Monday, September 4, 2017


To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion, give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes, messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit. Rename them "Oaks of Righteousness" planted by GOD to display his glory. 
Isaiah 61:3  MSG

Everyone encounters discouragement in their life at one time or another.  Loss of job, failure in business, family or personal areas, lingering illness and a host of other life events can trigger a sense of hopelessness.  Just the state of the world these days is enough to cause anyone discouragement.  The disaster of Hurricane Harvey and seeing all the images of people who have lost everything is heartbreaking.  Such total devastation and add to that nuclear testing on bombs meant for ballistic missiles.  Wars and rumors of wars.  Discouragement is one of the devil’s greatest tools for disengaging us from the purpose or ministry God has planned for us.  No matter what the devastation going on around us, we must carry on with God’s mission and try to help spread some hope in the midst of this hopelessness.  To spread hope, we must win the battle of our own with discouragement.
Discouragement is described as the feeling we get when things don't happen the way WE think they should.  There must be an expectation for there to be disappointment.  Sometimes this may be an improper expectation, but at other times it is a sense of failure in completing a desired goal.
·      The dictionary defines discouragement as; a feeling of despair in the face of obstacles; or a state of distraught and loss of sense of enthusiasm, drive or courage.
Anyone who seeks to meet a great challenge or even successfully fulfill their life responsibilities will face times of discouragement; everyone feels it at some time.  It is also contagious.  Just hang around with discouraged people and see how it affects you.
Satan annoys us with frustration, discouragement, disillusionment, and depression.  He wants us to be defeated by discouragement and therefore to lose our purpose and direction. 
But God promises to replace ashes with beauty, strength for fear, gladness for mourning and peace for despair.  Looking to Him allows Him to lift us from the pit of discouragement.  When we close our minds to Satan’s lies, we then can more clearly hear God’s encouragement and direction.  This is the first step to pushing past discouragement and moving on.
There are some contributing factors to discouragement.  Beware of these things that cause us to be susceptible to discouragement:
·      Fatigue - Physical and emotional exhaustion can lower our defenses.
·      Frustration  - Feeling overwhelmed by interruptions and unfinished tasks exhaust us.
·      Failure - A deal falls through, a marriage fails, plans fall apart, a child on drugs; these can defeat us.
·      Fear - Fear of criticism, responsibility, or failure creates anxiety.
We need to remember to expect some disappointment in life, but also to expect that God will use it for His glory.  People are human and they will fail us.  The best plans of men can be suddenly dashed by unexpected trouble.  The feeling of disappointment can quickly turn to a sense of hopelessness and discouragement sets in.
If you are in the midst of a discouraging time in an area of your life, ask God to turn your ashes into roses, to give you strength instead of fear, to give you joy to replace mourning, and peace for despair. 

Scripture to claim:
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1-2

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