Have you ever been so discouraged that you just wanted to stay in bed and pull the covers up over your head? Maybe that’s where you are right now.
I’ve hidden under the covers a time or two myself. OK, well maybe more than two.
So how to we venture out? How do we get past what we can’t get over?
There’s a story in the Bible that helps me when I feel mopey. (You don’t mind if I get in the Bible a little do you? I didn’t think so.)
A few years after the Israelites made it to the Promised Land, they grew tired of being ruled by God through the prophets. They wanted to have a king like all the other nations.
Samuel was the ruling prophet at the time, and he told the people all the reason having a king was a bad idea. They persisted in their demands, and eventually God allowed them to choose a king. “They are not rejecting you,” God assured Samuel. “They are rejecting Me.”
The people picked a man named Saul because he was tall, dark, and handsome. I’m not kidding. It’s right there in black and white. Saul reluctantly accepted the kingship, was anointed by the Holy Spirit, and totally depended on God for his new position.
But after a while, Saul decided being a king wasn’t so hard after all. He disobeyed and dishonored God by taking matters into his own hands. (Never a good idea, I might add). As a result, God snatched away Saul’s kingship and removed his anointing.
Samuel was so discouraged over Saul’s failure; he went to bed and pulled the covers up over his head. He was disappointed in Saul, and felt sorry for himself.
Now this is important. If I were sitting right there with you, I’d stand up in a chair and read this out loud. Here we go. One day God said, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel” (1 Sam. 16:1).
I love Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase: “So, how long are you going to mope over Saul?” (MSG)
Mope? Yep. That’s a good word.
God asks you and me the same question: How long will you mope because life hasn’t turned out like you thought it would. How long?
I don’t mean to make little of any of the painful or discouraging situations in your life. I’ve had them too. When my child died before she was born, I wasn’t sure I’d ever get out of bed again. Didn’t really want to.
But here’s what I know today: No matter how painful or discouraging the circumstances of life may be, God never intends for you to get stuck there Click & Tweet! . (click to tweet) You should never put a period where God puts a comma.
There’s always more of your story to be written. When you loosen the string holding the binding of your book tightly shut, and give God a free hand to continue the narrative of your life Click & Tweet! , things which the eye has not seen and the ear have not heard and have not entered the mind of man will be yours. (click to tweet)
God goes on to say to Samuel: “Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king” (1 Sam. 16:1, emphasis added).
At some point in our moping about, God comes to us and says, “Enough already. Get up. Get going. Be on your way. I’ve got something for you to do. Your life is not over. The story has more chapters to be written. Let go of your discouragement and take hold of the next adventure I have planned for you.” Click & Tweet!
The question is: What will you say?
Samuel was terrified, but God assured him: I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate” (1 Sam. 16:2–3, emphasis added).
I will show you what to do. And that’s all God expects of me and of you—take the first step of obedience. Get up and get going. He will take care of the rest.
I love the next sentence in the story: “Samuel did what God told him” (1 Sam. 16:4).
Ah, the key to experiencing the adventurous life of a thriving faith . . . the faith you always longed for.
Forward this blog to at least three friends, leave a comment to let me know you did it, and I’ll randomly draw one name for a FREE Identity in Christ laminated card.
Today’s blog was taken from my new book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold. If you’re ready to take hold of all that Jesus has already taken hold of for you and placed in you, click here to learn more! Includes a Bible study guide for group or individual study.