We’ve all had those days when we wake up and we feel like nothing is working out–as though we were born for failure. Why was I even born? Just to screw up? Just to be unloved, unaccepted? Sometimes we just don’t even want to try anymore.
Can I tell you a secret? Even the most successful people have days when they wake up and they feel empty or uninspired to do anything. I, myself, prefer to look for my motivation in the one place I know I’ll find it. I look to the Bible, all throughout the pages of the Word of God are people who felt like we do. I woke up this morning and it was just the most frustrating and horrendous morning. I had just finished an article the day before that I hated and I just felt like a failure. While hanging up laundry, a lightbulb went on and I knew what my next article should be. My source of motivation and the inspiration for my next article would come from the pages of My Father\’s Living Word. So I looked at a man who lost EVERYTHING, but still knew where his comfort and salvation lay. His story is found in the Old Testament.
His name was Job and he was a very wealthy man who lived in the land of Ur. He had 7 sons and 3 daughters. He had 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 she-asses. He also had a rather large household, that would include servants as well as family members. He was a righteous and upright man in the eyes of God. One day when all the angels came to present themselves before God,
Lucifer said “I have been all over this earth”
and God asked him “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is a good and righteous man.” Lucifer’s counter to this was that God had made him prosperous and that was why he served Him. He then went on to say that if God took all his wealth away he would turn on Him. So God said to him that he could take everything from Job, but that he shouldn’t harm him. In one day Job lost everything–his wealth and his family. All gone in the matter of one day. Job went into mourning for the loss of his children. Still, he refused to turn on God and praised Him rather saying that what he had God had given to him. Lucifer saw this and challenged God again saying that if his very flesh was touched with illness Job would turn on God. So again, God gave permission to harm his flesh only he was not allowed to take his life. So we see Job become struck with boils from the very top of his head all the way to the sole of his feet. In this condition, Job’s wife said to him, “Curse God and die!” Job would not and rebuked his wife for saying such a thing against God even calling her a “foolish woman”. Despite all that had happened Job still would not blamed God instead thinking he was the reason. Had he sinned? Throughout the rest of the book right up until Chapter 38, God is quiet in all Job’s bemoaning. Then God speaks and reminds Job that God is God and that He had made the very ground Job sat on. He then proceeds to ask Job a series of questions such as “Where were you when I made the very foundations of the earth?” and “Who provides for the raven his food?” After all these questions Job admits that he was wrong to doubt that God was all-powerful and Job just needs to trust in God’s plan. In the end of the book, we see Job is blessed doubly in all he had before. He had 7 more sons and 3 more daughters. God blessed him and exalted him. A man who had no motivation found it in God and God encouraged him by showing him that God was always there and that He is all Job ever needed.
Next we move to the New Testament. Now in this section of the Bible we are going to take a look at a man whose journey starts in the book of Acts chapter 9. A man by the name of Paul. Now Paul’s life did not begin as a man of God. He was a persecutor of God’s church. Paul was a witness at the martyring of Stephen. He went on to persecute the church, until one day God stopped him right in his tracks and asked him “Saul, Saul why are persecuting me?” Paul asks him, “Who are you, Lord?” and the Lord answered him, “I am Jesus whom you persecute. Why do you resist my pricking in your own heart?” Paul, understandably astonished, says, “Lord what would you have me do?” And from that moment on Paul went far and wide preaching to all the churches that he, himself, had been instrumental in scattering. People were scared at first not trusting this man who had killed so many of their fellow believers, but assured by God and Paul’s own testimony, he became a great messenger of God to the churches. His letters to the churches make up most of our New Testament, we call them ‘epistles’. However, Paul did not have a life of sunshine and roses. Paul experienced tons of rejection, in one town it was so bad that the church there lowered him through a window in a basket so he could get away before they killed him. He was shipwrecked a total of 3 times, beaten 3 times, stoned once, and spent a day and night at sea adrift. Yet, not once do you hear Paul accusing God, instead we see a man who carried on doing the work of His Saviour. If anyone had cause to be demotivated and discouraged, Paul would’ve probably been him.
Let me take us back into the Old Testament and just briefly discuss two major prophets: Jeremiah and Elijah. There are many more I could discuss, but these two are the most prominent. Jeremiah you will probably remember as the “Weeping Prophet” or the “Prophet of Doom”. Jeremiah had a very painful calling of God, yet he kept on as God had commanded him. God sent Jeremiah to Israel despite the fact that they wouldn’t listen and his ministry would be rejected. Now how’s that for motivation? Being told that what you’re doing is going to be of no purpose to the people it was supposed to be teaching. We, as children of God, can now look at the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations and see warnings and comfort from God, but for Jeremiah this was probably the hardest time of his life. He suffered greatly from depression, as did many of the prophets, which brings us to our next prophet, Elijah.
Elijah was the prophet that challenged the prophets of Baal. The challenge was whose god was real and whose god Israel would serve. Israel was on the fence, about which god to serve–Baal or the God of Israel? So, Elijah then presents a challenge to the prophets of Baal. The conditions were very simple: both were to prepare a sacrifice and the true god would send fire from heaven to burn up the sacrifice. You can read the whole event in 1 Kings 18: 20- 40. Suffice to say, as He always does and always will, God came through. Yet after this, Elijah runs into the desert to hide from the wicked queen Jezebel who was none to pleased that all her prophets had been killed. We find him in a cave bemoaning his lot, similar to Job. He says to God, “I am the only prophet alive in Israel.” and God’s reply is, “No, you are not there are 100 prophets of Israel hidden away.” All this time God sends food and drink to give Elijah the strength he would need to continue on the journey Elijah still had to take. God was’t finished working with Elijah.
I have only mentioned four of the thousands of prophets and teachers mentioned in the Bible, but as you can see, despite one day being on top of the world, they sunk to the bottom very quickly. It happens to everyone. We all need God’s strength and motivation to keep moving forward. It can be something you hear from a friend, a song, a message on the radio or a thousand other ways.
I started this blog feeling so demotivated, but now I feel motivated to keep writing. Simply walking through the Scriptures has reminded me that no matter how sad or demotivated I feel, the only source of inspiration I will ever need is my God.
God bless you and keep you motivated, my avidReaders.