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Friday, August 21, 2015

When I Don't Like Myself

There are days when . . .
  • I wake up mixed up—what day is it anyway?—and grumpy, and sad, all at the same time.
  • I am negative—and I’m not a naturally negative person.
  • I feel achy all over.
  • I’m tired before the day begins. (Give me some coffee!)
  • I am fuzzy-headed.
  • The lousy, drippy, cold weather really affects me.
  • I believe everyone is the enemy.
  • I forget to count my many blessings.
  • I don’t exactly know how to pray.

Are there days when you just don’t like yourself? Is this one of those days?

I love the Bible! It always shares the good, the bad, and the humanly ugly. It helps us know we’re not alone. Let me quote a few Bible characters who didn’t exactly like themselves, sometimes:
  1. Adam hid himself because he was ashamed. God asked him where he was, and Adam replied, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself (Genesis 3:10). God made provision for his nakedness and his sin. Genesis 3:15 speaks of Christ’s offering on the cross, and God gave them clothes to wear in verse 21. Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
  2. At the end of his trials, Job realized his sin and made things right before God. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes (Job 42:6). The Bible says the LORD also accepted Job (42:9b), And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before (42:10).
  3. The Psalmist David, in the Messianic Psalm 22, said, But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him (verses 6-8). Of course, later in the Psalm, David breaks out in songs of praise to God for His provision and care.
  4. When Isaiah saw the Lord, he compared himself to a perfect God, Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts (Isaiah 6:5).
  5. Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, said, Cursed be the day wherein I was born: let not the day wherein my mother bare me be blessed. Cursed be the man who brought tidings to my father, saying, A man child is born unto thee; making him very glad (Jeremiah 20:14-15). Jeremiah was discouraged because of persecution. The people didn’t heed his message, and they mistreated him. But God reassured Jeremiah and helped him understand that the people had a choice. They would be blessed if they obeyed and suffer punishment if they chose to disobey. Jeremiah went on to prophesy Truth year after year after year.
  6. The Apostle Paul asked, O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? The solution was in Christ: I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin (Romans 7:24-25).
  7. Peter was denying Christ when he realized his sin: Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly (Matthew 26:74-75). God forgave Peter and used him greatly. Peter preached a powerful gospel message at Pentecost and became the first pastor of the church at Jerusalem.

So, what about us?

On those days when we don’t like ourselves at all, on those days when we are out-of-sorts, when we just want to crawl back under the covers and forget it, or when sins beset us, what lessons can we learn from these biblical men?
  • Like Adam, we rejoice in God’s provision of salvation and His covering our shame.
  • Like Job, we pray for our enemies and see God bless.
  • Like David, we turn our eyes away from circumstances to praising our great Lord.
  • Like Isaiah, we appreciate God’s holiness.
  • Like Jeremiah, we keep on doing right, no matter the results or cost.
  • Like Paul, we serve God with thanksgiving.
  • Like Peter, we confess our sins, accept God’s forgiveness, and move on to serve the Lord, knowing that all the power in our message is from Him.

Having a negative morning? Be encouraged in the Lord. He is the answer to your heart’s needs.

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