Deacon Arlene Burton presents the prayer “Voice of The Youths – 3rd Sunday, July 2021”. Deacon Burton owns the copyright to this post. We reprint here with her permission.
It is the Third Sunday of the month and the youths’ weekend! Nackeemi Smith did today’s encouragement and prayer. He is a first-year university law student and the treasurer of the Grace Youth Ministries.
Life can be overwhelming. Life throws punches at us every day, and at times we feel as if this happens because of our failures. For example, we may believe that we fail to execute tasks well. I am sure that many of us have our times when we feel like a good for absolutely nothing, purposeless and filled with flaws.
I had the good for absolutely nothing, purposeless and filled with flaws feelings in the last couple of weeks. I’ve been in a position where I felt hatred toward myself because I failed at tasks. I failed to be an excellent Christian, I failed to execute efficiently while at work on my summer job, I failed to achieve a high GPA at University; I failed to be a good son, a good brother, and I failed to be a good nephew. My view was that I failed to do everything that I expected myself to be the best at.
The truth is, though at times I may not see it, I have achieved much throughout my 19 years and eight months being on this earth. Personally, I choose to never give myself credit for anything because I didn’t believe that I deserved anything of value. I usually would stand firm, believing that I deserve absolutely nothing good out of life and I deserve to suffer because all I do is fail and disappoint. So I blamed myself and I have been extremely hard on myself.
I would walk daily with negative thoughts about myself. What good has that done, and what good will that do? The answer is nothing. Some of us do not realise but self-degrading thoughts make us slaves to the enemy, causing us to believe that we are worthless, inadequate and meaningless. How then, can we allow those thoughts when the Bible tells us “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them. Male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27, NIV). We are created to reflect the image of God. However, many of us do otherwise.
It is no secret that life can indeed be challenging as we go about our daily lives and transition from one stage to the next. The truth is, I think that life gets harder. What do we do when we feel like throwing in the towel? What do we do when we want to give up on life? When our feeling is that all we have done thus far is to disappoint others? I believe that it happens to a lot of us. Many of us at times feel this way and think negatively of ourselves. How do we deal with this? Perhaps, we could change our perspectives on life and self.
Often, we temporarily remove God from our lives because the pleasure of the flesh is sweet and God does not condone this type of sweetness, so we remove him and enjoy life according to the world dictates. What happens next? We reap the rewards.
I had been drawn to, and usually would blast my ears with certain ungodly songs when going to work or in my free time. I would engage in certain God-displeasing behaviours. However, I woke up one day and realised that every day I grow to hate myself even more. I did this because I kept messing up and then wondered why.
I did some introspection and I realised that God was nowhere near any of my activities. Perhaps I should switch it up a little. How about listening to Gospel music, reading the Word, praying and dedicating some time to worship God. I did that and noticed a slight improvement in how I go about things, and even my daily thoughts have been adjusted. I also sought help from the same person who I am learning to trust for guidance and empowerment. This is something that never appealed to me in the past but I am seeing that there is value in reaching out for help.
As Christians, we ought to see ourselves the way God sees us, His people. In Isaiah 43:4, it says, “Since you are precious and honoured in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.” (NIV). In God’s eyes, we are precious and honoured. He loves us so much that he would exchange nations for our lives. Besides, the only way to develop profound self-worth is to recognize how God, your creator, sees you.
Even if you are suffering from a sense of loneliness, depression and suicidal thoughts, God can and will rescue you because His love is eternal, impartial, and perfect. He believes you are deserving. Once you recognize this in your core, in your spirit, you will no longer rely on the ephemeral acceptance of others, but your worth will be established on the firm foundation of an unwavering God.
The tongue has the power of life and death. As the Proverb reminds us, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21, NIV). “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he ….“ (Proverbs 23:7, NIV). Our thoughts and words are powerful so if we believe it, we speak it, we become it.
To stop hating one’s self is entirely doable with God’s guidance. You can transform your self-loathing into self-assurance if you begin to see yourself as God sees you. You will go from hating yourself to realising you were created in God’s likeness. Brilliant, exceptional, adored, valued, beautiful, appointed, and so much more, according to God. The book of Jeremiah reminds us of God’s feeling of love and value for His people. One verse said, “The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.’“( Jeremiah 31:3, NIV).
God communicates with us through His Word, the Bible. It’s a love letter from Him to us. The Bible is chock-full of information regarding how God feels about us. We need to ensure that we are filling our hearts and soul with positive things. “What goes in is what comes out.” It is extremely critical to nourish our heart and soul with the word of God at all times, especially when we feel disappointment. Spend some time in His Word, learning the Lord’s perspective on your worth.
The 16th day of July 2021 is probably the best day that I have had at work for the past two weeks. This has given me a new and different feeling. I have become more relaxed, felt more at peace with self, others and God. I know that this is still a journey but I am trying to take it.
We need to realise that sin gives joy but it is temporary. However, the gifts that we receive from God are eternal. It is no joke that the mind is truly a powerful tool. Whatever we invest in our thoughts is what our reality slowly becomes. If we think negatively, we will become negative people over time.
Even if we fail man, we seek to please God. Bad days will come but He will comfort us if we allow Him. It is important that we speak positively, and rest assured that God’s love for us is eternal. See yourself as God sees you.
Most holy and heavenly Father, thanks for Your love for us. We acknowledge Your greatness, power and might.
Lord, we frequently fail to carry out some activities as effectively and efficiently as we would want, which often leaves us feeling disappointed. We often push ourselves to be ideal but remind ourselves that we are only human. While we have been created in Your image and likeness, we are not flawless people.
Lord, we come in the name of Jesus Christ asking for Your forgiveness. Cleanse us from all unrighteousness and make us worthy in Your sight.
Lord, help us when we feel as if everything is bearing down on us and we are unable to continue. Help us, Lord, to remember, even though we have heard the narrative of Your love and grace many times, that a Saviour has come. He was a respectable bloke, a devoted man, and he came to show us that God is for us and loves us.
Thank You, Jesus, for giving up Your place of authority to die in our place. Thank You, God, for loving us so greatly that You sent Your only Son. Oh Lord, reveal to us the depth of Your loving sacrifice, pure innocence sacrificed for us.
Lord, deliver us from the lies we believe that our lives have no meaning. Help us to understand that we are purposeful because You are the creator and we are Your creation.
We pray for all of our leaders throughout this country and ask that You guide their thoughts and actions so that we may live in peace and righteousness.
We pray for our youths, those who are mentally and physically challenged, as well as those who are losing hope. Help us to reach out to You. Provide for us, protect us and comfort our hearts. We pray with thanksgiving, in Jesus name. Amen.
Thank You, Lord, for Your love.
Our Prayers of Encouragement are for everyone. Therefore, if you also need prayer or comfort, please contact us with your request. We would be so very happy to share with you.