But you know what I do when I 'feel'
discouraged. I take myself back to God's word.
In a world that is so critical, we need to constantly remind ourselves of what God says.
Today I want to share with you what God said to me during morning chapel with my church. We read Psalm 4 as a group and I was reminded of Psalm 56 which I had read earlier on in the week. I encourage you to read both passages in full. I'll share what stuck out for me:
How long will you people ruin my reputation? How long will you make groundless accusations? How long will you continue your lies?
You can be sure of this: The Lord set apart the godly for himself. The Lord will answer when I call to him. Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. - Psalm 4 (NLT)
They are always twisting what I say; they spend their days plotting to harm me. They come together to spy on me— watching my every step, eager to kill me...You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know: God is on my side! I praise God for what he has promised; yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me? - Psalm 56 (NLT)
Powerful right!! I read these scriptures and was completely blown away, yet convicted. How often are we criticised and immediately feel the need to respond out of anger. Some of the people that speak harshly against us, twist our words or make up lies, have literally purposed it in their hearts to do so, regardless of our response. But check this...God sees it all, He keeps track of everything. The God that holds the universe, holds your tears. He gets it! He empathises with our frustrations when faced with the critics who aren't correcting us out of love. He understands, but He wants us to respond, HIS WAY. Which is: being silent in the heat of the moment, praising and trusting Him to deal with everything, including His creation!
Today I heard from God after reading Psalm 4 and here is what He said to me. I quickly scribbled it down as usual, but I've typed it up for you all to read and be encouraged.
My Child, you don’t have to respond to everything. When they attack your character, when they criticise what I have told you to do; don’t fret!
Be silent. Remember My words.
Trust Me to protect your heart and your reputation.
You don’t need to defend yourself. I Am your defence. I Am your shield.
Don’t let the words of others dampen your spirit. You’re not living for them, you are living for me. You don’t aim to please them, I know you aim to please me. Don’t let them take your focus off what I’ve given you to do.
My beloved, you are not perfect, but it is your imperfection that drew me to you. I wanted to save and restore you. I Am still saving and restoring you.
It is your imperfection that birthed the ministry I gave you. Never forget that!
When the critics come, rest in My Grace that covers your flaws and restores you to my standard.
You are beautiful. Keep seeking me. Trusting me. And Hoping in me.
— Kanayo Dike-Oduah
Everyone has an opinion, but it is God's truth that matters. (Galatians 1:10) You will only know His truth by knowing His word.
So, <<First Name>>, when faced with a harsh critic, will you choose to be silent in the moment, trust God and let His word restore you?