October 05, 2017

Five Ways To Work Through Discouragement

Discouragement comes in many forms. Everyone faces it at some time or another. This post is specifically for the follower of Jesus Christ, but even if you don't claim to follow Him, I hope you'll find something here worth trying or relating to! 

1. Put your hope in the Lord! 
Whenever I feel discouraged, I really have to do a gut check and ask: What am I putting my hope in? My success? Whether or not I'm well liked? The things in my life I have to look forward to? None of these things are assured. It's fine to aspire to be successful, well liked, and to have fun things planned, but they can never replace the unwavering hope we have in a Sovereign Lord who has all of our days planned out, good and bad. (Pslam 139:16-"Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.") Anything painful or even simply annoying that happens to me has to go through His plans first. That gives me so much peace. My hope rests in the fact that He created me for His glory, that I am looked upon with the Righteousness of Christ, and that He has prepared a place for me to dwell with Him forever in Heaven. If everything in my life falls apart, then I have enough with these things alone. 

2. Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
I'm convinced that well roundedness gives our life meaning and depth. I'm also convinced that it helps fight discouragement! If you only have one focus in your life, whenever you face hardship in that focus, you're going to have a hard time. As a mom, if you put your entire identity in your kids, then things won't be very pleasant when one of those kids starts living a life of rebellion. If you're a business owner without outside hobbies, when trouble and challenges inevitably come, it might be hard to be motivated to pick up the pieces. If you're an athlete and you get injured, what else do you have to put time and energy into? I think having multiple hobbies and passions where you can hit goals is key. That way when you're not making the progress or having the success in one area, you have other goals you can reach. I once read something that encourages you to have at least three hobbies: one hobby that keeps you healthy, one hobby that makes you money, and one hobby that allows you to be creative. I love that! Without over extending yourself, find a couple of completely different hobbies where you can see yourself make progress. 

3. Practice gratitude. 
Gratitude helps us be content. Discouragement isn't always because of discontentment, but discontentment certainly won't help you overcome discouragement. Discouragement feels like you're losing. Gratitude feels like you're winning. Choose to feel like a winner by counting your blessings. Gratitude will turn what you do have into plenty. I also think God is so glorified when we practice gratitude because it reminds us that all good things come from Him. Thank Him for the big things and the little things...especially the little things.

4. Remember that your story is YOUR STORY. 
Your story is going to look differently than other peoples! It is for your uniqueness, but even more so for God's glory. Celebrate the uniqueness of your story because the hiccups and the plateaus are what make your story yours. The timing of your success is going to look different from others. Work hard and use your gifts in service to the Lord. (Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.") Instead of constantly dwelling on everyone else, stay focused on Him and what He wants to accomplish in you. It's like what I tell my little darlings who are always worried about what everyone else is doing, and are little tattletales as a result..."Worry about yourself." Don't compete with the flowers next to you...just bloom. :) 

5. Keep an eternal perspective. 
This is key. Simply knowing that the Lord can take anything I face and use it for a greater purpose, a purpose I might not even know until I stand before Him one day, makes so many things seem trivial. The truth is, we all will stand before Him one day. Whatever suffering you are facing will be nothing compared to the Kingdom those who are in Christ will inherit. Suffering lasts for a season (sometimes a long one, but nevertheless, a season). The future glory far outweighs the current struggle. (Romans 8:18 "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.")

Discouragement sucks. But you got this, girl. And He's got you. 



No comments:

Post a Comment