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Encouragement for the hard times!

October 12, 2015

Grace to you! One does not have to live the Christian life long to face a season of discouragement. What are the things that discourage us? And how can we respond to discouragement in our own lives and the lives of others?

Disappointment can come through various channels into our lives. The two primary ways it comes into our lives are external and internal factors. We often can get the moody blues through things that happen to us or around us. We see our family going through hard times or we see our nation in steady decline. We may be facing a debilitating illness or we may be undergoing an unwanted personal conflict with someone. These external factors and others like them over time can wear down our resilience and joy we have in the Lord. Make no mistake. We are responsible about how we respond to these external pressures but they can seek to influence us towards discouragement.

Disappointment can also be fostered by internal factors. These also can take a wide variety of forms in our lives. Perhaps internally we struggle with loneliness or we don’t know how to cope with the overwhelming sense of a recent loss. Maybe we really blew it in our spiritual lives and dishonored the Lord in a big way. Perhaps what we wanted in our hearts was such a strong desire that we trampled over others to get to it. Maybe we are just tired internally from the mountain of struggles we deal with on a regular basis and are ready to give up. In some cases, we may not even be able to put our finger on exactly what is discouraging us; all we know is that we are discouraged.

The good news is that scripture is full of people like you and I. People who struggled with discouragement. Broken people with broken lives and broken situations. The Psalms are replete with such hurting people. But they show us a way out. They remind us of the God of all hope (Psalm 65:5). Even when no temporal hope is available, those who trust in Christ have a future hope that can’t be taken away! Psalm 42:11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” So the first remedy we see in dealing with discouragement is to keep directing ourselves back to the Lord Himself. We need to think on who He is and what He has done for us in Christ.

But there is also another way we have to deal with discouragement. This is where the local body of believers comes into play. Listen on how to deal with discouragement. Hebrews 3:13 “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” How do we overcome discouragement? We can encourage our brothers and sisters in the Lord. We are to be the mouthpieces God uses to encourage others in this journey we call life until Christ comes and makes all things new!

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