What do you do when everything is going wrong? All of us will face things “going wrong” on a large scale at some point in our lives-that is just part of living in a sin cursed world that has rebelled against God. Big trials test our faith; no doubt about it. Yet I have found that it is the relatively little frustrating things that “go wrong” that test my daily faith in Christ. What happens when you end up having to waste time during a busy week, feel like you are going in circles, and are convinced that everything is going wrong in a particular day or week? We are often tempted to respond in ways of the flesh, but the Lord would have us respond as we walk in the Spirit. How can we fight against going the way of the flesh when things are not going our way?
Here are three contrasting ways to respond to moments, days, or weeks like this:
- Stop believing you are in control-you are not in control God is. It is when we think we are in control that “out of control” days are so frustrating. Rather, meditate on verses that teach the reality that God is in control (Romans 8:28; Proverbs 16:1, 9).
- As you work through the frustration of the moment, day, or week that has “gone wrong” make sure you don’t take it out on those around you. If we are not dealing with the frustration God’s way we will eventually lash out at those around us; often those we love most. Rather, remember that the way of the kingdom is to treat others the same way you want them to treat you (Luke 6:31) and that we are to imitate Christ by not doing anything from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind we are to regard others as more important than ourselves-even when everything is going wrong around us and others do not recognize the frustration we are going through (Philippians 2:3-5).
- Stop listening to your own heart and talk to God about the problems. It is at these moments of frustration that our hearts and our minds start racing with anxiety over lost time, anger with being treated wrongly, and hopelessness about our circumstances. It is not a question of if our minds will start with these thinking patterns, there is little doubt that they will and these thoughts must be put off and other thoughts must be put on by God’s grace. This means that we need to start talking to ourselves with God’s truth and talking to God about His truth. We need to pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17). God’s inspired instructions for moments like this is that we would cast all our cares on Him and not to be anxious about anything. Specifically praying about all the things that have “gone wrong” will result in God’s peace guarding our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus (1Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:6-7).
More could be said, but it is also absolutely essential that you carry out a fight against the flesh in these moments on the basis of the gospel. If you are a child of God, then you are in Christ and there is every possibility that you can respond the right way in these moments. Just remember as well that when you fail in the fight, the blood of Christ cleanses you from all sin, your standing in grace is not in jeopardy (Romans 5:2). Your hope is not in your performance, but in His finished cross work and resurrection in your place. May the Lord help us to respond to those “everything has gone wrong” moments by fighting against the flesh by the power of the Spirit; because we can in Christ (Romans 6).