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

 

What the Bible Says About Restoration

A friend recently completed an extensive remodel on her house. As I followed her journey on Facebook, I oohed and ahhed over the pictures of her all-new bathroom. I imagined what it would be like to have that in my house!


I also saw pictures of their work-in-progress, which helped me realize how much time, effort and commitment went into crafting such a beautiful finished product. Not to mention talent for building and design.


What exactly is restoration?

Restoration is the act of returning something to its former condition. Making something new again. Restoring can also make things better. The Bible says a lot about this. Our Heavenly Father’s restoring power is one of the greatest promises from Scripture. 


As we look closely at what the Bible says about restoration, let’s open our hearts to receive this promise on a deeper level than ever before. My prayer is that as we study Scripture, we will see God restore what’s been lost in our own hearts, lives, and families.

Here are 4 foundational truths about restoration from God’s Word.


Restoration can happen in our physical bodies.


“For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord…” Jeremiah 30:17 ESV

I can go for a walk every day, make trips to the gym, and cook healthy meals at home. All of these are good things that bring honor to the One who created my body. All of these help me regain my strength I may have lost during illness or injury. But nothing can fully restore us like God can.

Claim this promise with me: God is able and willing to heal me and restore my health.


Restoration can happen in our spirits.


“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:12 ESV

Life’s struggles can suck the joy right out of even the most positive person. Pile one struggle on top of another, and we can easily become trapped under the weight of despair. God’s promise for restoration doesn’t only apply to our physical strength, but our spirits as well. You can read more about restoring our peace here.

Claim this promise with me: God is able and willing to heal and restore my spirit.


Restoration can happen in our surroundings.

“And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.” Job 42:10 ESV


When we feel like we’ve lost it all, God promises to return even more than what was stolen from us.

Claim this promise with me: God is able and willing to restore what was lost.

Restoration will always be visible on the outside.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV


When I gaze at before and after pictures like my friend’s, I have a new appreciation for the change that takes place. I believe God sees that same change in our hearts when we invite His restoration power into our lives.

Claim this promise with me: Praise God for making me a new creation through restoration!


These next few weeks, we will be exploring this topic in our weekly devotions. I’ll even have some surprise guests share their insight as they tell us about God’s restoration in their own lives. Will you join us?

If you haven’t subscribed to get each week’s devotion sent to you via email, you can do that here. 


Blessings,

Kristine