If you have begun your journey with Christ, trust that he is with you because you will soon be discouraged.
When you get discouraged, remember God is more powerful than everything—including your weakness. Trust he is changing your life and making you new.
When we fail and are tempted to believe we are hopeless, we remind ourselves that we grow not because we are good (we aren’t), but because Christ works inside us through our trust in him and through our attempts to love, honor, and obey him.
Is Christ powerful enough to keep us from an evil decision right now? Of course he is! Every good thing in our lives comes from him. Our good behavior is powered by him as he works through our belief, love, and effort.
And is he faithful to keep you from evil? Beyond any doubt!
So, why do we feel so incapable? Because he lets us feel weak so that we rely on him. Don’t let your weakness fool you. Instead, let it be the reason you trust God to be your strength.
So, what steals our trust in God? When we suddenly doubt we have the strength to obey, what changed?
We forgot who God is. We forgot who we are in him. We wavered in our trust that he is powerful enough to keep us from choosing evil. And, truly, we let our hearts wander from him to other things.
That last mistake is the sneakiest and most damaging. Every evil mistake starts with letting our hearts wander from Christ. This is why it is so important to develop a diligent habit of reading the Bible, praying, and worshipping every day. Because we are easily distracted and our memories are short.
We can’t ever forget that God is our life. The Salvation Poem uses the wording, “Change my life and make it new.” It acknowledges that our lives are never going to be the same after knowing Christ, and the reason is one hundred percent because of who he is.
Do you have a friend or family member that you love like crazy? Why do you love them? Is it because you’re a good person?
One time, someone asked a man if he loved his wife because he was a good person. This made the man confused and a little offended. He loved her because she was wonderful! His love for her had nothing to do with whether he was good. In fact, he knew he wasn’t good, and he loved her more because she loved him despite his lack of goodness.
Our love for Jesus is like that. It has nothing to do with how good we are. We love him because he is wonderful. Every day, we should think about his wonderful traits until we feel love for him fill up our bones.
Three practices that cultivate this are reading the Bible, praying, and worshipping.
Do you doubt this works?
Read God’s promises that he will never leave you or forsake you. That he will complete the good work he began in you. That he loved you when you hated him and he chose you to be his. That nothing can separate you from his love except your own distrust and willful evil, and that he has forgiven and accepted you.
When you doubt he is renewing your mind, remind yourself that he does so through his Word. When you doubt you have the power to deny evil, remind yourself of times he has given you the strength to overcome evil in the past. When you doubt you can love him, remind yourself that he is too wonderful not to love. When you doubt you can do anything good, remind yourself that every good thing in your life comes from him.
Walk in humility, love, and practical obedience to Christ by believing he is changing you and constantly making you new.
God’s Spirit lives inside us, lovingly changing us in ways we may hardly notice. We share his life like an unborn baby shares its mother’s blood. The baby and mother remain separate people, but their lives get blended together in a beautiful way. In the same way, the Holy Spirit gives life to our spirits through the blood of Jesus.
His Spirit is what we feel inside us when we pray and worship him. The sense of his Spirit living in us is a vital daily experience. Without a constant sense of his Spirit living in us, we are weak. But with him, his Spirit makes us strong like nothing else can.
Read Romans 12:1-21. This passage shows the change in our lives that comes when we surrender our lives to God in real faith. It gives a glimpse of what spiritual renewal looks and feels like. Write down and share how God is renewing you. Where is he working most right now? Reflect on how he is patiently walking you down the path of growth and maturity. Can you see proof that he has been gracious toward you?