Discouragement always hits us unexpectedly and uninvited. It doesn’t discriminate based on social status or popularity. It doesn’t even need a reason to exist as often we don’t have a reason for our discouragement we just know we are down. Nobody is immune to this disease and everybody faces it at some point or another. When discouragement comes our way, we can either accept it as our present reality that we cannot do anything about or we can fight back against it. Unfortunately, many don’t fight back and it impacts their walk with Christ, relationships with others, occupation, and life as a whole. Is discouragement something we should just wait out until it passes or is there a way to counter it. I believe we must go on the offensive against this as believers. Let’s simply stop putting up with discouragement and start fighting it. Here are some ways we can do that!
Recognize It’s Our Circumstance, Not Our Identity
Many see their discouragement as just being a part of who they are, so they may as well deal with it. It is very easy to fall into this mentality as life can sometimes deliver some blows and often times a knockout punch. There are times when we will endure tough season after tough season where we will get weary and ultimately just plain exhausted. Melissa and I can relate to this experience. Within the last two years we have faced joblessness, a miscarriage, the loss of Melissa’s dad, and my grandmother developing Alzheimer’s. There have been times when we have just felt defeated and ready to give up. However, repeatedly God has shown us that though our circumstances were heartbreaking, they were still separate from who we are as children of the king. Our identity is not in our trials, our identity is in Christ Jesus. Trials will come in life, but we will never cease to be who we are and that is people created in God’s image whom He died for, pursued, loved, and redeemed. Who we are in Christ was enough for Paul to keep going even after being beaten, shipwrecked, and imprisoned, so I believe that we can be confident to continue the race set before us because of our identity in Jesus. The road may be difficult, but He will be with us because we are His!!
Counter It With Worship
What? Worship? Trey you don’t understand, I just don’t feel like worshiping. I understand and I have been there but what a better way to put the enemy in his place and bring glory to Christ then to worship when we don’t even feel like it. I know its easier said than done but we must remember that God deserves our worship in good and hard times. He is worthy because of who He is! Worship never has been and never will be about us. The long-term joy we experience is just icing on the cake. I wish I could say that when I wake up at five in the morning that I always sit down to read my Bible because I feel like it with a big smile on my face. That, however, would not be the truth and sometimes I have to push myself to do something I may not feel like doing but know I will be rewarded for doing. Worship is a lifestyle that we live daily and when we make the conscious choice to make much of Jesus despite our feelings, the change in us has already started happening. This change with automatically begin to help with our discouragement or outlook on our situation.
Yep you heard that right, take your focus off of yourself and direct that focus onto others around you. I am not trying to minimize the hurt and trials that we all go through sometimes, but often all it takes is a conversation with someone else for me to realize quickly that whatever I am dealing with is often nothing compared to what others around me are facing. When we stoop down to serve others who are hurting, we don’t have time to wallow in our own self-pity because we are too busy being Jesus to this fallen world we live in. This doesn’t make our problems just go away but when God works through us to touch others we are automatically encouraged and we begin to view our troubles through the lens of knowing that we are in God’s hands. If His power is working through us, then surely He is going to see us through whatever trial we are facing. So if you are down, love on somebody today! Grab a door, be an ear or shoulder, text someone a word of encouragement, use social media to actually edify, pray with somebody, and be Jesus to this culture! You might be surprised with the results!