“What’s the use?” Joe said to me. “I’ve tried many times to work for God and to accomplish great things. No matter what I do or how hard I work, I end up failing.”
“I vowed that I would set aside time for God every day,” Jane said. “That was my only resolution for the year.” She shrugged. “It’s now April, and I stuck with my plan for about three weeks. I never complete most of the important things in my life.”
Joe and Jane are only two examples of people who feel hopeless ~ they know what they want to do, but they still don’t accomplish what they desire.
There is no one way we can explain all failures, but both of these believers had reached the place of hopelessness ~ they were sure they couldn’t do it. “I’ve tried before, and I failed,” they each said and they saw no point in trying again.
“Okay, so I try again and then I fail again,” Joe said. “I already feel bad; why would I want to feel worse?” He didn’t realize that negative thoughts and words were the cause of his own failure. Satan was there to attack and discourage him, but he did most of the work himself through an attitude of hopelessness.
“I end up failing.” Those were Jane’s words. “I never complete most of the important things in my life,” is the way she said it.
By their own words, Joe and Jane had prepared themselves to fail and their words weren’t the only thing that doomed them ~ it was the thoughts behind their words.
Discouragement destroys hope and failure easily leads to more failure. Once we allow our minds to say, “This is the way it will always be,” the devil has won a victory over us.
We need to examine the “Joe and Jane” thought life that lies within us. Think things like “For now, I won’t focus on the outcome or the result of my action and examine your attitude and your thought processes.”
It is obvious that Joe expected to fail, the devil had already enslaved his mind so of course, he failed. He got just what he expected and the same was true for Jane. Both of them thought failure and focused on failure and they expected nothing else. They were afraid they would fail right from the beginning, and the Bible says “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.” Job 3:25.
We need to ask ourselves what kind of thoughts have we been thinking ~ if we change our negative thoughts, we can change our outcome. Joe and Jane both believed they would fail, but we want them to believe they could succeed.
We can make great progress in overcoming the negative thoughts ~ whenever we start on a new project we need to say, “Things are going a little slow, but I’m making progress. Yesterday was difficult, and I started to feel discouraged. I even felt a little sorry for myself. But that was because I chose wrong thinking.” OR “I now refuse to be discouraged. Help me Lord not to give up.”
We need to realize that things aren’t going to change over night ~ we may fail once this week and twice next week BUT remind yourself that you are faithful the other days and that will give you hope to carry on. Think things like “It’s not 100 percent victory, but it’s a lot better than zero.”
We need to realize and understand a powerful truth ~ Jesus does not condemn us, we condemn ourselves. We allow discouraging, disheartening thoughts to fill our minds. Now we need to be aware that we can push those thoughts aside and say, “With Your help, Lord Jesus, I can make it.”
Lord Jesus, with Your help, I can make it. With Your help, I won’t be discouraged and feel hopeless. With Your help, I can defeat every wrong thought the devil slips into my mind. Thank You for victory. Amen.