5 Steps for When You See the World and Get Discouraged

 

Disasters.

Defiance.

Temptations.

Trials.


When I look at our world today, it’s easy to get a bad case of discouragement. Seeing a news story that makes my heart sink. Watching relationships damaged and broken. Hearing the faithless with shattered spirits utter the word no each time God knocks on their heart’s door.


It’s enough to dump a heaping load of darkness in even the most joyful day.



Yet in the midst of the misery, God's Word remains true.



Even before we knew what we would see happening in our world, God knew. He gave us direction through Scripture that would teach us what to do in the most treacherous times.



I have a confession though, and I’m a little embarrassed to share it.



There are some books of the Bible I tend to skip over. It’s true. But I’m trying to do better. I’m praying and asking God to help me see God’s correction with new vision. In His grace and loving-kindness, He is answering that prayer.



The book of Jude is a perfect example.



Jude begins with a harsh reminder about what happened in the past to those who rejected God. He also tackles this reality - there are still people today who will face the same fate as those in the past.



Truth like that can sure make the future seem bleak, can’t it? But just as we think things are looking discouraging, Jude ends with a clear description of how we persevere through it all.



And the truth is, it’s pretty simple.



Let’s take a look at these 5 things we can do when we see the world and get discouraged. I found hope here, and I pray you will too.

 

1. Build ourselves up in the faith.

 

“But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith…” (v. 20 NLT).



God gave us a great gift when He taught us to encourage ourselves, and one another.



Reminding ourselves of God's goodness helps even the deepest hurt. (Tweet this.)

 

2. Pray in the Spirit.

 

“...pray in the power of the Holy Spirit,” (v. 20 NLT).



We can feel the comfort of our Holy Spirit as we take every care to our Heavenly Father in prayer. He generously offers peace and hope when we feel down.

 

3. Keep ourselves in God's love.

 

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life,” (v. 21 NKJV).

We can have a hope and expectancy for what will come, and today we have God's love to keep us in perfect peace.

 

4. Have mercy on those who doubt.

 

“And have mercy on those who doubt;” (v. 22 ESV).



In the previous verse, Jude mentions the mercy of our Lord, and then follows that with a call for us to also have mercy to “those whose faith is wavering” (NLT). Lord, gives us the strength to show mercy as Jesus did.

 

5. To others show mercy mixed with fear.

 

As we share the love of our Savior, we are also called to walk in a reverent fear of the Lord. The NLT version puts it this way. “Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.”



As we respond with mercy, let’s ask for God’s wisdom to guide us with a healthy balance of grace and truth.



And let’s also hold onto this concluding promise, “Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.” (v. 24)

Thank you, Lord, for the promise of your glorious presence.


For more help from God’s Word for discouragement, visit this post here.

Blessings,

Kristine

 

Can God Restore My Relationship?

Today’s blog is transcribed from this video on my Facebook page. If you’re a listener, feel free to click the link to take you there. If you’re more of a visual learner (like me) I am sharing it here as a blog post just for you! Read on to find the answer to the question, “Can God restore my relationship?”



When we start a new topic, sometimes it brings up big questions that need to be answered. Thankfully we have an even bigger God, and all we need to do is look to His Word for those answers.



The question I’ve been getting lately is this. 



Can God restore my relationship?



The uncomplicated answer to that is yes. God can restore relationships because He can do anything.



But God also desires to restore relationships. When we look at Romans 5:10, we see that God actually restored our relationship to Him through the death and resurrection of His son, Jesus Christ. 



“For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. We were enemies of God through sin. And through Jesus God restored our relationship to Him.” Romans 5:10 NLT



So yes, God can restore relationships, and He desires to.



But we need to remember this. There are 3 parts to God’s restoration. God desires to restore relationships through His way, in His timing, and for His purposes.



God desires to restore relationships through His way.



So many times I can take control of a situation. I want a relationship to work so badly, that even if that person is not acting like they want the relationship to be restored, I will do anything to make it happen. I try so hard to fix it on my own! 


I’ve learned from experience that if I will just take a step back, and let God do it His way, not only does He get glorified, but it always turns out better than when I try to fix it.



God desires to restore in His timing.


God’s timing is so vastly different from our own, that we can’t even fathom it. 


How many of us have an experience, maybe with our own family or a friend, where someone desired to see a relationship restored, but that didn’t happen for 20 years, or even longer? 


Sometimes relationships aren’t restored until a person’s last moments on this earth. And for whatever reason, through forgiveness or reconciliation, that relationship gets restored right before a person takes their last breath and goes to be with their Savior. 


When we remember that God’s timing is different from our own, we won’t have the tendency to say we wished it had happened sooner, because we can rejoice in the fact that we will have all eternity to enjoy the restoration God gave.



God desires to see restoration for His purposes.


We know that God works all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) That tells us God is working everything together for our good right now. 


If we’ve been praying for restoration and it hasn’t happened yet, there’s a reason. We need to trust in that. 


So, that brings up another question. 



If God already knows when, where, and how my relationship will be restored, do I need to keep praying? Sometimes it hurts holding onto that promise of restoration every day. 



I pray this thought will help us as we navigate the difficult path of waiting.


We can let go of the expectations for restoration without letting go of the hope. (Tweet this.)


Hope is a gift from God. It’s uplifting and will help breathe life into our day when we feel the emptiness or loneliness from seeking restoration. But expectations can be exhausting. We can go about our daily lives holding onto hope without the expectation that it’s going to happen in our way, or in our timing. 


To join the conversation about God’s restoration power, check out the video version here.


Blessings,

Kristine