Today we are offering God the ongoing and chronic struggles in our lives.
Forgive me for picking back up what I’ve already laid at Your feet.
Surely I’m not the only one who gives God a concern and tells Him she will trust Him, but after a few hours, days, or weeks picks up that very same issue again. Believe me when I say it’s never my plan. I really want to wash my hands of it and leave it with God. But as time goes on, I feel anxious. I believe that I might do a little bit better job of running my life than God does. And so that thing I swore I was leaving at Jesus’ feet somehow ends up back in my hands or in my purse or hidden in the back of my closet — because I take it back!
Why does this matter? It says I don’t trust Him. Total trust in and dependence on Him is what He asks me to give.
I never make the same mistake twice. I make it like five or six times, you know, just to be sure.
Isn’t this the truth? Why is it that we need to give Him the same things over and over again? Truth be told, there are lots of reasons, but none of them negate the abundance of God’s mercy. If you stumble over and over, it only means you need to admit your fault to God, receive His forgiveness, and move on!
Have a bad attitude in your marriage? Take it to the Lord. Not faithful to manage your finances in a way that’s pleasing to God? Take it to the Lord. Struggling to give your all at work? Take it to the Lord. Choosing selfishness instead of selflessness in your relationships? Take it to the Lord. Eating too much at lunch today… again? Take it to the Lord. Remember, He already knows where you struggle and where you have fallen. Fall down seven times, get up seven. God’s mercy is bigger than any of your mistakes.
If you are like me, you realize that when it’s time to examine your heart, mind, and actions for anything that offends God, you end up identifying the same things over and over again. If it’s your mouth that gets you into trouble, it’s probably not your mouth every blue moon. Know what I mean? You probably find that your tongue is a stumbling block on a regular basis!
The same for a struggle to walk in purity. (I mean, can we keep it real here?) There are those who have a one- time struggle, and there are others who find themselves falling over and over again.
And then there is unforgiveness, the one thing that our own forgiveness should be based on. You may try to let something go only to realize that you are harboring pain, deep sorrow, or a grudge that you release with your mouth but not with your soul.
If you find yourself confessing the same sins to God, week after week, year after year, you’re not alone.
But what does it mean to repent? I stumbled upon this quote and think it makes the meaning clear:
Repentance is understood not as mere regret over the past but as a new vision for the future rooted in courageous commitment in the present. — Father Alexis
It’s that “courageous commitment” part that trips us up. Let me ask you, what would courageous commitment look like in your life? If you went beyond regret, and maybe even shame, what changes can you make to give you a new vision for your future? Come on, friend. Be brave.
Dear God, help me move beyond regret.
Give me a courageous commitment to _________.
We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about- turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive. — C. S. Lewis
While I wish that I could just eliminate the sins in my life that get me tangled up most often, the fact is that I do end up confessing some of the same sins to God year after year.
How about you? Are you tired of repenting of that addiction to alcohol or food or shopping or social media or other entertainment? Do you feel kind of weary for continuing to confess the same sins against your husband or children? Are you worn out — or do you think God is worn out — because you’re not regular in the spiritual disciplines you want to be practicing?
That’s okay. Don’t let a long-term struggle stop you from owning up to your challenge. Talk to Him about it. He knows anyway.
What matters most is that you pay attention when God’s Spirit reveals that you’re heading in the wrong direction. That’s half the battle. Now, what will it take for you to turn around?
Before you sleep, remember that it’s okay to not be okay. We all have our struggles. God loves you for who you are, but too much to leave you that way.
Don’t let this focused day of repentance leave you feeling beaten and broken down. We all have our struggles. But my dear, know that it’s God’s wonderful love that won’t leave you comfortable in your struggle. Your conviction is a sign that He is working in you to bring about the changes that will bring Him glory and that will also bring you good! Don’t focus on what you can’t get right and let it bring you down. Focus on the fact that a loving God is relentlessly pursuing you even if that means making you feel uncomfortable so that you will find your way right into His arms.
Excerpted with permission from 28-Day Prayer Journey by Chrystal Evans Hurst, copyright Chrystal Evans Hurst.
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If you have something you keep laying at the feet of Jesus only to turn around and pick it up again, take time to reflect what that might be rooted in. We’d love to hear how you’re walking through or conquering battles through prayer time with Jesus. Come share on our blog!