Devotion #1 - How I fight fear and failure

I wasn’t who I wanted to be. And that scared me. 

Regrets are scary. It’s unsettling to feel like you’re not growing. To feel like you’re not learning from past mistakes. A sense of terror ran through me when I came to deeper realization that I’m being stubborn and simply disobedient.  

But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like someone looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of person he was. 

James 1:22-24

Could it be possible that this is talking about me more than I ever dared to believe? Yes, it’s more than possible. In many areas of my life, it’s a reality. 

For example, in 1 Corinthians 13 I’m called to love those around me and the first description of love is “patient.” I’d been convicted about my impatience for a while, but I had been stubbornly justifying it. Yes, I need to be patient, but this person in my life keeps doing this really frustrating thing. I’ve told them a million times! 

The truth is, impatience never solves my problem, it only makes it worse. It makes me worse. And in my clearest moments, I’m thankful that God is patient with my stubborn impatience. I’m thankful that He isn’t through with me. I’m thankful that He loves me and is gracious towards me even though He’s told me a million times to be patient with others. 

A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. 

John 10:10

Jesus came to give me life. Like we’ve already seen, my stubborn sin doesn’t make things better. My way doesn’t make things better. In fact, sin always steals from me. It slowly eats away at me, at my relationships, and at the quality of my life. 

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Romans 3:23

When I see my sin clearly, it frustrates me and fills me with fear. The wages of my sin weighs heavy on me. I don’t want to die. I want to live. I don’t want to be a curse to those around me. I want to be a blessing. What am I going to do? 

Well, there is good news. God has a gift for me and that gift is life. Abundant and eternal life offered to me because Jesus soaked up the poison and sting of death caused by my sin. At the cross, I get a chance to start over. I get a new beginning. At the cross, I see a demonstration of the amazing truth that God isn’t through with me. He hasn’t written me off. He is bending low to pursue me. Bending low to save me from myself. 

My healing, my freedom, my growth begins when I receive His gift to me. My growth continues as I keep receiving His gift of grace and patience towards me every day. 

Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! 

Lamentations 3:22-23

I don’t perish because of His faithful love. I’m weak, stubborn, and fearful, but He is faithful and His mercies towards me are new every day. The more I believe this truth, the more it changes me.