That is right where I am at, this very moment!
I’m sitting here in Starbucks trying to work on my first book (have been writing this thing for the last two years, ashamed to say). Meanwhile, this neurotic voice in my head is saying, “Who’s going to read this thing, I mean really?”….”You know you’re not a writer…you can’t do this.”
That voice of discouragement seems to find me first thing in the morning, and hover around my head like a pesky gnat throughout the day! Does that ever happen to you? Do you find yourself attempting something for the Lord, maybe at your job, or within your family, but hear this discouraging voice in your head saying “Why bother, you can’t do that…it will never work…?”
At those moments when we feel discouraged (in my case, right now), it’s important to take a reality check. For me, I may not be a professional writer. I know I am not the best with weaving words together, and there are plenty of other people that could do a better job of communicating this message on my heart.
But the truth is God uses imperfect vessels to do His work in this world. There are so many examples of this in the Bible. I think of Peter, who was not an educated theologian, yet Jesus called him out and told him he would be the rock on which he would build his church, and that “the gates of hell would not prevail against it!” (Matt. 16:17-19, ESV)
Peter wasn’t the pinnacle of eloquent speech. He certainly wasn’t formally educated as a pastor, or teacher. He simply followed Jesus, and because he followed him every day, he gleaned all the education he would need to later share the Gospel message to thousands, and help launch the Christian movement that we continue to experience today.
The Bible teaches us that, as believers, we have all that we need to succeed in God’s purposes for our lives, through the Holy Spirit. “But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8, ESV) When feelings of doubt and fear encroach on us we can rest in knowing that in all things we are more than conquerors, through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:36-38, ESV).
Isn’t that a great encouragement today?
When the voices of discouragement come (and they will), remember that He has given you all the power you need to accomplish his purposes, by His Holy Spirit. You are God’s handiwork, and empowered by the Father “to do great works that he prepared in advance for you to do!” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)
So the next time that voice of discouragement comes around, just tell it to take a hike. God says, “Yes you can!”, and He has the last word anyway!