To be discouraged is to move away from courage. Discouragement is an easy default setting when times are tough and futures seem uncertain. We’re not the only generation to know difficult times. Many who’ve gone before us have walked through unimaginable hardship with no sense that a better day might await them. We’re not alone, and we’re not weak because we find ourselves battling moments of discouragement. It’s normal to get discouraged. The point is not to stay discouraged.
Everyone falls into the ditch of discouragement from time to time. However, we’ve been gifted with the power to choose our perspective. We can move from doubt to faith, from discouragement to courage. Try practicing these four disciplines:
- Remember: When it’s been a while since you’ve sensed God’s presence or seen Him move, pause, and remember the times you’ve had a front-row seat to watch Him move. Remind your soul that He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. Don’t confuse His silence with His absence. He’s nearer than your next breath.
- Believe: When you can’t see what God is up to in your midst, believe that He’s still working. Your faith is absolutely precious to God. Without faith, it’s impossible to please God. Take this moment as an opportunity to mature in your faith.
- Trust: Trust God’s great love for you. When our days on earth are over, we will see firsthand how intimately involved God has been in our story. Our eyes will fill with tears, our knees will quake, and we may, for the briefest moment, wish we’d trusted Him. So, let’s trust Him now.
- Worship: God inhabits the praises of His people. He draws near, He speaks to our hearts, and the enemy scurries away, covering his ears. God deserves our praise. Our hearts are most protected when we worship. And we so often gain a redemptive perspective on our lives when we put God in His rightful place in our hearts.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].