I have held back on writing on the topic of discouragement for two reasons. First, I still struggle with discouragement. Second, total transparency scares me. Neither reasons are good enough for me to not write this, so here it goes.
Discouragement is a silent assassin that creeps in when you least expect it. I am not sure about you, but it seems that discouragement doesn’t care if the circumstances in your life are good or bad. Most of my discouragement actually shows up when the circumstances in my life are going well.
This past year has been one of the greatest years of my life. The ministry I am apart of is healthy and growing, my friendships are thriving, and I am actually healthier than I have been in awhile. Things are going well, but that hasn’t stopped discouragement from creeping into my life.
I have been discouraged on some of the greatest days of my life… Let’s just say, I hate feeling discouraged.
So, how can a person move forward if they are feeling discouraged??
I am going to give you some things that help me get through my own discouragement.
1. Seek the Lord.
Really Ty? Isn’t that a given? Nope. In theory, I think most of us that are Christians would say we should seek the Lord. How often though do we run from God or try to take things into our own hands when things turn negative? We try to find solutions outside of the Lord and we fail miserably. Listen, the Lord desires for our delight to be in Him. Ultimately, God is the greatest source of encouragement. It changes things when you know and believe that on your worst day, in your worst mood, in your darkest state, God loves you more than you can imagine. God should be the first person we run to not the last.
There is little hope in moving forward if you can not identify the things that trigger discouragement in your life. If you can not identify triggers of discouragement, it becomes difficult to seek encouragement. Why? Well, how can you know what to pray for or seek advice for if you don’t know what is causing it in the first place? If self-awareness is something you struggle with or do not know how to do, I recommend keeping a journal. Write about the discouragement and try to find common factors that seem present every time you feel discouraged.
Surround yourself with people that you can be honest with and that will be there when you are feeling discouraged. Be around people that encourage you as a person. Be around people that will push you to Christ in all circumstances.
I wish I could tell you that discouragement or dark days are gone. The truth is pain still hurts, discouragement still creeps, and darkness still clouds. The hope for the believer is not a superficial promise to get happier but rather, an eternal satisfaction in the Lord of All. We have hope.