Do you ever get down on yourself? Do you ever get mad or frustrated or discouraged because youíre not the person you should be? Do you ever feel like a failure? I do. Iím slow to forgive. I donít witness enough. I donít put first things first. Iíve missed hundreds of quiet times. I have ungodly motives. (Sometimes I beat myself up over these things, but even that doesnít seem to help. In fact it just seems to get worse.)

I should be perfect. A perfect husband. A perfect dad. A perfect teacher. Weeds should not grow in my yard. (If you know the name of a good therapist, please let me know.)

Okay, Iíll stop being pathetic. The fact is that God has been teaching me something wonderful which frees me from getting down on myself. Psalm 43:5 addresses the problem and then reveals the solution:

Why so downcast, O my soul,

and why are you disquieted within me?

Put your hope in God;

for I shall again praise Him,

my help and my God.

What a fascinating passage! It contains a precious truth. When we are downcast, our hope is not in God. Our hope is in ourselves. We think it all depends on us. We are failing or messing up in some way, and we keep looking to ourselves as the solution.

Formerly, when Satan, the "accuser of the brethren," hurled darts of condemnation at me, I often responded by saying, "Iíll try to do better. Iíll do better." I would do better for a little while, but when I failed again, the accuser was back with more condemnation.

Recently Iíve been learning a new way to respond, and the results are amazing. Now when Satan says, "Youíre inadequate!" I say, "Youíre right! But is Jesus inadequate?"

When I answer that way, the conversation always comes to an abrupt halt. Apparently Satan enjoys talking with me all day long about me and my inadequacy, but when I bring up Christ and His adequacy, Satan no longer wants to chat.

Itís not just that my words have changed. Thereís been a change in my heart. Iím learning to put my hope in Christ rather than in myself. Iím learning to rejoice in Christ at those times when formerly I would get down on myself.

I never have to worry about being adequate again. God does not expect me to be adequate, nor does He require me to be adequate. What He requires is for me to look past myself to Christ, the all-sufficient One. I can rejoice in Him. I donít have to strive to be perfect anymore. I can rest. Christ lives in me, and He is everything I will ever need Him to be.

I can be downcast, looking at myself, or I can rejoice, looking at Him. I canít look at both. Looking to ourselves is a form of pride, even when doing so causes us to feel discouraged because of our own inadequacy. We are still depending on self, stubbornly looking to self. God says, "Humble yourself! This is not about you! This is about My Son."


ó Jamie Lash                     






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