NO MATTER WHO we are—no matter how strong we are in the Word—Satan will try to defeat us. He'll bring negative thoughts our way and try to get us to have a pity party. But pity parties are not of God. God is involved in victory parties!
When the devil brings a pity party our way, we must recognize and resist it. Jesus said, "See that you are not troubled" (Matt. 24:6 NKJV). We must be bold! We must be motormouths, speaking the Word of God.
At times I have literally said aloud, "Satan, I am standing on the Word. I don't care what you bring my way. This Word shall prevail! I shall not fail." Bless God, the enemy is not going to defeat me! But I can tell you from experience that he will not stop trying.
I remember a particular day several years ago when I wasn't feeling well. I'm naturally a positive person, but I hadn't had a lot of sleep that day. I went into the office anyway because a lot of things were going on. I was there by faith.
As I began to read through my mail, I came across a letter from someone who was complaining about one of our graduates. Although that kind of letter always hurts, I could normally just put it on the spot. (My trash can was named "the spot"!) But Satan always comes to us when we're not feeling our best, and he was having a heyday with me. I began to have a pity party.
'I Want to Quit'
As I sat there at my desk, I began to tell the Lord, "My husband and I have worked ourselves to the bone. We've tried to train these students right, and all they do is go out and mess up. It's not worth it, God. I want to quit."
Have you ever been there and said something similar? I think we all have at some point.
I went on and on and on. I poured out my heart as David did in the Bible. When I stopped, I got quiet on the inside. (The most important time in prayer is the 15 minutes after we stop and let God talk to us. He loves us. And He is there to answer us if we will allow Him to. He will help us understand situations and comfort us in the midst of everything we're going through. He will help us finish our course with joy.)
As I stopped to listen, the Lord began to ask me some questions. Through those questions, He showed me that I had made a mountain out of a molehill. I could name only 10 graduates out of the 10,000 we had at the time who had messed up. It was such a small percentage compared to those who were positively impacting this world. Yet I had allowed the enemy into my life with a pity party.
After that incident, I determined that I would not let the devil bring a pity party to me again. I decided I would have victory parties instead. To help me do that, I began keeping a good-report file. Every time I receive a positive report about one of our students or graduates, I put it in that file.
Now when the enemy comes and tries to get me to have a pity party, I go to my desk and get out that file. I don't have to read very many of those reports before I start shouting and having a victory party!
You can do the same thing! When the enemy brings a pity party your way, remember all of the good things God has done and is doing for you. He's constantly working on your behalf. He's answering your prayers, providing for you, and changing circumstances in your life—every day! Woo! Just thinking about this will cause you to have a victory party.
You see, times of discouragement will come to all of us. That's why we've got to gird ourselves up! Philippians 4:8 (NLT) says, "Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." This verse tells us to think about things that will build us up, not tear us down.
We must focus on the positive. When we do, we won't have time to worry, complain, and get discouraged. We won't have time for a pity party. We'll be confident that when we stick with God, He will stick with us. He will see us through every difficult situation.
God Is Working It Out
When the enemy comes with his pity parties and tries to destroy us—when he rocks our world—we must choose to look to the Lord. We must look to His Word, draw strength from it, and begin to think victorious thoughts.
Psalm 91:15 says, "He shall call upon me, and I [God] will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him." Did you notice that the Lord said, "I will deliver him"? That wonderful promise of God's deliverance is for your life and mine.
Romans 8:35, 37 says, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? . . . Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Notice that it says we're not just conquerors. It says we're "more than conquerors"!
Our lives might not look good right now. But whatever circumstances we're facing, God is going to work it out for us. He has the best wisdom—the perfect answers. And when we place our trust in Him, we can leave the pity parties behind and enjoy His victory parties!
FAITH IN ACTION
Every one of us could have a pity party for the rest of our lives if we chose to. But instead we need to declare, "I am not a victim. I am a victor!" We're victorious in life because God's Word says, "Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
We cannot allow the enemy to draw us into a pity party. We have to keep our focus on the Lord, Who is our Deliverer. Satan will try to get us off-track and focused on the problem. But when our minds are focused on God and His Word, that's when miracles happen!