from the Lord. "Give up! You are never going to succeed. No one will hire you," said the lies of the devil as I attempted to regain employment during a rather dark period in my life over things that were out of my control. Being unemployed is completely demoralizing. Unfortunately, the devil knows exactly where to aim his arrow and will attack you where it hurts the most - you’re faith and hope. During months of unemployment, I struggled with confidence and trying to understand where God wanted to use my gifts or skills. The Lord always provided for us financially and spiritually, but I felt nearly defeated. I pleaded with him for guidance. It was a constant battle to be positive and recognize my blessings. God was holding on to me and carrying me through this dark time. He didn’t leave me, but I felt alone. Often during times of trial we continue to make excuses for our behavior; such as “it’s just been a really stressful day” or “I’ll feel stronger once this week is over”. The truth is that our fear and anxiety stop us from believing God’s truth. We let the devil get in our heads and prevent us from listening to the voice of certainty. Here’s the truth... God is not going to leave you! Does He not provide? Does He not give you just what you need during trials? Focus on the goodness of His works and less on the negative in a situation. Hold tight to God’s infinite wisdom and guidance. You are more precious than gold and He will never leave you! Let go of the fear and remember how far He has brought you. Psalm 56:3-4 says, "When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?" (NIV) I’ve been through a lot of trials in my short 29 years of life on earth. Through 15 years of chronic back pain, 2 periods of unemployment, a miraculous motorcycle accident survival and 4 surgeries... God was ALWAYS there and He always provided. Sometimes we expect more from God though. It’s common to ask for just a little more. "My pain is okay, but can You make it just a little easier?" or "That bonus check was nice, but can’t we have just a little more?" Just a little more? Be content with your blessings and thankful in all things. He brought you this far to take you further, not to leave you behind. A helpful passage for understanding what God expects from us is in Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." (NIV) The keywords here are "in all your ways". This means to be thankful to Him in all things, even in the times that are scary and confusing. As the saying goes... Let go and let God. He can do it better than us any way!