Discouragement is a strange beast, isn’t it? It can strike when there is really nothing to be discouraged about at all. Things might be going really well but, one thing, and discouragement sets in. Sometimes it is that one things catches us off guard. We might cope quite well with a series of difficulties, but a discouragement coming out of the blue when things are going pretty well can really hit us. As I say, it’s a strange old beast.
So what do you do when you get discouraged? Certainly, there are things we shouldn’t do. It’s all too easy to turn to things that won’t really help. What are some of the things we can do to overcome the inevitable discouragements that come?
Tell the Lord how you are feeling. He knows anyway, so why we try to style it out and pretend we’re fine all the time is beyond me. But tell him about it. Ask him to pick you up. Pray that he would bring you some encouragement. Ask him to help you get a better perspective on whatever it is that brought you down. Bring it to the Lord.
Turn to the Word
It is never a bad idea to open up the Word. Look at what it says. Hear the words of the Lord. See what it has to say about discouragement. Remind yourself of all that is yours in Christ. Remember the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. Think about every spiritual blessing you have been given by Jesus. Things may not be as you would have them, but remember that you are richer than you think.
Call a friend
Sometimes we just need to talk to someone else about how we feel. Maybe they can help give some gospel perspective. Maybe they can commiserate. Maybe they will help us see things differently. But sharing our concerns with a friend who loves the Lord can help us no end.
Get out of your head
Sometimes, when we ruminate on things in our own mind, we make them much bigger than they are in reality. Often, what is needed is to stop dwelling on things. Instead, we need to get out of our heads and focus on something else altogether. Go and visit someone, read something, watch TV, go out, whatever. But stop dwelling on things for a bit, focus on something altogether different, and see if there isn’t some fresh perspective to have in the morning.