What do you do when you feel disgusted, frustrated, tired, worn out – and you know that you should be joyful, peaceful, thankful, trusting, and giving? Yes, as the song goes, the ol’ gray mare ain’t what she used to be, or what she should be. Is there any hope to change this negative quagmire into solid ground?
The other morning I woke up unwanted thoughts floating in my head as the shower squeaked loudly, the caulk that I had recently applied was pulling off the wall, and I was standing in scummy water as the drain was plugged again. My mind awakened to some work responsibilities and difficult plans for the day that looked just as gloomy as the shower conditions and frankly, my personal resources to deal positively with things were at my wit’s end. How could this be? Where was my faith? I was the one who always told others about the victorious Christian life and the abundant joy that Jesus gives.
So what can a person do when you feel defeated? The truth is that when your own personal zeal and ability to overcome fail, you are exactly where the Lord wants you. Now you are in a position to let Him change you, and He will if you deliberately follow some of His simple directions. Here are six Biblical steps that work in helping you make the shift to experience faith realities rather than your unwanted feelings.
Number 1 “Enter His gates with thanksgiving” Begin by listing specific things for which you are thankful. Can you give ten right now? Say each one out loud to Him, “Thank you Lord Jesus for ….” Your ears need to hear you giving thanks.
Number 2 God desires “truth in our inmost being.” Tell the truth to Jesus “Lord, I admit that I feel disgusted, misunderstood, hurt, not appreciated, etc., but in my heart I know the truth is (begin giving specific true statements that God has said in His word concerning you)
that I am blessed, I am wonderfully made, accepted just the way I am in Christ, and by faith I am overcoming, that all things are working out for good since I am called according to your purpose, that you are always leading me in triumph, that your mercy is fresh toward me for today, that your goodness and mercy will follow me today, that my needs are met according to your riches in glory, that your joy is in me and my joy is full, that no weapon formed against me will prosper, that I can put on the new man created in righteousness and holiness and I can choose to reject the old man that wants me to follow deceitful desires. With each declaration of God’s truth you allow Him to do that in your heart.
Number 3 “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself” Pray in the Spirit. On tough mornings I often pray in the spirit the entire 25 minute time while driving to work. At times this changes to singing a melody or a chorus that comes to mind. By the time I reach work my spirit is joyful and my faith is renewed.
Number 4 “Making melody to the Lord” Draw near to Him through praise and worship. Put on a favorite worship CD. For me this might be from Desperation, Hillsongs, IHOP, or Christ for the Nations. It is amazing how singing praise lets him rule in my situations without me even trying. He is enthroned on His praises.
Number 5 “His word is truth” Take time to read the word until your mind begins to focus on truth and think differently. There is a reason why Paul tells us to renew our minds. I usually put on the armor of God and especially take up the sword of the Spirit by declaring some of my most trusted promises such as “No weapon formed against me shall prosper, I am healed by His stripes, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, greater is He that is in me than he who is in the world, all things work together for good, thanks be to God who always leads me in triumph.
Number 6 “those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength” Take time to just be quiet and seek God’s heart. There is something about simply needing to draw strength from Him and letting that be more important that the cares of the world. Can you sit with Him for five minutes? What is on His heart toward you? If you were going to write down a word or two from Him, what is He saying to you right now?
God never intended us to experience His fullness without Him. So when you fail, it only reveals the truth that your flesh cannot produce life and that you need His help. You now realize how easy it is to do the Biblical steps given, and soon discover He is faithful to accomplish His work in you and through you. You have chosen to not stay in the flesh or be like the ol’ gray mare that only gets worse, rather you are faithful in the little things that open the door for God to accomplish more than you could think or ask. Surely goodness and mercy will follow you today.