Tuesday, October 14, 2008

do not be discouraged

It is easy to become discouraged when we see in ourselves things that shouldn't be. Perhaps in wrong attitudes or struggles from temptations, or whatever it may be. God tells us in his word, by the Story, not to be discouraged. Why? Because of his grace to us in Jesus.

The journey of our lives is ongoing and in that journey there is God at work in us to change us by grace, for our good and for his glory. As Christians or those on whom God is working, we can be quite sensitive to our sins and sometimes down over the temptations we encounter. Of course temptation is a part of life, though we can lessen them to some extent by not letting ourselves be exposed to that which we know is likely to bring some temptations on. In my life it's not so much a matter of avoiding those kind of things as it is about filling my life with the good things of God found in Jesus and from God's word, Scripture.

Our journey in this life is partly about being changed from glory to glory into the resemblance of Jesus. In ourselves we see blotches on that, and we can therefore be tempted to just give up and throw in the towel, giving in to something far lesser or even abandoning the journey altogether. But we must not think or act in this way.

Instead we must see our lives as in part, God's good work in Jesus, which he will carry on to completion the rest of our days in this present life, to be completed at the unveiling of Jesus in his second coming at the resurrection, when the new creation in Jesus is completed. We in Jesus will all be a part of that. Let's be those who keep on keeping on in the grace of God we find in Jesus.

What would you like to add to this?

10 comments:

yipeng said...

I found Jerry Bridges' "the discipline of grace" to be a great encouragement and resource on this.

bryan riley said...

I would add that our struggle is with two things: the enemy and with sin. Neither of those things is self. We shouldn't shoot ourselves for the struggles that we have, but often the enemy deceives us into self-hatred and we spend our energy on that rather than fighting him.

Lanny said...

God is fathomless.

Allan R. Bevere said...

Ted:

Good words! Thanks!

I do find myself of late moving in and out of discouragement.

I need to remember that God can use those moments as well.

NaNcY said...

thanks for this post,brother.
encouragement when needed.
praise God.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yipeng,
I too have found Jerry Bridges to be a fine and helpful writer. Thanks.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Bryan,
I agree that it's the enemy and sin, though I don't see how we can get away from the reality of having a problem with ourselves. Like Paul said, "It is no longer I, but Christ..." The "I" has to be taken care of, and is done so, in Jesus, I take it. Yet your point about the enemy deceiving us into a wrong self-hatred, is indeed a very good one. A new self in Jesus arises as we are to live as those no longer in Adam, but in Christ.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Lanny,
Yes. God's grace and love and work in our lives has no end or limitation, really. Nor can we really grasp it, greater than we can understand.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Allan,
Yes, I would guess that I'm nearly always moving in and out of discouragement, or most of the time, anyhow.

But yes, good thought, that God can use those times as well. We need that encouragement, for sure.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
Thanks, sister.