Let’s say that you have a big project or task to accomplish and you find it a struggle due to these annoying voices inside your head telling you that you can’t do it, you won’t do it, you’re not good enough, or you don’t deserve to do it? Success seems out of reach. I know this feeling! I have a huge project that I’m working on and lately, I have really been struggling to make much headway. It’s like a dark cloud is hanging over me showering me with feelings of low self-worth and questions about my motives. Even though I have prayed at length and am confident (well most of the time) that the project was set in front of me by the Lord, as a ministry, I am still filled with fear that I cannot complete it or if I do it will be of no use. Please know that we are not alone if you can relate to my frustration. We can take comfort from David in Psalm 3.
In this Psalm, David has fled from his son Absalom, (2 Samuel 15 – 17). He calls out to God concerning his enemies, who are many, who say that there is no salvation for David. He feels hopeless but then he remembers that God is his shield, his glory, and the “lifter of his head”. He says that he called to the Lord and he answered him. God gave him rest and peace enabling him to sleep. When he awakes, he is thankful that he is still alive and gives God glory for sustaining him. With this in mind and knowing that God is the one who saves him and gives him strength, he has courage declaring that he will not be afraid. He ends the Psalm by saying that salvation belongs to God.
While I don’t have people chasing me at this present time, I do have my own enemies who want to steal my joy, my testimony, and ruin the work that God has set before me. My enemies are not flesh and blood, but the rulers of this broken world and my own sin nature.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:24 (ESV)
I listen to the voices telling me that I’m not good enough. I give into the depression and fear that is based on the troubles of this world and my emotions instead of trusting in the truth of God, that I know, and relying on His shield for my protection, strength, and ability. In Ephesians 6 Paul describes the shield of faith as one of the weapons in the armor of God that we are to equip ourselves with to battle these spiritual forces. Faith here is more than positive thinking. He tells us to be strong not in our own strength but in “the Lord and in the strength of his might.” (Ephesians 6:10). In verse 18 we are told that God supplies this strength primarily through prayer. So what’s the difference? Positive thinking relies on our own ability, maybe chanting an affirmation to ourselves, whereas faith is speaking to our creator, knowing that He hears us, loves us, and wants the best for us.
This shield may not always prevent physical harm or sorrowful struggles,
“I (Jesus) have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (ESV)
But once we belong to God through faith in His son Jesus, we can know that God himself, through His Holy Spirit, is with us through all of our struggles and we can rest assured that our future is secured.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” John 5:24 (ESV)
Lord, you know my enemies. Lord, you are my shield, my protection against my enemies. You lift my head when I am downtrodden. Please give me peace. Please sustain me and let me be filled with joy because of your strength, your provision, your protection, and your salvation. Help me to be in awe of your glory. Lead me in the tasks you have set in front of me and help me to be confident of success through your ability and not my own. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Are you struggling with the strength to finish a project? Are negative thoughts preventing you from enjoying your days or completing your tasks? I would love to hear from you!