|Look to Jesus... God will help you!|
For some it seems that with the new year... well, here it comes! You know, the January blues. Why is it that many experience discouragement not just during the coldest of winter months (and especially at Christmas time) but throughout seasons of their life? In helping others, I have often listened to their heart cry, "Every day seems longer than the day before."
Depression is a painful experience, a feeling of hopelessness. Whether you experience rejection, the loss of a loved one or perhaps you are experiencing a child getting into trouble... it all feels the same. Discouragement is an old problem and depression is one of the most common and oldest of all disorders. Depression is a warning sign that we are moving into deep waters. As I gaze upon the girl in this photo, she appears to be preparing a meal and yet pondering if there will be enough food for her brothers and sisters. Her thinking patterns of negative thoughts may dictate an anticipation that her current difficulties will continue and she sees a future life of hardship, frustration and deprivation.
I have read in many counseling books that 'discouragement is no respecter of persons.' It can hit the 8 year old girl as well as the seventy year old, rich or poor and the Christian as well as the non-Christian. So, let me ask the question... How do you feel and act when you are discouraged?
For many, they feel defeated in the struggle and believe there is no hope. In 1 Kings 19:4, Elijah had said that he had had enough of life and had prayed that he might die. But the Lord in His mercy had not taken him at his word. Have you ever felt that way? Read about how Elijah escapes from Jezebel from the Bible Gateway Passage.
|Walking it alone.|
Here are a few steps to despair:
1. We lose Biblical perspective. The way you perceive your life, your job, and your family is discolored when you are depressed. It seems distractions and deception set in.
2. We focus on problems and disappointments.
3. We begin negative self talk. There is a general loss of self esteem. The person feels less positive about himself and questions his value.
4. Isolates from other believers because of a fear of being rejected. The depressed person cancels favorite activities, fails to return phone calls and seeks ways to avoid talking with others. Basically, he/she pulls away from the church.
Our Pastor talked about defeating discouragement last Sunday. Pastor Mel at Riverview Church said,
"As new creatures in Christ, believers can face problems with a new perspective and strategy that affirms God's sovereignty."
We need to keep doing the right things. We need to keep moving forward by faith without retreating in fear. (Take action!)
Choose to believe the character of God. Remember that God is with us even in our discouragement. Choose to rejoice in the Lord! Trust God at His word. (1 Kings 19:11-13)
Choose to share your problems with a trusted friend. Reconnect with God's family. (1 Kings 19:18)
Choose to wait patiently for the Lord to act. (Psalm 27:14)
God is faithful and will bring a good result. (1 Kings 19:6-10)
One final thought...
Because God loves me He stands with me when I have reached the rock of despair, when I see the real me and compare that with His righteousness, holiness, beauty and love. It is at a moment like this that I can really believe that God loves me. Yes, the greatest of all gifts is God's perfect love!
Be changed by God's word! One place you may want to read your Bible is Bible Gateway.
“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
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