What do you do when you’re feeling discouraged? How do you overcome discouragement when it comes knocking on your door?
There are days it feels hard to read the word and sometimes when I do, it feels mysterious and locked up.
Sometimes my mind is in so much chaos I can’t even focus. This leaves me discouraged and if it lingers, anxiety and depressive thoughts crawl in.
I know in situations like this I’m not alone and in order to encourage others out there who may be facing the same thing, here are the few things I do.
Indulge in Christ-centered messages
I do mention it often that I love spending my money on materials that will boost my spiritual strength. The Bible is the ultimate but days when you’re too weak to pick up your Bible, plug yourself into Christ centric messages or books that can boost your faith.
There’s so much garbage in the world and if we don’t guard our hearts, we will fall prey to the enemy’s wiles. When you’re hungry, the only thing that can fill you is healthy food, not junk that may cause calorie blockage.
The same applies to the word of God.
2)Look away from yourself: One of my most discouraging moments in life was when I kept looking at myself. My failures, shortcomings, disappointments, rejections and many other things that make me up as a human.
In a world saturated with self, it’s easy to lose focus of Jesus and His plans for our lives.
It’s easy to keep thinking we can ‘do it all’ and don’t need Jesus, especially in the seemingly insignificant areas of our lives.
But I’m learning that Jesus wants to be involved in everything and instead of hide and feel like a big girl, I must remember I’m my Father’s daughter and just find rest in his arms.
I am not enough and that’s okay. God is enough for me and I will abide in His truth and love until I am whole.
You may wonder why you need to sing when you’re feeling discouraged, but the right music can lighten up your soul.
Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.Hebrews 12:12-13
Have you ever been faced with days that you find it hard to smile or find happiness in whatever is going on around you? On days like that, I turn on music to remind me of God’s love and goodness even when I don’t ‘feel’ like it.
C.S Lewis once said, “Never let your happiness depend on something you may lose.’
This is something that differentiates the children of the kingdom from the world. Our happiness does not lie with men or things happening around us.
Our happiness lies in the fact that God loves us and He keeps looking out for us in this chaotic world.
And what does a joyful person do? Sing! Your voice might croak but just keep singing.
Even in your singing, laugh. People may think you’re insane, but who cares anyway?
Paul and Silas were in prison and they sang. If you can’t sing, hum and who knows, from your humming, you’ll get the chance to dance.
Recently I found myself dancing while brushing my teeth. Some of the plans and expectations I’d had for myself hadn’t worked out, but that night I just found myself dancing happily without a care in the world.
Confide in your spiritual friends
Sometimes we talk to the wrong people who don’t make us feel any better. Sometimes, it can even result in gossip and all sorts that should not be found in the midst of God’s children. Talk to people of the same faith.
Psalm One says “Blessed is the man, who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners nor seats in the seat of the scornful: But his delight is in the law of the lord. And in His law, he meditates day and night.
You need to know the kind of people you move around with if they’ll propel you forward and towards Christ or backward. Faith is shared and strengthened. You can even pray for each other
Fellowship with the Brethren
When you’re feeling discouraged, seek those in the same faith with you. It’s amazing how some people advocate others should not go to church just because they are not going and it’s sad that gullible people pay attention to these anti-church activists.
They cry out that the church has been unfair to them, they’ve been cheated and the pastors are thieves because of tithes and offerings.
Yet, I wonder if it’s pastor or church they were going to worship in the first place or God. Who are you going to seek? Who are you going to communion with?
No man is an island.
Jesus had his disciples for a reason though they fled when he needed them but still, we need people of the same faith around us or we fall.
There are times we ask questions that need answers, we need to hear God’s word to us through a pastor/preacher, we need to feel the presence of God in worship and praise and as the bible says, “Fellowship with the brethren.”
Paul was not alone in his outreach. He had people around him. He was not superman and it’s very easy to get discouraged when you have no one around you.
Some people have found themselves in an terrible situations because they sought counsel from the world. We need to understand that the dead cannot provide counsel to the living. It should be the other way around.
Perhaps the church offended you and this drove you to seek help from outsiders. But we must be willing to give God and people a second chance and open our hearts to love.
The church is not a museum for good people, it’s a rehab center for all kinds of people who come to seek the face of Jesus.
So expect to meet different kinds of people including mixed multitudes.
But we know what we seek. We know who we serve, we know who our heart yearns for and so let that be your judge.
Another thing to do when you’re feeling discouraged is to pray. You don’t even have to go on your knees. Prayer is communing with God. So talk to God about how you feel and how you need His strength.
He’s your father. He birthed you not to discourage you but to see you through your journey in life.
Tell him what you like and don’t like about the situation around you. Overtime, I realized that talking to God about my deepest feelings eases my burden. Because He hears me. He knows me, sees me and loves me more than I could ever love myself.
When you’re done praying, spend time on his word and engage with it. Meditate. Start confessing the truth of his word into yourself and your situation.
Anything that doesn’t align with God’s word is a lie and so flush it out. A lie is whatever contradicts God’s word about you. Remind yourself of God’s promises and pray without ceasing, because prayer provides us with strength the world cannot provide.
Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.Joel 3:10