Most of us are not usually happy when we do not get our way when it comes to things that we strongly desire. It is particularly disheartening when we see someone else receiving them. However, we all respond differently in these situations. Some of us may complain to anyone and everyone who will listen. Others of us will behave in more demonstrative ways that do not represent Christ well. Then there are those of us who will internalize our emotions where bitterness and resentment may take root and grow. When led by our flesh we will always focus on our desires above what the Lord determines is best for us. There is nothing wrong with acknowledging our emotions. After all, God gave them to us. He understands why we feel the way that we do. However, we should not remain there. Our feelings are real and valid. Yet, we must not allow our emotions to lead us, thereby distracting us from the purposes of God. We must yield to the Holy Spirit and grab hold of our unchecked emotions before anger, resentment and bitterness take root. We cannot allow the devil a foothold.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:14-15
In seeking the Lord, yielding to the guidance of the Holy Spirit within us we will walk in step with the Spirit and bear much fruit. We will be able to accept that God’s plans are always better than ours. Trusting Him, in His Sovereignty and His lovingkindness, we will live as an example to others and glorify God. His way will always be the best way for us no matter how it looks in our own finite perspective. It may not look good or feel good at the time but it is always for our good and for His glory.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:23-25
Seeing others get what we want can be very disappointing, yet we can still be happy and excited for them. It will be a blessing to us as we share in their joy. Our journeys are all very different and the sooner we embrace God’s plan for our lives without looking at everyone around us and comparing notes, we will live much more productive and fruitful lives. God will be glorified in our contentment and in our love for one another.
There are several verses in Scripture that refer to our journey here on earth as a race. It may be a race but it is more of a marathon than a sprint. Savor the moments and grow in grace, grace for yourself, as well as grace for others. Trust in God’s plan for your life, which also includes His timing. His timing is always perfect! Choose the way of love, serving others as Christ did. God has a plan for each one of us individually. Our race will look different from everyone else’s.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, Hebrews 12:1
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your goodness, Your love, Your patience and Your kindness. Thank You for giving us Your Word to encourage and instruct us and Your Holy Spirit to guide us and keep us on the right path. We love you and we praise You! We exalt Your Holy Name! You are so worthy to be praised! Forgive us for looking at others and wishing we have what they have. Forgive us for not being content. Forgive us for sometimes forgetting Your goodness and faithfulness. Forgive us for sometimes thinking we know better than You what is best for us. You, Lord know all things. You know every hair on our head! You, the Creator of the Universe who put the stars in the sky and call them all by name are still so mindful of us! You care for us. You love us beyond measure. Thank You, Lord! Search us, Father and see if there is an offensive way in us and lead us in the way everlasting. Fill us with Your Spirit that we may do all that is pleasing to You. If it is not of You, we don’t want it. Please guide us and strengthen us as we draw close to You and seek to walk in Your ways. We ask these things, in the Mighty, Matchless Name of Jesus, Amen and Amen!
By Lanette Black, IWM writer and blogger
Lanette is a mom of three adult children and grandmom to an eleven year old grandson. She loves the Lord with all of her heart, mind and soul. Her greatest desire is to share His love so that others might come to know and love Him, too. Lanette is an avid reader, who enjoys a nice, rich cup of coffee with her morning prayer and devotions. She serves as the Women’s Director and a member of the Board of Deacons at Lifehouse Church in Beltsville, MD. She has a heart particularly for women and children and is passionate about serving them in any way that she can. God has blessed Lanette with a strong love of writing, which she uses to share messages of encouragement as God leads her.