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?

10 Ways to Grow in God’s Word

Grow in God’s Word

Reading the Bible

But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. Deuteronomy 30:14

The Bible is a wonderful gift from God to us, yet we hardly make use of it. Although we claim to be Disciples of Christ, we can find ourselves more inclined to read everything else except the Word of God or be involved other activities that occupy our time leaving us with little or no time for the word of God. But this Word is really special.

The Word of God is …

  • Alive, full of power, effective, energizing and knows the condition (thoughts and purposes) of man’s heart. Heb. 4:12
  • Everlasting. There is no time limit on it. Matt. 24:35 & Isaiah 40:8
  • Sure. God holds His Word in high regard. He stakes His integrity on it. Isaiah 55:11
  • Full of truth and life. We can live abundantly by the Word of God. John 6:63 & John 6:63 (GW)
  • To be desired more than riches and is sweeter than the sweetest thing every tasted! Furthermore, the Word rewards the one who obeys it. Psalm 19:10-11 (AMP)

The word of God is so very relevant to our present and future but yet we take light of its importance. If you need direction or guidance on anything in your life – spiritual, financial, relationships, career, health or wellness, emotional, professional – you can look in God’s word for help. There are so many ways to feed ourselves with the word that we have no excuses for not knowing what God says in about specific aspects of our lives or for not living it out daily.

  1. Read the Word daily. Read it like a book – from cover to cover – and gain insight into life through the accounts of God relating to man. I try to read it through at least once a year. If I don’t succeed the challenge of finishing it by the end of January, I try to continue until I’ve reached the end.
  2. Pray the Word. Remind God what His word (His promise) is concerning you. However, you can only do this if you know what the word says about that area of your life.
  3. Speak the Word. I am not talking about praying here but about making God’s word a part of your everyday conversation with friends, family, work colleagues, and whoever you interact with in your day.
  4. Study the Word. If you want to know how to manage your money, how to raise your child, how to related to your family and friends and about anything pertaining to your life and your relationship with God; the answers are in the word of God. You can research specific passages, people, topics, etc. You can also adopt certain methods of study like in the inductive or manuscript method and others that would help you gain a better understanding of God’s word.
  5. Teach the Word. God commands us to teach our children His word. Through family devotions and classes at church we can teach them. But of importance is to teach them through our lives – what we say and do have great impact on how they view God. Therefore we must aim to live God-honoring lives and as we do God promises that training our child in His ways will help them to remain in Him.
  6. Memorize the Word. I never really took much effort in memorizing though it is highly recommended. I realize that the more you study the Word, you will remember it and the Holy Spirit will remind you of specific scriptures when you need encouragement and guidance.
  7. Meditate on the Word. In the Hebrew language “meditate” means to speak or to mutter repeatedly. When I read and I find a scripture that stands out, I would personalize that verse or passage and speak it out. I would put it on a cue card to visualize it throughout the day or I would do further study on it and write it out in a personalize way. I recently shared Psalm 91 with you.
  8. Believe the Word. If you claim that the Bible is written by men who were inspired by God to pen this message to us, then believe it. If you choose to become a disciple of Christ, take God at His word.
  9. Share the Word. God’s word is good news that isn’t for one but for all. Share with those who believe to encourage, exhort or even reprove. Share with those who don’t believe that they might come to believe and accept Christ as their Saviour and Lord.
  10. Apply the Word to you. The Word is not just for the purpose of gaining knowledge but it’s meant to change man to become like Christ. The Word is like a mirror but searches deeper the surface. It shows you who you in your heart are and gives you the insight on how you can change. Let the word enter your heart and bring the life transformation your need.

Once during Bible reading month challenge this verse above (Deuteronomy 30:14) really stood out for me. As I thought about it I realized that when this was said to Israel the Word (then the Law) was read to them on occasionally. Yet God said the Word is in their mouths, and their hearts and they should live it out.

What about us today? We have access to the wonderful gift 24/7 in hard-copy form in various translations, on our cell phones, on e-readers, in CD or audio format, in DVD format, on television and there are even programs that would help you by sending reminders to read the Word. Check out: Bible Gateway, You Version, Faith Comes by Hearing, and The Word of Promise. We can read, we can listen, we can watch the Word anytime.

God promises that His word will bring you all-round and ongoing success when rightly applied (or lived out) – Joshua 1:8-9. I encourage you to intentionally spend time in the Word of God and apply the methods above to make it a part of your daily living.

How near is the Word of God to you? This week, make a plan to study specific areas of the Bible outside of your daily devotional time. It will bless your life.