Purposeful Faith

Denying Discouragement

Denying Discouragement

It’s days like these that can really cause havoc…

Days where these kids head to time-out, over and over, despite the repeated talks on love.
Days when work doesn’t work-out.
Days when the marriage just goes off kilter.
Days when friendships irk.
Days when finances continue to dwindle.
Days when God doesn’t immediately show up. Days that can turn into weeks…

It’s days like these when you wonder
why in the world things don’t work better when you are working so hard?

It’s days like these that compel your heart to want to give up, to run and hide.

Why is it that the train-wreck days sometimes
 seem far easier to get over than these kind of slow-gnaw-type-of-days?

At least with the train-wreck days, you can clean up the toys at the end of the day and start over with a clean slate. You can file these days away in the “once-in-a-blue-moon” cabinet knowing they won’t repeat too soon.

But, slow-gnaw days are called faith-busting day. Over time, they cut your faith away.

They make you question your worth, your heart, your value, your plans, and your God.

They make me lay in the bed, look up at the ceiling, and say, “Why do I even try, God. When are you coming through? What do I have to do?”

We tend to think that way, don’t we?

That for some reason, we are responsible to fix the hand of God.

As if our actions are the precursor to his decisions.  

Who owns the hand of God – HIM or me?

Yet, I think of another who had a serious loss of heart. I think of another who had a series slow-gnaw days that could have eaten him alive – if he let them.

Imagine hearing these words: But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.  Luke 22:32
And then hearing this: “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” Lu. 22:34
Only to do this: “I don’t even know him!” Lu. 22:57

Might Peter thought, “I’d never! That day will never come! I am strong!” Likely.

But he did – 3 times he did. And he wept. Beyond that, I imagine the next days must have been excruciating as he, probably left in discouragement and despair, saw his savior crucified, dead and buried.

What happened to his purpose?

What use was his life, after in Jesus, he practically twisted the knife?

Peter’s actions must have gnawed worthlessness, pain and struggle.

But, Jesus never leaves the failures, the forgotten or the futureless.

Peter’s inability to stick it through in the moment didn’t disqualify him from Jesus’ love, neither did his past actions.

Nope. Remember this? “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.”  Luke 22:32
And, it didn’t.

How often do we arm ourself up with faith like Jesus did for Peter? His prayer was answered.

How often do we pray preemptively for war? We are at war.

I can only speak for myself, but with faith like mine,
I should make this prayer my living-mantra.

Because it worked for Peter who:

  • Was bound up in forgiveness and recommissioned by Jesus with the words: “Tend My sheep.”
  • Was filled by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, to preach and lead 3000 to Christ.
  • First cried for himself, and later cried with passion for the church built above his foundation.
  • Spread the gospel far and wide with crazy love for his Savior.
  • Completed his life as the rock – to the point of death, not as sand – breaking under the pressure of life.

We think Jesus uses heroes, he often used the ones who felt like zeros.

We think it’s about perfection, but it’s simply about his resurrection.

We think Jesus looks for the perfect, but he always finds the willing.

We try to be faultless, but God grows the repentant faulted.

Peter was never disqualified because he doubted.

His days were never marked as fake and tossed out like bad meat
(we read his lessons time and time again).

He wasn’t left in the dust without a purpose or a cause.

He hit gnawing days, battling days and downright discouraging days, yet Jesus chose him, ate with him, replenished his heart and restored his mission so he could go awesome, outstanding and amazing distances for God’s glory.

He waits to do the same with us; Jesus waits to recharge us into his purpose.

What is really amazing is, after all was said and done, Peter, wasn’t just changed for himself, so he could reach some high-and-lofty goal like sitting at the right hand of God, or going before God, or looking good to man, but he was changed to one who learned to deny self (no matter the cost).

He became chief-tender over Jesus’ greatest love – the sheep, just as Jesus always believed he would.

Jesus said to Peter (pre-denial), “And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:32

And, Peter did.

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2 #RaRalinkup Updates:
1.  Sign up for the NEW Cheerleaders 4 Christ #RaRa Facebook group page (this is different than the prayer one I set up). We will be rolling out a new element to the #RaRalinkup that I want you to be a part of. Details are forthcoming soon. Join here.

2. RSVP for the #RaRalinkup breakfast at She Speaks. Exciting news, prizes and challenges will be shared at this event.

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purposefulfaith

Kelly, a fun-loving, active and spunky mom of two rambunctious toddlers, spends her days pushing swings, changing diapers and pursuing the Lord with all her heart. Called a "Cheerleader of Faith", Kelly's greatest desire is to help women live passionately, purposefully and unencumbered for the Lord.

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70 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Kelly, you’ve done it again. Thank you for sharing your real walk with God- the one that everyone can relate to and be encouraged by. I read these words several times before moving on: “Peter, wasn’t just changed for himself, so he could reach some high-and-lofty goal like sitting at the right hand of God, or going before God, or looking good to man, but he was changed to one who learned to deny self (no matter the cost).” That’s such good news for a weak and doubting girl like me. AMEN! Blessings~

  • […] Sharing with Grace & Truth, Fellowship Friday, Looking Up, Faith filled Friday, Weekend Brew, Still Saturday, Faith and Fellowship, Dance with Jesus, Sunday Stillness, Making your home sing, Inspire me Monday, Amaze Me Monday, Good morning Monday , Modest Monday, Tell me a true Story, Titus 2 Tuesday, Testimony Tuesday, #RaRa Linkup […]

  • Kelly, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your graphic and these words:

    We think Jesus uses heroes, he often used the ones who felt like zeros.

    We think it’s about perfection, but it’s simply about his resurrection.

    Oh, I’m letting go of perfect today, and hanging on to His resurrection today. if He used Peter, he can use us too!

  • God chooses the most unlkely person to not only follow I’m but also to share His gospel. The beauty in this is that God knows exactly what He is doing every time. Your words teach, speak life and are a beacon for all who read them. Blessings!

  • What a beautiful message and one I truly needed to hear today. We truly need our faith to be the strongest on the days when we feel the weakest. Thanks so much for sharing and for hosting! Blessings 🙂

  • Inspiring, Encouraging, makes me want to grunt, “C’mon! We can do this.” My favorite line, though? “We think Jesus uses heroes, he often used the ones who felt like zeros.” Spot on. Most of us have probably felt like zeroes, some more than others. Being reminded of Peter’s walk, does a world of good to the doubter in each of us. xo

  • Kelly, I love to read about Peter. If I could have had a long lost biblical brother it would have to be him. I so identify with His character in that I too am a bit impulsive and very inconsistent. But it is so encouraging to see what God could do in His life and know He can do the same in mine. Be blessed! – Kia

  • Can’t wait to see you next week at the breakfast, Kelly. It’s going to be a great time! May we always remember the example Peter set for us. Jesus chooses to use us – and I am so thankful! Bless you, friend!

  • Wonder if Peter had any idea how many lessons he’d provide us with centuries later? 🙂
    He’s one of the more comforting of Biblical characters, because He’s so very human and relatable. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  • Yes, this: “why in the world things don’t work better when you are working so hard?” I sometimes feel this way, but I think it might be a gift wrapped in disguise. It keeps us dependent on Him because apart from Him who have no good thing- it reminds us He is in charge. Even when that dependence thing is hard to swallow it is a good reminder to remain close. Thank you Kelly for pointing us to Him and His good heart towards us.

  • I loved this post. Maybe those off-kilter days are truly designed so as to keep us dependent on the One who is never off-kilter. So encouraged by this post this morning!

  • Oh Kelly, your words always minister to my heart. I especially liked this line today: “He hit gnawing days, battling days and downright discouraging days, yet Jesus chose him, ate with him, replenished his heart and restored his mission so he could go awesome, outstanding and amazing distances for God’s glory.”

    How often I judge myself as disqualified when God wants to use those very gnawing faith-busting days to point to His faithfulness and sufficiency. I need only to be still and wait on Him. He always comes through.

  • It really resonated with me when you spoke about how it is often the small, everyday troubles that wear on us. That we often hold up so much better in the midst of crisis. I wonder if that is because we turn to Him more quickly in moments of crisis, and perhaps also because we may be more likely to be surrounded by love and support during a crisis. It is the hidden troubles that we carry alone, depression, anxiety, insecurity, etc. that others do not see that is so hard. I know I need to remember to pray more persistently through the everyday troubles, like I would in a crisis – giving it all into His loving hands.
    Much love, sweet friend,
    Kamea

  • Kelly, God is using you, my friend. I needed to be reminded of the truth that “Jesus never leaves the failures, the forgotten or the futureless.” Some days I feel like all three. Thank you for hosting this encouraging space. Much love to you today!

  • Kelly, there are so many hearts who need to hear this message today. I feel like so many are discouraged in ministry and need souls like you to lift them up and remind them who they are in Christ. Thank you. I love the story of Peter so much and go to it again and again. Oh, and I wrote about discouragement too. (are you surprised? 😉 )

  • “We think Jesus looks for the perfect, but he always finds the willing.” Kelly, thank you for the reminder I don’t need to be perfect, just willing.

    Lord, may You always find me willing to say “yes” to whatever You ask and to follow wherever You lead.

  • I love Peter’s story and how profound God’s grace and forgiveness was in Him. I feel like there are times in my life when I’ve stared God in the eyes, the rooster crowed, and I denied Him. But He is so faithful to restore, to love, to remind us that we are His. That balm of forgiveness is not one to be taken for granted and I’m so grateful that He loves us that much. Thanks for sharing, Kelly.

  • Kelly,
    Thank you for how you summarize so well God’s truth in a way that is memorable….So very grateful it is about His resurrection and not our perfection…many blessings to you 🙂

  • Did you have a video camera in my living room?!?! My boys have fought literally all day…just one of those days from the moment their eyes opened! It really does wear down faith, creativity wanes, and discouragement seeps in. I needed this Word. As I sit here at their swim practice, I’m taking in the quiet and thanking God for giving you words to pour into my heart today!

    • I know that day well, I don’t even have to see in your house to know how it plays out. I am so glad that these words spoke in. What a gift to hear! Thank you Spirit for working!

  • I really needed this today, Kellie! Kind of in a season of doubt and discouragement. Your words and selected scriptures were a great reminder that God is in control and his love never changes no matter how I feel. Bless you!

    I wish I could meet up with you and the others at She Speaks next week, but it is not meant for me to attend this year. I went last year for the first time and it was amazing! Hope God will encourage and inspire you to keep on going and not give up!

  • …”for some reason, we are responsible to fix the hand of God.
    As if our actions are the precursor to his decisions.
    Who owns the hand of God – HIM or me?”
    Wow! You nailed it, Kelly! ♡

  • Such encouragement “We think Jesus looks for the perfect, but he finds the willing”. I spend so much more time trying to be perfect instead of focusing on being willing. Great change of focus today – thank you 🙂

  • Great post, Kelly. “Those days” definitely can creep up on me, making me feel less than qualified to be of use to God. But praise Him who has assured me His grace is sufficient for me and that His power is best illustrated in my weakness!

  • I am always encouraged when I read your words. Many times I don’t leave a comment to tell you, because I am reading in a hurry or interrupted or I just don’t know what else to add with the many words of grace left for you.
    This one, though, there is so much to savor and so much I found myself nodding a head and sighing, “yep..uh-huh”.
    The gnawing days…the ones that wear out our faith armor. They are the chronic sick days that we weep over when the evening hours come asking Him, “where were you and why didn’t I hear you.”
    And then silence…. but not really.
    Because it is here, in the silence that we hear the gentle sound of his approval even when we were less than graceful or loving, and the hush of the wind blowing, reminding us that we are His daughters, dearly loved.
    It is here, that the tears are collected in His bottle, crystallized as jewels in His treasury, because He reminds us that it is ok, it really is. And our faith armor was being polished rather than falling off, and we can rest and be still, letting batteries recharge.

    It was just one more brush stroke in the landscape of our living that adds the sparkle of beautiful because He refined us for His glory.

    You are touching eternal things here, Kelly. Keep up the hard good work.
    Bless you,
    Dawn

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