Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Discouragement Comes When We Forget

Is it possible for a Christian to become discouraged? Absolutely, when we forget. There are a lot of things we can forget that would lead us to discouragement, even depression. We can forget God's promises, presence, love, forgiveness, mercy, grace. We can even forget that we did not choose him but he chose us.

We forget this because we think that the decision we made meant that we chose him. We forget who created us in the first place and we forget he created us for friendship with him. We forget that he has pursued us throughout time and he laid down his plans to rescue us. We forget that he chose the cross. We forget he sent the Spirit. We forget that he decided for us before the beginning of time. We forget that Jesus even told us:

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. (John 15:16)

I think Paul often reminded himself and his readers that he had not chosen this relationship and calling himself but he had been chosen:

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God. (Colossians 1:1)

This was important to remember because Paul had been a persecutor of the Church and there were many people in the world who did not want Paul to forget. I am sure there are many people in your life who do not want you to forget what you were or what you have done. The great accuser certainly doesn't want you to forget. He wants you to remain weak, pitiful and useless to God. Between yourself, other people, and the great accuser it is hard to forget. But you must forget in order to remember who chose you.

You are not a freak chance of nature; you were purposefully designed and given life. You have been called to greatness in the Kingdom of God of which you are a citizen. You are a constant companion of God, called friend by Jesus and filled by God himself. You have been pursued by Jesus who does not want to lose you. You are cherished, loved and protected.

There are other choices you can make yourself. You can chose to ignore God. You can chose to stay miserable in the darkness of your soul. You can chose to hide under the blanket of tormenting emotions. You can chose to hide behind the frailty of man's logic. You can chose to remain enslaved to things you do not even realize exist. You can make these other choices or you can accept the fact that you are chosen.

Jesus is reminding you today, to encourage you, to lift you up, that you did not choose him but he chose you. Live in that knowledge today, accepting the fact that you never face anything alone but are always in the presence of the great overcomer. He said he will never leave you or forsake you. You will never be abandoned or forgotten. You are precious. Despite how you feel, what you think, how you act, God is always pursuing your friendship. He has chosen you, and his forgiveness, mercy and grace are enough to preserve you until the day of Jesus' return. Relax, forget about everything else, enjoy the journey and enjoy Jesus.

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