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

 

Trusting God with Our Biggest Battles

What do you feel in that moment when you realize a battle is eminent?

Your enemy has waged war against you, and the news punches you right in the stomach. Is it fear? Shock? Uncertainty of where to go, or what to do next?

For me, when the report comes and I realize an attack is on its way, I immediately switch to defense mode. Sure, I pray. I ask God for help. I claim to trust God with my words, but my actions tell a different story.

Because there’s nothing quite so frazzling as that instant, when you say to yourself, “This is real,” but you feel like it’s a bad dream. You wonder if God hears you at all. And in a desperate effort to wake up from that dream, you start fighting the battle yourself.

We’ve all been there, on the front lines of impending battle. In that frightening place, it’s easy to see the magnitude of what we are facing and forget one important detail.

There’s a huge difference between the way we see the battle, and how God sees it.

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King Jehoshaphat knew this.

 

When Jehoram, King of Israel, asked Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, to join him and go to battle against Moab, Jehoshaphat agreed. The king of Edom also joined with them. But after marching seven days with no water for their men or animals, Jehoram lost faith.

“Then the king of Israel said, ‘Alas! The Lord has called these three kings to give them into the hand of Moab.’” 2 Kings 3:10 ESV

But Jehoshaphat wasn’t ready to give up so easily. He called for a prophet, so they could see what God had to say about it. God’s words to these three kings revealed a powerful truth that still applies to our battles today.

“And this is a simple matter in the sight of the Lord; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand.” 2 Kings 3:18 NKJV

 

What we see as our most difficult struggles are the simplest matters to God. (Tweet this.)

 

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God spoke through the prophet Elisha, telling them He planned to fill every dry stream bed with water, so they would have plenty to drink. That was His first promise. Then He also added another minor detail.

By the way, I will also take care of this one other simple thing. I will deliver your enemy into your hands.

 

Amazing.

 

You see, God had a plan all along. King Jehoram couldn’t see it. All he could see was three armies of exhausted, worn out, thirsty men without water to drink. How would they ever be able to fight?

I hear you, Jehoram. I’ve been in that place of doubt. We all have. We look around at our circumstances, and our human minds can’t possibly foresee a good outcome. We’re exhausted, worn out, and thirsty. Yet it’s in those moments God calls us into a deeper level of trust. God’s got it handled.

“And when they rose early the next morning and the sun shone on the water, the Moabites saw the water opposite them as red as blood.” (v. 22) They thought the kings had turned on each other, so they went after the spoil. But when they came to the camp, the Israelites rose up and took them down.

 

God used the water to confuse the Moabites and win the victory even before the battle began.

 

Just like Jehoshaphat, when we trust God with our biggest struggles, He will bring us to a place of victory in the most remarkable ways.

Are you facing a battle that seems insurmountable? Are you ambushed by feelings of fear, shock, or uncertainty? Instead of taking matters into our own hands, let’s take our trust to a new level today. Our biggest battles are God’s simplest matters.

 

Blessings,

Kristine