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Four Quick & Easy Discouragement Busters

Ever have “one of those days”— one where you seemed hammered in every direction by things that seemed expressly designed to discourage you?

Sure, we all have had those days, where our spirits took a beating.

So, how do you respond when you get blindsided by discouraging thoughts and situations?

Well, you don’t need silly cliches. (Anyone remember “Don’t Worry, Be Happy“?)

You don’t need a 238 page doctoral dissertation on the causes of discouragement and how to overcome them.

But….. what would come in handy would be a few easy to remember truths that you can use to immediately shore up your battered spirit.  Something direct, to the point, to turn your mind away from what’s trying to seize control of your thoughts, and set yourself back on the road to both positive thoughts and actions.

So, the next time you are attacked by discouragement, just pull out these four quick and easy discouragement busters and turn yourself around!

#1 God Loves You

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (1 John 3:1)

This is the most simple, yet most important discouragement buster in the universe– to focus your mind on the incredible fact of God’s love for you. I’ve written before that there is no greater reality in the universe than Christ & His love.  Every pain, hurt, nuisance, and discouragement fades away if we simply focus on God’s love.

As we focus on God’s love for us, our natural response is to respond in love to God. Telling God “I love you!” has tremendous power to lift your spirit out of discouragement.

#2 You Are God’s Poem

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
 
The Greek word for “workmanship” here is poiema. Yes, it’s the original word from where we get our English word poem.  As a child of God, you are His workmanship, His masterpiece, His poem of strength and beauty that He is crafting for eternity.

When we are discouraged, we think that things don’t matter, that we don’t matter, and we often stop taking care of ourselves and stop taking care of others.  We cease from the good works that God created us to walk in.  But the truth is that we do matter to God, that we are special in His sight, and that we can bask in the light of His love and care.  With this focus we can regain the strength to once again treat ourselves and others around us like the poiema of God.

#3 God Will Reward You for Your Faithfulness

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward. (Matthew 10:42)

When we get discouraged, one thing that frequently happens is we lose hope and give up on doing good. We think, “What’s the use?” That’s why both Jesus and Paul remind us that no good work goes unrewarded. Even if it seems like we are getting nowhere, we can still be confident that God is seeing our acts of love, kindness, and courage, and that He will pay us in full.

When you get discouraged, keep trying, keep giving, keep loving, keep doing good, looking to God’s sure reward.
 

#4 Heaven Is Your Home

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:1-4)

No matter how bleak our situation, we can take heart that every letdown, every pain, hurt, illness, heartbreak, or even death, is only temporary. This world, with all its discouragement, truly is not our home. God will one day remove every imperfection that could ever cause us to be discouraged, and our joy with Him will be unbroken, forever.

God loves you; you are His poem; He will reward your faithfulness; Heaven is your home. Encourage your heart with these wonderful truths today.

The Fulfillment That Cannot Disappoint

We are creatures ever seeking fulfillment.

It is the continual quest of our lives, from our first cries for milk to our last gasps for breath.  We live to be fulfilled.

This continual longing takes many forms, all familiar to us. The apostle John divided them by three: the lusts of the flesh such as our desires for food, drink, sex, comfort, and drugs; the lusts of the eyes with all our devotion to materialism and possessions, and the pride of life with our searches for power, prominence, and significance.

We are all looking to all three daily to fulfill us.  There’s only one little problem: they all fall short.  Some turn out to be just temporary and fail us, and some turn on us and attack and enslave us, and some just fill us up part way or turn out to not be all that fulfilling after all. To some extent (take food, for instance), they can fail in all three ways.

Yes, every source of fulfillment we can possibly turn to will in the end be the “broken cisterns” that the prophet Jeremiah once warned us against.  Every source of fulfillment that we can possibly go after is doomed at some time, on some level to disappoint us.

Except one.  God.

God’s infinite wisdom guarantees that He knows what is best for His children. God’s infinite love guarantees that He will choose what is best for His children, and God’s infinite power guarantees that He will bring to pass without fail what is best for His children. And more than any other type of blessing God can bring to us, our most sweet and lasting fulfillment from God comes from God Himself, the gift of His perfect presence.

God is the one and only source of fulfillment that not only will not disappoint, but cannot disappoint by His very nature. 

That is how God is fundamentally and supremely different and superior to any other source of fulfillment we can look to.  God both is and will always be able “to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20)

If we know this to be the truth, then let us live it.  Let us take every longing, every desire for fulfillment in our souls, and turn away from every broken cistern, turn away from every source that can only end up disappointing in the end, and turn toward our Loving Father in faith and trust that He will never disappoint.

O Disappointment Where Is Thy Sting?

 

 

 

I woke up this morning trying to be mindful of what I was thinking and feeling, and I felt it.  That little lump of disappointment floating in my chest. It’s almost like a balloon.  Sometimes it has just a little air in it— I’m disappointed because the alarm went off and I’m still tired, I’m disappointed because I haven’t had the self-discipline to stick to a diet.  Othertimes it blows up so big that it seems like it will blow out of my chest, and it threatens to take over my thoughts and my life.

We all carry it in our chest, disappointment.  A mixture of little things and big things.  We always will, as long as we live in a fallen world.  So, what do we do?  How do we live with disappointment?

Just the way we live with anything, by looking to Jesus.  For the child of God, the reality that Jesus chose me to be His child, and then He lived and died to make my salvation a reality, and now He rules sovereign over all the cosmos, and one day I will see Him and live in His presence, that reality floods my soul and swallows up every disappointment, from the mountains to the molehills, in a torrent of His joy.