Monday, 28 March 2011
How do we deal with discouragement? Maybe its with a young couple for whom we had such great hopes or the person we've invested time in or someone who just doesn't seem to get the gospel, or maybe its in frustrations over practicalities? 1. Recognise reality Firstly we live in a broken world, sin affects everything we see around us. But it also affects us and our perspective - we have a tendency to make ourselves the centre of the world (at the very least if not the universe) and judge how everything impacts us. We also have a tendency to DIY-ism or wallowing in self pity. But I am not god, it is not my universe to command or to set up to bring 'me' glory. 2. Recognise our call As Christians we are sinners saved by grace who are being changed ministering to other sinners saved by grace who are being changed, or to a world which will not recognise grace. We are called to live now in the midst of this broken creation declaring the praises of him who has made us part of his kingdom. We are aliens and strangers, and we will long for our heavenly home. 3. Recognise our only hope That only hope is the gospel of Jesus Christ. God has revealed to us his plan of salvation throughout history, and it is our only hope. It is what we must go to when discouraged - I am not judged by my ministry successes or failings, or how others perceive me, I am not judged on my discouragements. I am God's loved and blood bought child. And so are others around me - and our job is to help one another recognise who we are where we live and apply our hope. Discouragement is in God's grand design yet another way of driving us back to the gospel.