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

 

The Power of This One Word

Last August I spoke to a group of women at a local church for their annual women’s gathering. This verse served as the backdrop for our time together.

“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45 ESV

What a powerful verse. Simple, straightforward, faith-filled.

I knew the verse held special meaning for us as daughters of a loving, merciful God. But I didn’t know it would soon speak to me in a very real and personal way.

Since that night, one word from this verse kept showing up in my daily life. I began seeing it everywhere, and that’s prompted me to dig deeper into its importance. That one word is this...


Believe.

I didn’t realize soon after that ladies’ event how desperately I would need to hold onto the word believe. Because certain life circumstances can leave us out of options. Realizing our own strength isn’t enough. Knowing we need a better way than to rely on ourselves.

“Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’” John 20:29 ESV

We all know how hard it is to believe everything will be alright when we can’t foresee a good outcome. That’s the essence of our faith. We choose to believe, even when we can’t see God at work.

But have you ever noticed how it’s easier to believe in some situations more than others? I can stand firm on God’s promise to heal my illness, but waver in whether or not He will work a miracle in the life of a loved one. I can know without a doubt God will never leave me or forsake me, yet still at times be overwhelmed by fear. So what’s the difference? Why can I be confident in one situation and so uncertain in another?

Because I haven’t yet grasped the power of the word believe.

In the past, I’ve been guilty of assigning levels to life’s hardships. Each level of difficulty would determine whether I believed God could work in my circumstances. Then I sensed a life-changing question in my spirit:

Is God is more capable in one situation than another? Or do I believe He is able in ALL things?

Therein lies the answer. We must determine our willingness to believe.

Believing means whatever level of hardship we face, we trust that God is able. (Tweet this.)


God can provide peace in our everyday ups and downs, and still calm our deepest fears. God can change the life of someone precious to us, and He can also heal us. There is no limit to His power and no end to His unfailing love.

What do you need to believe God for right now? Maybe it’s reconciliation of a broken relationship, or a financial miracle. Maybe you need a definite yes or no answer, a door to open or close. Whatever the need, let’s stand together in belief.

So whatever level of struggle you are dealing with today, don’t take another step forward in your own strength. Pause, breathe, and choose to believe. It’s when we can’t see God working that we learn to trust Him the most.

God will fulfill His promise. Just believe.


Blessings,

Kristine