There are many things in life that I have grown to appreciate. Without them, I'm sure that I would find myself in some frustrating situations. Yes, I do enjoy my technical gadgets, but that's not what I'm referring to at this time
I'm thinking of warning signs. You know, like the road signs that say, "warning construction ahead." Or, what about the warning signs on prescription medication? I appreciate the warning label that states you can take the pills with or without food.
Over the last year, I've experienced a few feelings that I didn't initially pick up as dangerous, but realized over a period; those feelings were causing harmful side effects. I thought that I would take out time and warn you of what could happen if these three emotions are not managed and dealt with when they arise.
Whenever we start to doubt what is happening in our lives or question if things will work out, we are in fact questioning God's word and His goodness towards us. Scripture tells us in James 1:5-6 (NIV) if any of us lacks wisdom, we should ask God. He gives it, and He gives it generously. It also says that when we ask, we must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
I can vouch for feeling blown and tossed in my mind whenever I allowed doubt to consume me. The way I've learned to fight back is to remind myself of truth, God's word.
Then, there is the spirit of discouragement. Oh yeah, we've all felt disappointment before. I can recall being disappointed after I applied for a position earlier in my career and didn't get the job. I felt rejected that day and thought there was no hope of me advancing in my career. Then, God used a supervisor who was part of the interview committee to be my human warning sign.
She said, "Erika, I recognize you're disappointed, but don't burn any bridges. People are watching how you are handling disappointment." I didn't say much after she gave me those words of wisdom, and I'm thankful that I didn't. A few months later, they were hiring again, and the second time around, I got the job! That was a valuable lesson I learned, and that human warning sign was right on time. If I ignored her wisdom, disappointment would have kept me focused on the fact that I didn't get the position instead of trusting God had a different plan for me.
Lastly, whatever you do, never allow a passing moment cause you to label yourself as defeated. The danger of allowing ourselves to drown in frustration is that we risk achieving any goals or dreams that we had for our future. Can you imagine thinking things are over when they are just beginning? Our destiny is depending on us finding a way to get up instead of retreat or never try.
In Ephesians 6:10, we're told to be strong in the Lord and His mighty power. Of course, if we are trying to do things in our strength, defeat is sure to follow. When we rely on the power of God, we are victorious. We either win, or we learn. We never lose!
My prayer is that we pay attention to the warning signs that God's places in our lives. I pray we engrave truth in our hearts and avoid doubt, discouragement, and defeat at all cost.