Psalms 42:11- Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.
December is one of my favorite months. In my life, it’s basically a month long celebration (until law school finals came in lol). There’s Christmas, my birthday, I have a few weeks off to see my friends and family, New Years’ Eve, etc. However, one thing that I don’t like about December (outside of the fact that it’s so dang cold) is that it seems to be the month of…excuses…
People will spend all of December…wishing or planning for January. December seems have to become to unofficial shift from appreciating what is to only looking forward to what is to come. We say that we want to lose weight…next year. Or, we want to have better spending habits…starting on the 1st. We want better study habits, better grades, better attitudes…next year. Or if we do start in December, we start with excuses that only enable "ill advised" decisions (I can buy that…it’s the Christmas season!…I deserve it…I’ll be better next year). Sweet suga, what you tolerate, even from yourself, is what will continue. No calendar, no countdown, no magical date of the year can change habits that you continue to feed.
I often tell my friends (and myself a time or….8) that if you want to be better, be better. Don’t wait on the 1st, don’t wait on the new year. Sit down & decide what it will take to achieve whatever you want to do next month, next year, etc. and do it! What does it mean to be...whatever it is you want to be? What do you think that looks like? For example, let’s say you want to lose weight (that’s got to be the one of the top new years resolution of all time lol). If you start working out, eating better, etc. now, you’re more likely to stick with it in the coming months. Watch people who have healthy habits. Want a better relationship with God in 2016? Start talking to Him in 2015. Small steps amount to big changes. You can either spend another day in what you know to be mediocre (compared to what God has for you), or you can take steps towards your destiny today, and prepare yourself for what eyes haven’t seen and what ears haven’t heard.
Psalms 42:11 is significant to us today because it’s a symbol that sometimes, we’ve got to check ourselves. The Psalmist here has had quite the pity party for the first four verses of the chapter. Then, something major happens: he checks himself. He stops looking at what is happening to him, and starts looking back at what God has done for him, then looks up to the God that he knows is on his side.
The reason why many of us get stuck in the cycles we currently have is because we never get past the view the Psalmist had in the first 4 verses. We get caught up in what’s happening to us, how great (we think) everybody else’s life is, etc…and never look up. We can’t bother to be thankful for our own blessings because we’re too busy being jealous of somebody else’s. Well, that’s a trap, and if you dare to look back on your own life, and look up with me today, we’re going to come out of it today.
You miss the point if you get so mad that you’re broke that you don’t realize you paid some (or all) of your bills (or that you even have bills to pay). You miss the point if you get so mad at God that you’re sick that you don’t realize that people have died from minor illnesses (or without any illness at all). Are you tired? Probably. Is it rough? SUGA YES! You probably have every right to be tired, weak, down, and in complete despair. But "which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life?" (Matt. 6:27) AND we should all recognize that we wouldn’t have anything to worry about if God hadn’t sustained us to this point. The children of Israel were in the wilderness for 40 years. To my knowledge, they never got new clothes or shoes, etc….but what they had never wore out. God will sustain you until your due season of change comes. It’s our job to be thankful for what was so that we can humbly receive what is to come.
You don’t serve an ignorant God. You don’t serve a God that pops in and out of your life as He sees fit. God knows more about you than you know about yourself. You’re connected to a God with power. Enough power to pull you out of your trial tomorrow, or to sustain until your time for deliverance comes. He won’t let the fire burn you, He’ll only let it make you better. You serve a God who has the power to give you favor with men, and will protect you by any means. Somebody once told me that your situation may have you surrounded, but don’t be fooled, because God’s got it surrounded. He’s your rock. He’s a God that sustains, provides, heals, and sets free with perfect timing. You serve a God that’s got you covered. THAT’S who you’ve got on your side. THAT’S who you serve.
So like the Psalmist in Ps. 42:11, I want you check yourself and ask why you’ve seemingly given up on goals before they've even started. Why delay? Why discount yourself, and discount God, with the belief that ‘better’ is only meant for the beginning of the year, and not the end? Can God not change you and/or your habits…until January? Your better days start when your actions match your intentions to improve. It doesn’t have to be January. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic year end tear fest. It’s a decision. One…simple…decision. You can be better, or simply hope for it. I dare you to place ‘January faith’ in God…in December, and watch Him renew you like never before. 2016 won’t know what hit it….
If you start today, God will start with you…..go.
Background Music: Encourage Yourself - Donald Lawrence & I’m Changing - William Murphy
Words from the Author
At the end of the day, these posts are the thoughts that run through my mind. These are the lessons I've learned. The doors that I've walked through. The path I've chosen. This is part of what it means to be me. Hopefully, it'll help you be...you. Let's grow together, kay?
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