It all started when you spilled your morning coffee and had no way to get a new set of clothes for the day. Hazelnut smells wonderful until noon arrives and your dress smells like slightly soured milk combined with the hazelnut. Then Suzie forgot her lunch and you had to take an extra 20 minutes to take it to her. On the way back, your car experienced a flat tire and you missed 45 more minutes of work time. When you sat down to pay a few bills, you realized you missed one last month and somehow have to come up with an extra $100 to cover it.
Everyone experiences tough days filled with “little” issues and it’s easy to get discouraged when small negative circumstances begin to pile up. Today I want to share 5 ways to fight the feelings of discouragement. These 5 points keep me focused when struggles mound and tempt me to sink into despair. Ready?
1. Latch on to a verse for the day.
Choosing a daily focus verse from my monthly devotional or Bible reading plan is often the very thing God uses to keep my heart encouraged, no matter the circumstances I encounter. I have a Bible verse in my kitchen window almost all the time. I like to use my little chalkboard to write whatever verse God is impressing on my heart during that day or week. Whatever visual method works for you, keep Scripture in front of your eyes as a truth filter!
2. Write a quick list of things for which you are thankful.
It’s been said “There is always something to be thankful for” and I believe it! When you find yourself sinking in discouragement, take a minute to write down a focused list of thanks. This purposeful exercise can pull your mind out of the slums quickly.
3. Crank up the praise music!
The name of Jesus stops negativity dead in its tracks. Not long ago, I found myself in a poor mindset, battling discouragement. My husband left a worship cd playing in the van and when I hopped in to run a quick errand, I just left the music on while I was driving. By the time I finished my errand, the praise of the Lord had restored my soul and I was nowhere near discouragement!
4. Remember that feelings are temporary.
How I feel about a circumstance right now is not how I may feel tomorrow. Sometimes we must make choices that are contrary to our feelings because feelings are not reliable. God is on the throne. He works all things for our good and our minds can’t comprehend His plan. When things seem out of control, God is always in control.
When I find myself getting discouraged over something small, I’ve found that the sooner I take it to the Lord in prayer, the faster my emotions over the issue are resolved. When a tsunami strikes and a pit of despair seems to be the “safest place,” my goal is to have my prayer muscles trained to remember the best possible reaction. It’s easy to think the “little things” are too small for God to care. But His Word promises the opposite; Matthew 10:30 says, “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” I’m prone to panic over the smallest things at times. But I’ve found:
Prayer trumps panic. Every.Time.
Remembering this quote has helped me time and time again.
How do you fight discouragement? I’d love to read your ideas in the comments!
Blessings to you today,