7 Ways You Can Overcome Discouragement

David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God. —1 Samuel 30:6 (AMP)

13378330_s_woman discouragedLife can be really challenging – from keeping up with your daily responsibilities to facing unexpected and unpleasant situations – discouragement can set in. Even in the process of pursuing your purpose and living for Christ, you may sometimes experience “the blues”. There are moments like these when no one is around to help you or encourage you. But sometimes in the best of circumstances, you can find yourself feeling alone and discouraged also. Regardless of how many friends and family members you have supporting you, there are moments when you feel the heavy weight of discouragement. It is in times like this that you have to encourage yourself in the Lord.

  1. Talk to yourself

Stand in the mirror, look at yourself and give yourself a positive pep talk:

“I can make it with Christ being my help.” (Phil. 4:13 AMP).

“This situation is only temporary; I will overcome in the name of the Lord.”

“Smile, God is on my side and I will win this battle because he will fight it for me.” (2 Chron. 20:15-17)

You can easily depended on someone else to give you that pick-me-up talk but it is not always possible. You must learn to talk yourself out of discouragement and believe that the future ahead of you is good.

20832754_s_happy woman

  1. Sing & Dance

Sometimes when I am feeling low, I turn the music up loud and have a praise party. It is so refreshing. Many times I have felt the presence of the Lord while doing this. Occasionally, I would get my husband or daughter to dance with me. They usually think I am a bit too loud but I just rather feel great and sing praises to God (Ps. 47:6-7) than be low in body, soul and spirit. When I’ve done doing my song and dance, I feel energized to keep going and I do!

  1. Read a book

Read a Christian inspirational book or better yet read The Book. Yes, read the Bible. I love to read, there is no topic that has not been written about. If I think reading will help me through discouraging times, I would either search my bookshelves (physical and virtual) or buy a book. I would pick something relevant to what’s happening in my life or what’s concerning to me at present that has me feeling low. I would search the Word of God for answers to my questions. As I read, God faithfully reveals His will, He encourages me and I gain insight or get new ideas to help me move forward. I often say that if someone has taken the time to research and share their or someone else’s experiences – you should take full advantage of it and learn from them instead of going through a long and hard process of “reinventing of the wheel”. Reading brings encouragement.

  1. Pray, of course

David inquired of the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6 AMP), that is, he asked God what to do. Sometimes you may go through the pity party scenario way too long instead of seeking God for direction and uplifting. God not only speaks to instruct but also comforts to assure you that He will be with you and will help you to prosper in life. Spend more time with the Father when you are discouraged. It will be well worth it.

  1. Remind yourself of God’s goodness

Go down memory lane. Think back to the days, weeks, months, years that you have been through some very tough times. What happened? How did God see you through? What did God do for you? You’re still here. Yes, maybe facing another challenge but you survived and overcame the other times. Give thanks to God for His goodness on your life (1 Thess. 5:17-18). Since God is a never-changing God that means He will express His goodness toward you again. So look up, you won’t lack a thing! You will triumph over this challenge!

  1. Rest in God

Relax. Take it easy. God is always at work (Ps. 46:9-11). Let Him act on your behalf. He is able. Take a break from the norm and refresh yourself physically as well as mentally. Often when you step away from stressful situations or from trying to solve problems, you come back to face the challenge with new energy and new ideas. Sometimes even in your busiest day taking a few minutes to refresh and regain your composure will make a lot of difference to the progress you make in the remainder of your day – you will accomplish a whole lot more.

  1. Express your heart

Tell God your Father – your frustrations, your weaknesses, your insecurities (1 Peter 5:6-7). But don’t end there. Seek Him through the Word and remind yourself of His promises. When you release your frustrations to Him and ask Him for the grace to move forward or when you cast that net of discouragement on God don’t go back and pick it up. He is able to replace your weakness with His strength. God promises that He will hold you up and give you the victory (Is. 41:10). Remind yourself that Jesus cares and He is diligently watching over you and protecting you. He is able to take care of your cares better than you.

  1. Share your burden

Please, don’t wallow in self-pity and don’t allow yourself to remain discouraged for long periods. The longer you remain discouraged the harder it is to get out of that state of mind. If you know you can’t go it alone, find a trusted friend – one who supports and encourages – and share where you’re at with that person. God has a way of working through your good friend to pray with you, give you a word and to help you soar again.

At some point in life, you will face discouragement but I want you to keep moving forward. When all else fails, don’t give up. Pick yourself from where you are and keep moving forward in spite of how you feel. You will soon realize that those feelings of discouragement are gone and you are able to progress.

Always, find strength in the Lord Jesus.

What do you do to overcome discouragement?

7 Ways to Make the Most of Your Life

tomorrow starts now_22836421_sLook carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is. — Eph. 5:15-17 (AMP)

It has been a while since I have submitted a blog post. Even though I had many ideas about what I wanted to write and even jotted them down, the inclination to write wasn’t there.

For months my family and I have been dealing with the care of my mother who recently went to be with the Lord. As I dealt with the passing of my mother, the Lord impressed upon my heart the importance of making the most of the time we have. During this time, two truths have stood out for me all the more:

1. No one knows the day, hour, minute when they will say goodbye to time and hello to eternity
2. We often have no idea what an impact we have on others but the ‘little’ things we do or by what we say

As I reflected on the above scripture and others, my question was, “How can we who are still here on earth make the most of our time?” Here a few things I have learnt from God’s word and from reflecting on my mum’s life:

  1. Live intentionally.    Eph. 5:15-17

We have to live purposely and act wisely in all we do. This decision alone can bring us to success. Having no purpose, living aimlessly and witlessly, it not what God intended for us. My mum was always looking ahead. She set her goals and worked, saved and prayed towards them and thankfully accomplished them.

We must also know and do God’s will. We have to start with the basics: acknowledge our sin, ask Jesus to be Saviour and Lord over our lives. This is the beginning of living intentionally. Live as He instructs you to do in His word. As you continue seeking Him, He will direct you into your purpose. Just obey because whatever God plans for you is good.

  1. Prayer effectively, fervently and always.          Jam.5:16-18

Mum always liked writing. There was a note for everything. Her view was that if you forgot you could always refer to your notes. But recently I discovered that she did not just write notes but she wrote prayers too. One prayer note I found read something like this, “Lord I need Your ability today to do whatever You need me to do. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.”

Prayer is a constant effort – pray within your heart, write your prayers, verbalize your prayers. But whenever and wherever you are, PRAY. God will certainly answer.

  1. Work hard but in all of it honor God.        Col. 3:17

We should make to best of what we have and be a blessing to others in whatever way God has called us to do. Mum worked hard all her life. We heard the childhood stories of carrying water and helping her mum press clothes. She worked her way from being a maid to an Executive Housekeeper and even after taking early retirement, she kept herself busy. But in all of the hard work, she loved her work and was ever thankful to God.

We have to nature of God and should also like and enjoy work. Whatever you do, when you do it, do it well and God will be pleased with you and bless your work.

  1. Play too. Enjoy life. Enjoy what God has provided for you.    Eccl. 3:13-13

As much as Mum worked hard, she also enjoyed life. Every opportunity to celebrate particularly with her family, she did. It does not mean she did not face her challenges, she certainly did. But she recognized God’s blessings on her life and her family’s and saw it fitting to enjoy and appreciate them.

  1. Give much and you will be blessed with more.  Acts 20:35

Mum was a giver, a constant one at that but yet she never lacked anything. What the scripture said in Prov. 11:24-25, it was true of her. She generously gave but yet had all she needed and wanted.

Mum gave to those she knew and to those she didn’t. As her child, I have seen lives blessed by her giving and for myself have learnt well the joy of giving to others. When you give, you are God’s hand of blessing to someone else in need. And you are blessed all the more for it.

  1. Fulfil destiny. Serve God’s purpose in your life time or generation. Acts 13:36

David served the purpose of God in his generation. I think my mum did too. Personally, I think she made a decision to leave this earth when she did. She wasn’t a pastor and even heavily involved in regular church activity but she served others well. As I looked into the congregation who attended my mother’s Farewell, and I listened to the stories of those who knew my mother, I saw a woman who served and blessed others. She provided for their needs in some way or listened as they shared their troubles and offered sound advice to those willing to accept it. Oh, that we would follow such example. Serve God by serving others.

  1. Love a lot. It’s the best gift from God to you and the world.  1 Cor. 13

My mum made it a point of saying, “I love you” to me and my siblings whenever she ended a conversation with us. She showed her love by always remembering the special days in our lives or by doing unexpected things for us. But she just didn’t show love to us but to others – there was always some assignment she had for one of us to take something for someone or do something for them if she was unable to do it. During her sickness she thought of others and sought ways to help them even if it meant asking one of us to help because she couldn’t.

One more point I’d like to add is this:

Give thanks in every thing and in every day.    1 Thess. 5:18

Life does not always go the way we want it to but every day we arise from our sleep is a new day God has given to us. He is showing us His new mercies to us every morning and displaying His faithfulness. For that, we ought to give thanks and make the very most of every opportunity to do good in whatever way the Lord would want us to.

As we make the most of every opportunity we will have success; we will fulfill destiny.

Are you doing the best with each day God gives you?