January 8, 2009
Brain Blips, Mishaps, and Feelings of Failure
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew: 7:24-27 (NIV)
Do you know what amazes me about those verses above? Both the person doing right and the person doing wrong experienced hard times. In both cases the rains came, the streams rose, and the wind blew and beat against the house.
Just because we’re Christians living out God’s principles for life, does not mean we won’t face difficult circumstances. The difference being a Christian makes is how the difficulties affect us. If we are hearing and heeding God through our prayer time and reading His Word, then we will be able to stand strong in the storms of life. Our faith will not be shaken and our identity will not be rattled.
I once heard my pastor lament to my husband that sometimes he only feels as good as his last sermon. I can so closely identify with his comment because as a friend, wife, and mother, sometimes I only feel as good as my last interaction with someone close to me. A friend tells me I hurt her feelings and suddenly I feel like a bad friend. I forget to take the cookies I signed up to bring to the church nursery and suddenly I feel unreliable and disorganized. My husband asks me where his passport is, and when I can’t find the file, suddenly I feel like a wife that can’t be trusted.
The passport thing is still very fresh on my mind because it just happened recently. My normal reaction would have been to get frustrated, short tempered, and beat myself up while tearing the house apart looking for the missing passports.
But God’s Spirit spoke to my heart and said, “Let me invade your natural flesh reaction. Call your husband and pray about the passports instead of getting frustrated.”
So, Art and I prayed. I went from defining myself as a failure of a wife to being a praying woman who can face a hardship in a godly way. The frustration was diffused and we determined to look at this from God’s perspective. If we find the passports, we’ll praise God! If we don’t find them, we’ll see this as God’s protection not to go on a planned trip later this month and we’ll still praise God.
When hard times come and beat against our stability, we must be determined to hear God’s words and put them into practice. Then nothing can topple our peace, security, or true identity.
Dear Lord, Thank You that my identity does not have to be determined by the circumstances of my life. Help me to hear Your Words, put them into practice and stand firm on Your truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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Looking for a good devotional to start this year? You can purchase the book this devotion was excerpted from: God’s Purpose for Every Woman: A P31 Devotional Gen Eds. Lysa TerKeurst & Rachel Olsen
What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst
Write down something you’ve been mentally beating yourself up over lately. Find three verses that deal with this issue and commit to praying these Scriptures into your situation. Stand firm on God’s solid truth that you are a godly woman who will face this circumstance in a godly way.
Do you ever struggle with feelings of failure? Ask God to help you see your value apart from your performance.
Psalm 37:3, “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” (NIV)
Psalm 32:10, “Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.” (NIV)
© 2009 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105