The Way

Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Isaiah 35:4

Living with fear, especially in our day and age – these days of brazen and barbaric wickedness – can seem like a normal way to live.

I lived much of my life with fear. In fact, I was one of the most fearful people I know…until I was delivered of it. Fear is a form of bondage. It causes anxiety, stress on the body and affects all aspects of our lives. We are clothed in it and everything we do is borne out of it. In short, it’s a terrible way to live.

…he will come to save you.

And Jesus did. He came to save us and set us free from the oppression of it. I know this to be true because it’s part of my story. One of my earliest memories is one of fear. And even when I accepted Christ as my savior, at the age of 26, I wasn’t immediately released from it. God had some serious work to do in my spirit and my freedom wouldn’t come until years later.

I urge you to read all of Chapter 35 in the book of Isaiah. It’s titled Joy of the Redeemed and speaks of Jesus well before he ever walked the earth as a human. Isaiah gave God’s people a hint of what was to come and this picture always makes me think of him.

burning sand

It says our savior will:

give sight to the blind. And Jesus did.

unstop the ears of the deaf. And Jesus did.

cause the lame to leap like a dear. And Jesus did.

cause water to gush forth in the wilderness. And Jesus did.

cause the burning sand to become a pool and the thirsty ground bubbling springs. And Jesus did.

It speaks of new growth and a new road, a highway – a way in which the righteous walk. And Jesus was.

Jesus is The Way.

Ft. Caswell cross 2

Those who walk in this way have no fear, because His perfect love casts it out.

What about you? Do you walk in this way? Have you accepted Him as your savior? If so, fear not!

And if you don’t know Him as your savior yet, I urge you to choose life now. Your reward will be great. Your reward is Jesus himself and a new life. All you have to do is ask him to be the savior and Lord of your life. And he will because he loves you.

Isn’t that amazing?! It is! He loves you. He wants you and he wants to give you this new life and Way of life.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

5 Ways to Defeat Discouragement

Discouragement withers the soul.

Oh, and how fast it comes upon and over us. It enrobes us – no, it smothers. If we let it.

                                        If we let it.

It comes in a variety of ways: through hurtful words, contemptuous looks, unfair criticism or just plain meanness.

It takes no prisoners and, if we’re not careful, can make us feel stuck.

 stuck

We try to free ourselves from its grip but its very nature is meant to cause a loss of confidence. My favorite variation of the word is simple: despiritedness.

I don’t intend on letting anything “despirit” me and neither should you. It’s crucial that we fight back.

Here are my top 5 ways to defeat discouragement:

Pray: God is good all the time and there is no evil in him. No one understands our hurts better than the lover of our souls. He is the restorer of all things and loves it when we ask for his help, so ask Him to heal any spirit wounds. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4

Give Thanks: Look at our world with fresh eyes. Imagine viewing life from the perspective of a Third World child and then thank God for everything we tend to take for granted. Things like: warm water, toothpaste, fuzzy socks, lollipops, petting zoos, toy stores, pizza delivery, indoor plumbing…you get the idea. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. Acts 17:26

goat

Do a Good Deed: The Bible gives us a prescription for those times we feel overwhelmed with negative emotion. It’s called “Opposite Action” by some people. Essentially it’s acting contrary to the way you’re feeling and it can be an effective way of handling unwanted emotions. Put simply, my favorite type of opposite action is to do a good deed for someone else when I feel angry, sad, irritated, annoyed, neglected, etc. Do not let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. Romans 12:21

Choose a Mantra: Mantras – a word or phase repeated over and over – can be powerful. My well-used mantras are scriptures like Romans 12:21 above or …Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day…2 Corinthians 4:16

Sing – It’s almost impossible to stay sad for long when you start singing. Hop in the car, turn up the radio and drive as you sing at the top of your lungs. Trust me it works! Sing to God, sing in praise of His name, extol him who rides on the clouds – his name is the Lord – and rejoice before him. Psalm 68:4

Your Turn: Do you have any ways you defeat discouragement?