“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
It was a long day with a longer to-do list. I was chipping away at it but running out of emotional and physical steam. What I needed was a large sweet tea. But as I pulled into the restaurant drive-through, I heard the flapping noise of a flat tire.
I turned into a parking space and called for roadside assistance. Then, I opened a book, unwrapped my straw and took a sip of tea.
An hour later, a nice man showed up to change my tire. Two hours later I arrived, I headed home. Now, this might not sound like a very exciting story to you, but for me, it was a small victory.
Here’s what I didn’t do. I didn’t cry, fuss at God or fall apart because the air in my schedule leaked out with the air in my tire.
And that, my friend, was reason to celebrate!
My default mode would have been to do all three: cry, fuss at God and fall apart. Then, I’d go home in a bad mood for my husband to endure. But not that day. So, I celebrated that one good moment of a bad day when I responded well.
Driving back home and thinking about this one small attitudinal victory, I thought about a passage in the Bible. In 1 Samuel 14, King Saul and his men were battling the Philistines. The king’s son, Jonathan, and his armor-bearer left 600 soldiers relaxing under a pomegranate tree and went up to face their enemies alone. The duo killed about 20 men in an area roughly the size of a half acre. Then God threw the Philistines into confusion, and they started killing each other.
It was a small victory, but a victory nonetheless. Rather than celebrate the win, King Saul made a decree that the men couldn’t eat until they achieved total victory. Total. All the enemies destroyed.
Jonathan didn’t get the memo about the moratorium on food. And as the army walked through the woods, he dipped his staff in a honeycomb and had a sweet treat. His eyes brightened, and he was refreshed. The other men were weak from hunger and in no condition to fight.
Jonathan’s father, King Saul, was furious. He almost killed Jonathan and risked losing the war. Clearly, Saul was not a wise king.
Oh, friend, too many of us are waiting until we have total victory in our lives before we celebrate. We wait for perfection, which will never come. We beat ourselves up for our missteps and mishaps. All the while we miss dipping into the honeycomb of celebration God provides.
You’ll never have total victory in everything this side of heaven, but you will have some. Don’t miss them! See them! Seize them! Celebrate them!
Celebrate the times when you don’t yell at the kids. Hurray!
Celebrate the times when you don’t respond to the sarcastic words from a cashier with sarcastic words of your own. Praise God!
Celebrate the times when you don’t fall apart because your schedule does. Do the happy dance!
Celebrate the times when you didn’t eat that extra bowl of ice cream. You go, girl!
Celebrate the times when you stubbed your toe and didn’t say a curse word. Well, praise God for that!
God is changing you, transforming you and remaking you every day. Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). Even though you might not respond to all of life’s foibles and fallouts in a God-honoring way, take a moment to celebrate the times you do.
Lord, I’m so glad You’re still working on me — that You don’t give up on me even when I want to give up on myself. Help me see my progress, not just the times I still fall short. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV)
Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough or just not enough, period? If so, it’s time to stop listening to the lies that sabotage your confidence and start embracing the truth of your true identity in Christ. In Sharon Jaynes’ newest book, Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence, you’ll learn how to silence the voice inside that whispers you’re not good enough. Enough will help you accept God’s grace and stop allowing your past failures to define you or confine you as you gain truth to fight your insecurities.
Need to stop those lies that tell you you’re not enough? Click here to join Sharon for the Mindset 7-Day Reset Challenge.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Do you tend to focus on your failures or your victories? What do you think the devil wants you to focus on? What do you think God wants you to focus on?
What did Jesus focus on when He met with Peter in John 21:15-17? Peter’s failure or his future?
Leave a comment and share one recent victory, no matter how small. Let’s celebrate!
© 2018 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.