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

 

God Hears Your Battle Shout

Last week’s devotion looked at the importance of surrounding ourselves with warriors willing to stand by us in battle. If you did not get the chance to read it, I encourage you to click here and read about the other giants in David’s life.

 

Even when we have our warriors with us, sometimes the enemy has us surrounded.

 

We feel them closing in, and we can’t find an escape.

 

This is what happened to Abijah when his kingdom of Judah was at war with Israel. Abijah stood for what was right in the eyes of God. And even though he was outnumbered by Jeroboam and his armies, Abijah did not back down from battle.

 

"But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him." 2 Chronicles 13:10 ESV (Tweet this.)

 

At the time, Jeroboam wasn’t leading the people of Israel in the ways of God. So he didn’t listen when Abijah sent his warning.

 

“...do not fight against the Lord, the God of your fathers, for you cannot succeed.”

 

Abijah faced troops in front of them, and Jeroboam sent an ambush to attack from behind. Judah was surrounded by the enemy.

 

There will be times in life when the enemy closes in, when we don’t see a way out, when there seems to be no hope. Because we know those times will come, we need to have a battle shout ready, just like Abijah did.

 

“And when Judah looked, behold, the battle was in front of and behind them. And they cried to the Lord, and the priests blew the trumpets. Then the men of Judah raised the battle shout. And when the men of Judah shouted, God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.” 2 Chronicles 13:14-15 ESV

 

When the men of Judah saw that the situation looked bleak, they cried to the Lord. God hears our cries of anguish. He is there, even when we feel like the battle lines forged a chasm between us. Nothing can separate us from His love. (Romans 8:35)

Knowing God will never leave us in battle helps us trust Him in every circumstance.

 

That’s a beautiful thought, but when a desperate situation comes crashing into our lives, it’s hard to hold onto that promise.

 

That’s why we should know our battle shout, so we’re ready when hardship happens.

 

When God heard the battle cry, He defeated Judah’s enemy, right in front of them. Sometimes, like in Abijah’s situation, we see God work immediately, taking down the enemy right before us. Other times, it doesn’t look the way we think it will. It’s during those times we need to trust God to take care of it, regardless of what we see happening in the moment.

 

 

We must trust that God hears our battle shout. (Tweet this.)

 

Are you facing a situation that seems hopeless? Have you questioned whether God hears you at all? Let’s commit together today to develop a battle shout. Let’s stand side-by-side, warriors believing and trusting in the God who loves us. And if doubt or fear threatens to take over, we will be ready.

 

Kristine

 

Want to find your battle shout? Do you long to be ready when opposition comes? Next week we will look at 5 Scriptures to have in your battle shout arsenal.