I have a tendency to think everything needs to be okay- all the time. I shouldn’t fail because I have God and He is all I need, right? If it were my choice I would only choose to have good days. Days without sadness and no pain or struggle. Because who wants to be sad? Who really wants bad days?
Have you ever had those days where you feel like you’re in a funk and you have to almost coach yourself through the day? For example, you are slow to wake up but you tell yourself today is a good day to have a good day. Your mood isn’t chipper but you try to turn that frown upside down because you don’t want to be in a funk. But, you are.
We are human and it’s the struggle that makes us human. We are full of nothing good. In Romans 7:18 Paul says, “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out” This explains so much. I can try all day long, but I need God’s help to overcome. I am only an overcomer with Him. It is not by strength nor by power but with God’s Spirit. I have the choice to focus on truth and to not give the enemy a foothold, but some days are a full blown battle. The only thing we can do is ask for help and fight like heck with the truth until God chooses to give us a little breather.
I’ve come to realize that sometimes God allows hard days to build our endurance. This journey is not a sprint but a marathon. I was listening to a podcast and the pastor was explaining about another pastor’s marathon training. He explained the months leading up to his race he ran at a certain pace that was good for him. He did this because on the day of the race marathoners will at one or two points, in the race, hit a wall and the things that will get the runner through is obedience, consistency (to your training) and a banana. This man has been given a banana by a member of his church who also encouraged him. He applied that to our Christian walk. The thing that will get is through our “walls” is obedience to what God has told us to do, consistency in our devotion even when our feelings are the opposite and encouragement of other believers. We all need each other and we cannot do this marathon called life alone. We all will fall. We all will grow weary and we all will be tempted to give up. But when we have someone running beside us it encourages us to keep going.
At the beginning of this year, I joined a kickboxing gym. After going for about a month, I missed a few days. The people at the gym would text me and ask me when I was coming in next. They held me accountable. A lot of the time I was traveling so I would be gone several weeks, but I knew if I didn’t get back into the gym I’d get a call. We all need someone to call us and check up on us, and I need to be calling and checking on my brothers and sisters too.
The verse that gave me encouragement me this morning was Isaiah 61:3, “and provide for those who grieve in Zion— [Zion is also called a “parched place”] to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”
We will mourn in this life. We will have ashes. We will have despair, but because of God, and only because of Him, He can turn things around. He takes our faintness and strengthens us. Because of our inability, people see God’s ability and in that He is glorified (end of verse 3).
So today whatever you may be facing, don’t give up… I want to pray for you and myself to keep on keeping on.
Thank you for who you are. Thank you that when we are weak and weary you’re strong and steadfast. Thank you that when we are faithless you remain faithful. Thank you for another day of life. Thank you for your peace, your comfort and your presence. God, I pray that we would not grow weary in doing good, but that we would cling to You and fight hard to do what is right even in the midst of this world which is so wrong. God, I pray for courage. I pray for strength and I pray that Your will would be done in our lives. Please encourage whoever is reading this and help us to be right lights for you. In Jesus name, amen.