Last week, one of the lessons I mentioned learning was how the enemy will work you hard when you are growing in Christ. This is the lesson I have been continually learning throughout the past week. Yesterday started out fantastic and as the day went on and I met some unexpected challenges, I became discouraged and frustrated. I could feel the attack full-force. I started noticing myself slipping into ways I had been working so hard to get out of. My weaknesses and my struggles crashing full-force. When this realization hit me on my way home from church, I turned off the radio and prayed out loud. I claimed my position as child of Christ and asked for His help. But I don’t think we should stop at asking for help, we need to do something. All I had to do at that time was worship and change the focus of my thoughts. I spent the next 10 minutes home singing my heart out in praise until I arrived at home. And then, instead of canceling plans and sitting at home all night (which is what I wanted to do because of how I felt) I resolved that I would keep my plans and enjoy time out in public with my friend. And I am so glad I did.
I’d chalk that victory up to Jesus.
I am reminded today of Hebrews 12:4-11:
In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?
My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline,
but don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child he loves that he disciplines;
the child he embraces, he also corrects.
God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God. (Message)
I am NOT saying that God gave me the temptations and the heartache and the struggles of yesterday. I am choosing to believe it was an opportunity for me to develop my weapons for the battle and to make the choice to choose Jesus. I am realizing every moment of the day that choosing Jesus has to be conscious in order to grow in the discipline God is giving me as his child.