Let’s be real –– these are discouraging times, right? All around us, things feel like they’re shifting and changing, like nothing is “normal.” And you might find yourself asking, “God, where are you in the midst of this mess?”
Let me tell you something: discouragement is real. But Jesus is even more real, and he loves us, even in the midst of our messy lives.
Here’s the thing: sometimes we talk about discouragement like it’s the opposite of excitement. In reality, discouragement is actually the opposite of courage. It’s that feeling of looking at something up ahead and feeling like your courage has just been sapped.
When something comes out of left field it can drain our courage and our passion. Sometimes, it’s not even the thing itself that discourages us. If we’re physically depleted, we’ll find ourselves being discouraged by things that wouldn’t usually bother us.
The thing is, we all feel these feelings, and right now, a lot of us are experiencing discouragement in a major way. So today, I’m going to share 3 things we can do in the face of discouragement.
1. Acknowledge your discouragement.
It was that great American theologian G. I. Joe who once said, “Knowing is half the battle.” If we know what’s got us discouraged, we’re halfway there. As we navigate our own discouragement, it’s important to acknowledge that it exists and to define it. Where is this discouragement coming from? Is it being caused by one situation, or are other factors making that situation feel overwhelming? If we’re physically exhausted, it’s hard to tell where our discouragement is coming from. Sometimes, I just need to step away, take a nap, eat something, then come back and deal with the situation that’s discouraging me.
2. Bring your discouragement to Jesus.
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Maybe you’re reading that, and you want to believe it, but you just can’t feel it right now. Maybe you’re thinking, “Yeah that sounds great! But I don’t feel restful. I believe in Jesus, but I feel weighed down right now.” Make sure you don’t miss what Jesus is saying here. He isn’t saying that your life isn’t hard. He’s saying that He wants to help you bear those hard things! When you choose to take His yoke, He bears the brunt of it, and you still get to be a part of it. If we think that we need to carry all of this, we’re going to get buried in our discouragement. Jesus wants to do the heavy lifting. In fact, He already did the heavy lifting with His death on the Cross and His resurrection from the dea. His presence isn’t hovering above our discouragement. He’s right there with us.
3. Praise God!
When you know your discouragement, define it, bring it to Jesus in prayer, and then it’s time to praise. I have experienced times of deep discouragement, and here’s what I’ve learned: gratitude and praise transform the details. When I start praising Jesus, it doesn’t change my situation, but it changes me in the midst of my situation. When I start to change, the discouragement doesn’t stand a chance. It has to dissipate. When we praise, we don’t need to depend on our own energy anymore. We can let Jesus fill us up with His joy, His energy.
If you’re feeling discouraged today, please, share this post with your friends and family. We need to be reminding each other of the courage, the joy, and the energy that Jesus has to offer us! Because that courage from Jesus is way more real than anything else we’re experiencing.