5 Steps for When You See the World and Get Discouraged






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.




When It's Time to Move Beyond Preparing

“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that He may come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12 ESV


Who knew a simple phone call could bring with it a life-changing decision to be made? A choice that would either allow me to stay in my current place of comfort or alter the course of my future?

I answered the call with all the reluctance of a child jumping into deep water for the first time ever. I’d spoken to this woman before. Several times, in fact. I’d called her with questions about an area of ministry I had been exploring and praying about, and I knew she had years of experience there.

But I hadn’t yet made the decision to move in that direction.

Now here we were, having an unexpected conversation about an open door of opportunity. She knew about my interest, so she felt compelled to call and offer me the chance first.

And even though I’d spent years preparing my soil, I wasn’t ready to sow the seed.


“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that He may come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12 ESV


In the verse above, the prophet Hosea brought a word of warning to the people of Israel. They’d let themselves get too comfortable in their sinful ways, and now it was time. Time to sow. Time to seek. Time to reap.

Fallow ground refers to ground that has been tilled and prepared for planting, but then left alone far too long. Because the preparations have been left unattended, the ground must be broken up and weeds removed before it is usable once again.


We can be like that too, can’t we?

We read our daily devotionals based on Bible stories.

We pray.

We ask God for guidance.

We study.

We memorize our favorite Scriptures.

But then when God brings opportunity our way, (when we least expect it,) we make excuses. We find reasons why we shouldn’t. We even convince ourselves God must’ve meant it for someone else. We prepare our hearts to receive, but then we don’t allow Him to move in our lives.

From God’s Word through Hosea, we find a valuable truth, one we should plant in our spirits for the coming year and beyond.


Once we've prepared our hearts, it's time to do what God has called us to do - seek Him. (Tweet this.)


Jeremiah 29:13 ESV says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Yes, it is so important to prepare. But we can’t stop there. If we don’t sow seeds of righteousness, our ground will become stale, stagnant.

When the phone call came that day, I had prepared my soil. I even found comfort in the safety of God’s promises and the peace of His presence, so much that I just wanted to linger there. But when opportunity came to jump into the deep water, I wasn’t ready to sow the seed. Instead, I left the soil to harden and grow weeds.

That was many years ago, and from that experience I learned how to seek Him without fear. Seek Him in all things. Seek Him, and know that everything else will fall into place.

We can have the same comfort and peace, even in the uncertainty of deep water, when we let go of reluctancy and do what God has called us to do.

May you continue to seek God fully in 2018. Your heart is prepared, now get ready to reap the harvest.





Interested in learning more about how to seek God in decision-making? Find out more about the 5-day study, Walking with Rahab, by clicking the link here.