Every day, my Bible reading plan has me start with about two or three Proverbs.
I've been agonizing over something, avoiding it, dreading it. I've been praying, "Lord, you don't really want me to do this, do you?" This morning I prayed, "Lord, if you really want me to do this, please make it crystal clear."
The first Proverb in my reading today was Proverbs 28:23 (ESV) --
"Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with his tongue."
I thought, "Really God? Could you really mean this for me?"
A few days ago, I was reading in CJ Mahaney's book, Humility: True Greatness. I picked it up thinking, "Time for a little self-flagellation. I need to pound my pride down." I opened the book at random, and the section I opened to was about using our words humbly. I thought, "Yes, this is exactly what I need. I am very tempted to use words, and I probably am not humble about it." As I read, however, the book addressed the need to sometimes confront and correct. It did not associate confrontation and correction with pride. It said that when you confront and correct, you need to use the gospel.
I did not have any idea how to apply the gospel to this situation.
Then I had an idea: because of the gospel, we have hope. The problem is our sinful hearts, selfish hearts, prideful hearts. But because of Jesus, because He died for us and afterwards sent His Spirit to live in us, there is hope, a certain hope, that He can change our hearts and fill us with peace and joy. He not only can, He will.
"And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6 (ESV) ...This also just happened to be part of my daily scripture reading.
It was really good for me to read Philippians today. We should all read Philippians more often than we do. It isn't very hard to understand, and every chapter is full of graspable, applicable spiritual truth.
"And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen." ~Philippians 4:19-20 (ESV)