OVERCOMING DISCOURAGEMENT

14 May

OVERCOMING DISCOURAGEMENT

We all face times of discouragement in our marriages and families.  So what do we need to overcome discouragement?  What should we do?

First, be truthful with God.  I’ve found that I never fool God through my lofty prayers for the missionaries in Africa, when deep inside I’m hurting.  God is able to handle your emotions of disappointment and being disheartened.  Be honest!

Are you discouraged about a child who rarely reaches your expectations?  Tell God about it.  Disheartened about your mate and an unresolved issue that habitually occurs?  God knows about it already, but pour it out.  Disillusioned with a friend?  Then pray.  Are you questioning God—His fairness, your circumstances, or your unanswered prayers?  Get alone and share your grief  with the One who knows you best.  It’s normal to get discouraged, but it’s not acceptable to stay discouraged.

Second, find the source of your discouragement.  Sometimes it’s a goal that you didn’t attain...again.  Or the problem may be a cutting remark of a friend, the feeling that you’re carrying this heavy burden alone, or the lack of approval by an important person in your life.

By isolating the source of my discouragement, many times I’ve found that I had placed my hope in the wrong person or in the wrong place.  On other occasions, I’ve judged my response to be quite normal— and because  I can’t quit, I’ve need to work through my all-to-human desire to lose hope and give up.

Third, with a heart of faith, look beyond your circumstances and your emotions to a God who will renew you day by day.  Realize that God uses hardship to perfect your faith (Rom.5:1-10).  And recall what He told a disheartened group of Israelites, “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude (or in your case, this great challenge),for the battle is not yours, but God’s” 2Chron.20:15.

My friend, the tomb is empty!  Jesus Christ is alive!  And He is the One who can lift up your heavy hands or your burdened heart.

Barbara and I have concluded that God  has given us a life that will bring occasional times of discouragement and disappointment.  We love the way Philip Yancey put it, “The alternative to disappointment with God seems to be disappointment without God.”  You can handle the uncertainty of life only through a tough, resilient faith in a God who knows what He is doing.

NOTE:  This article is from Family Life and Marriage Bible by Dennis and Barbara Rainey.

NOTE:  Daily there is a new post to help your marriage succeed.

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