Friday, February 10, 2017

Dealing with Discouragement

- Exodus 15: 22-27

Steps to Overcoming Discouragement
When we feel hopeless about our future and circumstances it is easy for discouragement to take over.  We have to look beyond this cloud of despair to God for true help and the promise of a better future.
When discouragement does set in, there are several things you can do to overcome:
           Pray – Remember who God is and the power He holds.  He is a loving God who is consistent in character and it is His character to help His children.  He wants you to talk to Him, even though He already knows your every need.  Pour out your heart to Him in honesty and ask Him to open your eyes to see your circumstances clearly, and to see what He wants you to see. Ask Him for patience to endure until you learn all you are supposed to learn.  Wait on the Lord be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart.  Wait I say on the Lord. Psalm 27:14
           Fill up your Spiritual Tank – Take some time to renew your relationship with God.  Rest in the comfort of His love and give yourself time to heal.  Set up a time to have a daily devotional or maybe join a Bible Study group if you feel ready.  It is great to find someone you trust to be an accountability partner and ask them to pray with you and for you during this time.  Now is not the time to sink back into the woodwork and disappear.  Go to church so you can have fellowship with other Christians.  You need their support and love and some of them may be going through the same thing you are. 
           Take Care of Yourself Physically – If you need a break, take one.  Now is the time to heal physically as well as spiritually.  Rest, feed your body, and recover from the toll that stress takes on the body.  Protect this time for yourself.  You may have to actually make yourself a priority over someone else for a change. 
           Refocus - Stop. Think about where you are and where you want to go.  Then put one foot in front of the other and move.  Some days you will have to force yourself, but you will not get better if you don’t move toward God.  Begin to perform the simple tasks that are so very important such as feeding the dog, taking care of the kids, doing the laundry.  It will feel good to accomplish something.  You must put one foot in front of the other and move. 
           Resist – Satan will always be waiting to discourage you.  Pray for strength to resist these attacks.  Expect that there will be disappointments in life again and again and be ready.  Remember that God is with you even in the most lonely, discouraging moments.  Choose to trust God in the face of fear and ask Him for the courage to fulfill His purposes for you.  Remember, He is in control of your life and He does have a plan for you.  He may not change our circumstances the way we want Him to, but He will give you the encouragement you need to overcome.
Above all these other strategies the most important thing in improving your ability to handle disappointment and discouragement is to face more of it.  In the midst of the driest desert stands the Saguaro cactus.  It is able to remain flexible and fresh because it stores enough water to get through the dry times.  It not only survives, but it provides the only refreshment in the desert during times of drought.  We need to store up resources so that when discouragement hits next time, we have 
Don’t be afraid to take more risks and fall down again.  You will come out stronger each time.  Reward yourself for attempts even if the outcome is not what you expect.  Find value in the effort!
Scripture to Claim

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9 

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