Sometimes the person who most needs to hear the sermon that the preacher is preaching is the preacher himself. That's what happened to me this past Sunday. I had been feeling a little bit discouraged last week. Maybe I wasn't having a full-fledged "pity party," but I was a bit down. I wished that we would be reaching more people for Jesus. I wished that we had a building that would accommodate our needs- (I'm not asking for much- just a meeting space with bathrooms and classrooms and a large enough area for a sanctuary. Ok, I'd also like for it to be able to be seen from the road). But I wasn't seeing those things happening.
In the book Humility- True Greatness, C.J. Mahaney quotes Martin Lloyd Jones as saying, "Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?" That was my problem. I was only listening to the discouraging things that were going on around me. I should have been reminding myself of God's greatness.
In fact, the message I needed to hear was the same one I was preparing for our people. That message was from Habakkuk 3. In this chapter the prophet Habakkuk had a lot of things that could have discouraged him- beginning with the captivity that his nation was about to experience. Instead of staying dejected, Habakkuk asked for God's help. He then reflected on the ways that God had helped in the past and remembered the great character of God. Those memories lead Him to declare his trust in God no matter how bad the circumstances around him would become. The memories lead him to praise God.
Once I preached that message to myself I was indeed happier and more content. I trust that we all can remember to remind ourselves of God's goodness. When we preach that message to ourselves we will be remembering why we can trust God no matter what is going on around us.