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.
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
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?