Sweet MusicWhat things have you been trying to handle without prayer?
Top Music Videos
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on . . . (v.12).
Recently, my wife and I had the privilege of speaking on the topic of Loving One Another at a marriage retreat. Attendees included couples of all ages—those who had been married just a year to a “golden” duo who had spent 50 years together. That couple, Joe and Arlene, blessed the younger couples as they transparently revealed some of the struggles they had experienced in their marriage. They candidly acknowledged their imperfections but also stated that they had chosen to cling to God and their vows as they went through rocky times together.
Speaking the truth, letting people see some of our “warts,” can be greatly encouraging to other believers in Jesus. Even super-apostle Paul admitted that he was no Superman! He wrote, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me” (Philippians 3:12). Paul’s relationships were also a bit rocky at times, including famous falling-out episodes with Barnabas (Acts 15:38) and Peter (Galatians 2:11).
By God’s wisdom, the Bible is full of accounts of those who knew God but still had feet of clay . . . those who were far from perfect. You and I should live our faith by being honest about our failures and struggles. And, when appropriate, we should communicate these things to help encourage and build up other believers. We can plainly state that we “have not achieved [perfection], but [we] . . . press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:13).
As we open up, we show that our confidence isn’t in our own “human effort” (v.3) but in the righteousness of Jesus (v.9).
The Psalms are full of real, raw words of personal fear, pain, and failure. Read a few right now and consider how you’re encouraged by the honesty and transparency found in what David and others wrote.
How can you use your past failures and challenges to bless and encourage others? What kinds of failure are not helpful to share?
- Sweet Music - What things have you been trying to handle without prayer?...read more
- Laughter - How do joy and laughter reveal the heart of God?...read more
- Powerful Patience - How can you trust God more even as you wait on Him?...read more
- Overwhelmed - What has sunk your spirits today?...read more
- Greater - How does the knowledge that God is greater than our storms impact the way you feel?...read more
- Voice of Reason - How do you respond to the rage of others?...read more
- Source of Truth - What does Scripture reveal about the issues on your mind today?...read more
- Little Things - Do you measure yourself and others according to God’s standards or the world’s?...read more
- Jesus the Reconciler - What does it add to your understanding of the cross to recognize that Jesus was enacting your reconciliation with God?...read more
- Tasting Heaven - How can you echo God’s future banquet by inviting diverse guests to your dinner parties?...read more
- Possible - What does it mean for you to know that Jesus is your Shepherd?...read more
- "Follow Me!" - Why are you following Jesus?...read more
- Here’s Hope - Why do we sometimes keep our struggles to ourselves?...read more
- Is Jesus Enough? - How do you react when you see injustice in the world, or when circumstances are against you and God seems to be silent?...read more
- Greater Work - What life experience has most challenged your understanding of prayer?...read more
- Awe - Where and when do you find yourself most in awe of God?...read more