This morning in my morning quiet time I wrote the following:
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Fear can hold us back from doing what God wants us to do. Sometimes the unknown of what lies ahead can be daunting. If what lies ahead is from God it sure can be daunting but if it is God's plan for us we don't have to be afraid because he is with us each step of the way.
Discouragement is a fact of life, it comes from different sources in our lives. Sometimes even other Christians can be a source of discouragement because they don't understand God's plan for you or they aren't comfortable with the direction God is taking you. But when someone or something opposes us we need not be discouraged because he is with us each step of the way.
Joshua 1:9, This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Life is busy, life can be draining at times. I have seen many Christians fall to the wayside because they gave up. They felt they didn't have the strength to continue. Paul said this in 2 Corinthians 12:10, "That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong." Our strength shouldn't be found in anything we attempt to create in our lives. Our strength should be found in God.
I then get to my office and start thinking about some student ministry struggles and I became discouraged fast. I’m a passionate person with strong emotions and it didn’t take me long, about a fifteen minute car ride to get discouraged. If I’m honest I was even a little angry and ready to give someone a karate chop to the thyroid. (not one individual but possibly a representative of a group of people out of frustration and not talking about students here
I still don’t have the answer to the problem that caused the discouragement. But two things happened. I knew something had to change and took some necessary steps to begin the change journey. Within seconds, literally seconds, God blessed that decision to begin the journey to change/improve and grow in student ministry, to hit the “Reset” button. Seconds! Faster than it took for me to get discouraged, a phone call from one thousand miles away.
Second thing happened about a half hour later. I went to check a message on Facebook and there my eyes caught what I wrote just this morning around six-thirty. “Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.”
Fact number one: This student ministry is not my student ministry. It’s not my church’s student ministry. This student ministry is God’s student ministry. Belongs to him.
Fact number two: I can get discouraged, which is my human nature taking over. This discouragement doesn’t change the fact that the student ministry belongs to God. So why let it get me down.
Fact number three: When I start basing my effectiveness as a student minister on situations which I have no control of I am not as wise as I should be after fifty years of living life.
Fact number four: Sometimes you have to step back , breathe, get with God and find out what direction you need to head next, and the changes that need to be made. Hit the “Reset” button ;)