Monday, April 27, 2020


Monday, April 27,2020
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   This is the devil’s greatest tool for distracting us from the purpose God has planned for us.  Right now, many of us are experiencing discouragement. We have experienced much unexpected and forced change in our lives due to COVID-19. It seemed like we may be coming out of it and the hope of life returning as we knew it was hinted.  However, though it may be on the horizon, life will probably never be the same again for most of us.  And it sounds like things may open up again but extremely slowly.  We are all ready to get back to the swing of things - like work and church and visiting friends.  But the discouraging news is that it really won't happen anytime soon.  Loss, disappointment, and discouragement are three feelings we have become well acquainted with, among others like fear, sadness, and loneliness. 
DISCOURAGEMENT - when things don't happen the way WE think they should.

·         There must be an expectation for there to be disappointment.

·         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.

Discouragement is a disease that is unique to human beings.  It is real, universal, recurring, and everyone gets it.  It is also contagious.  Just hang around with discouraged people and see how it affects you.

Satan wants to lead us on a path of destruction using frustration, discouragement, disillusionment, depression, and defeat.  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.  We just have to look to Him and allow Him to lift us from the pit of discouragement.  We have to close our minds to Satan’s lies and accept God’s mercy and healing.  This is the first step to pushing past discouragement and moving on.

Since we are somewhat isolated right now it is very important to be aware of things that lead to discouragement:

·         Fatigue - Physical and emotional exhaustion lower our defenses

·         Frustration  - Feeling overwhelmed by interruptions and unfinished tasks

·         Failure  - Deals fall through, a marriage fails, plans fall apart, a child on drugs

·         Fear – Fear of criticism, responsibility, failure

We need to remember to expect some disappointment in life and also to expect that God will use it for His glory.

We could definitely use some messages of joy today instead of MORE news of doom. During this time of waiting and social distancing ourselves, if discouragement creeps in, ask God to turn your ashes into beauty, to give you strength instead of fear, to give you joy to replace mourning, and peace for despair. 

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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