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Dealing with Discouragement

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Shulanda J. Hastings

Ambassador Shulanda

Ambassador Shulanda

Shulanda J. Hastings is an inspirational writer, Christian counselor and an ambassador to the faith-based community; helping them break mental health barriers. She is the author of the Beauty of My Thorns novel series and of the memoirs, Keeping My Faith While Saving My Mind.

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If for no other reason, watching last night’s debate was enough to discourage anyone about the future of our country.

So, if you are feeling discouraged on this Monday because politics has turned into a morbid reality show, you are not alone.

Life events and the actions of others can be disappointing. It is important to remember that we can’t control life from happening and we sure can’t control the words or actions of other people.

We are responsible for ourselves; our thoughts, our words, our actions.

Even when we find ourselves disappointed with others or even with ourselves, we should remain hopeful that our circumstances will not always remain in the current state.

Hope produces optimism.

If we are optimistic about our unpleasant situations, it gives us hope for the future.

However, when this hope is not present it places us in a discouraging state of mind.

Discouragement is a feeling of despair, sadness, or lack of confidence (Clinton & Hawkins, 2009, p. 80).

 

When dealing with discouragement, it can be difficult to encourage ourselves. It can be a struggle to find positive things about not only our pressing situation, but life itself.  This can lead to feelings of depression.

While God has given us the command to “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11), we have the ability to lift up our cast down spirit.

Ways to Deal with Discouragement

 

  1. PRAY– It can be easy to neglect prayer when burdened with issues. We should “never stop praying” (1 Thess. 5:17, NLT), and remember that prayer is how we communicate with God, who has all the answers.
  2. PRAISE– There are many verses and Psalms that command us to “Give praise to the LORD” (105:1a, NIV). Praising God should be our natural response when we want to draw nearer to God. Praising God is also therapeutic.
  3. POSITIVE Confessions– Avoid speaking a diluted truth about your situation. Yes, it can appear hopeless. It can seem as though there is no healthy solution. But you must remember that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” (Proverbs 18:21, KJV). Speak life to your situation. Declare the promises of God against your problems.

 

Be encouraged.  This disappointing situation will not last forever. You can choose to be discouraged or you can decide to be encouraged and hopeful. This problem might have caught you off guard, but not God and He is using even this for your good (ref. Romans 8:28). Start encouraging yourself today, right now!


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