My kids don’t listen to me. Our child is being bullied. We can’t agree on anything… Our son has stopped communicating with us. Our daughter is depressed. They fight all the time. I think she has an eating disorder. He’s failing 3 subjects. She has no friends. He’s making so many bad decisions…
Discouragement is the enemy of courage and confidence.
First, there’s a minor incident but we ignore it or try to convince ourselves that we’re making something out of nothing. Or there’s a major issue, but we think, “I’m not going to let this get me down…” Perhaps we pray about the circumstance, that it will change. Then the issue begins to increase, or there’s no change for the better. We grow more discouraged and, as a result, heavy of heart.
Hard circumstances can really pack a punch. The good news is God is sovereign over ALL of them. If it happens, He knows. He knows before hand. This is hard to get our minds around, especially as trials drag on.
God is with us and wants to tend our heart – if we’ll let Him in. Too often when I’m discouraged, I don’t remember this right away. As a result, I dump onto my husband by taking it out on him, whine to a friend, or take on a complaining attitude about … well, everything.
The wise way to deal with discouragement … take it to the Lord. I’ve taught this to our kids, too. First, I ask the Lord to show me ALL that I’m discouraged about, every detail, because I want to EMPTY this closet! Next, I pray, “Lord, I give you ….”, naming every single detail. I imagine Him taking these into His hands or onto an altar. Then I invite the Lord to fill me, “Lord, fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I need Your encouragement.” As we invite the Lord to walk with us – unloading our feelings, the circumstances, the people – He meets us with HIs comfort and peace.
Jesus prepares His disciples that difficult times are ahead, while at the same time comforting and exhorting them, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16.33)
We’re not to bear up and be strong on our own.
Trusting God to be faithful, depending on Him to meet us where we are, as we share our heart with Him … He enables us to be strong, to take courage and place our confidence in Him.