(Thank you Pastor Gina Elmes of Family Church, for this word)
Discouragement is the loss of confidence or enthusiasm, feeling let down and disappointed even crushed. When we allow these feelings to settle in our heart we can begin to question God’s love and plan for us. Can we really trust Him? Am I alone in this situation? I’ve had my fair share of moments like this in my present season, BUT, there are tools to overcome these feelings while we wait patiently for God to bring us through to a great testimony. The first of these tools is:
Know that God is for you and not against you.
God is a good Father and He is filled with love for you, end of story, full stop. There’s nothing you can add to that truth. Not even a “but I’m unworthy”. None of us are worthy and He still loves us! You will be spoiled for choice at the verses in the Bible that reveal how much God loves you and wants to do good by you. I can’t print the whole Bible here but here are a few verses to meditate on and get into your spirit of how much God is for you:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. – Psalm 103:8
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. – 1 John 3:16
Right now, start beating down discouragement with the truth that God is your biggest cheerleader in this life. His desire for you is only good. Let your thoughts, your speech, your mind, your actions, surrender to His Word.
Choose hope instead of giving up!
There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. – Proverbs 23:18
The second tool for overcoming discouragement is to remember that God is still with you even when it seems that He has gone very quiet.
Your way [of escape for Your people] was through the sea,
And Your paths through the great waters,
And Your footprints were not traceable.
You led Your people like a flock
By the hand of Moses and Aaron [to the promised goal]. – Psalm 77:19-20
Maturity means you don’t need to see His footprints to know He’s leading you to your Promised Land.
Listen to the great encouragement from my sister Ify below, on how she was able to surrender her emotions to God.
Research has shown that simply ‘smiling’ (a full face, warm, genuine smile) releases happy hormones which reduce stress. ‘Smiling releases pleasure hormones called endorphins, natural painkillers and antidepressant hormones such as serotonin. Smiling reduces stress and boosts your immune system’. A smile is a powerful weapon! Give it a go!
A joyful heart is good medicine, but depression drains one’s strength. – Proverbs 17:22
‘I will forget my complaint, I will change my expression, and smile – Job 9:27
A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. – Proverbs 15:30
Kraft, T. L., & Pressman, S. D. (2012). Grin and bear it the influence of manipulated facial expression on the stress response. Psychological science,23(11), 1372-1378.
Read more in Psychology Science Review