Sometimes we believe the lie from the Enemy that if we just had more time during the day then we would finally be able to read our Bibles. Our deceptive hearts tell us that if our lives were not as busy, we could actually have a set aside time to be on our knees in our prayer before our Lord each day.
So, God gave us a quarantine. We have been in quarantine for nearly six weeks. We are in a season where many (not all) find themselves at home with more flexibility with their schedule, as we wait for life to return to normal. And yet, we may find ourselves discouraged because we are not maximizing our days by “training ourselves for godliness” like we thought we would (1 Tim 4:7).
We are failing to fulfill our aspiration of finally reading the Bible for 30 minutes each morning, or having 15 minutes of private prayer before bed, or memorizing one Bible verse each week. We compare ourselves to others who seem to be thriving in their quarantine quiet times and, as sinners, we beat ourselves up.
Hope to Press On
I pray these five truths fill you with God’s grace and hope to get up tomorrow and meet with the Lord again.
Your help comes from the Lord (Psalm 121:1-2). Don’t hang your head, but look up. See where your help comes from. “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Jesus Christ shed his precious blood to give you the Helper, the Holy Spirit. The Helper will give you strength and grace to grow in deeper godliness. Go to your Helper during this season and ask him for help.
Apart from Christ you can do nothing (John 15:5). We cannot do anything that is pleasing to the Lord without abiding with Christ. Therefore, things such as—raising our kids, working on homework, having Zoom conference calls, serving our spouse, encouraging other church members––will not be to God’s glory if we are not spending time with Christ daily. Therefore, run back to Jesus to be with him daily that your life may bear much fruit.
God gives more grace (James 4:6). Your sinful flesh is prone to cause you to live in despair because your lack of devotion to the Lord. But remind yourself that where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more (Rom. 5:20). Confess how you have failed to place the Lord Jesus as your central concern during the day, and know that there is now no condemnation for you in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1).
Jesus is praying for your faith (Luke 22:31-32). One of Jesus’ disciples, in an evening of weakness, denied his friend and Lord three times. His name was Peter. Jesus told Peter before that happened, “Satan demanded to have you, that we might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” You are still following Jesus today, not because of your ability to hold on to Jesus, but because of his surety to hold on to you. Oh, what a surety we have in Jesus! He who began a good work in you will bring it completion at the day of Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:6). Because of this, Jesus enables you turn again today toward following Christ more faithfully and to go strengthen others to do the same.
The Lord’s mercies are new every morning (Lam. 3:23). This promise is yours in Christ Jesus. For the believer, the mercy of God waits for you in the morning. So, we can forget the failures of yesterday and can press on toward the goal of being with Jesus (Phil 3:13-14). This is a sign of Christian maturity (Phil 3:15). The love of God for us does not waver based on yesterday’s performance. God loves his own children just as much as he loves his Son, Jesus (John 17:23). Therefore, because of his great love, mercy waits for you each day. Each hour. Each minute.
Be strengthened by these realities that Christ died to give his sheep. And run to Jesus. Open your Bible today. Write insights in a journal. Pray without ceasing. Find a verse to hide in your heart. And mercy and grace will be there tomorrow to help you again.
“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.” Psalm 23:6