TIME OUT



Discouragement is the chief occupational hazard of being a Christian. It is a powerful tool Satan uses against Christ-followers. It is a mistake to think that discouragement hits us only when we don’t have our lives together. Many of the greatest biblical giants of the faith found were found discouraged and depressed at times—Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, David, Peter.

When you start feeling that there is no hope you become chained to discouragement and defeat. You can live without money and for a while without food or water, but you cannot really live a day without hope. The sense of hopelessness you experience transfers into a feeling that nothing is ever going to change. Nothing is going to improve. Often hopelessness shifts its focus over to the idea that no one cares. “No one understands what I am going through.” If you don’t deal with it at that point, it merges into anger, resentment, bitterness, and an overall sense of rejection. Does any of this sound familiar? You have a heavy heart and a broken spirit. You need encouragement from the Lord. By the power of Jesus Christ you can overcome your hopeless situation.

Fatigue from the pressure and stress of battling life and work can cause you to become weary and jangle your nerves. Frustration from all the trash and clutter of life can cause you to lose sight of your goals and confidence in yourself until your vision is gone.  Often it’s easier to handle the enemies from without than the enemies from within. Faultfinders with their criticism and cynicism can be dreadfully defeating as well. As a result you sit frozen in fear because you got caught up in the garbage of the past that keeps you from ever moving forward in today. All your dreams and aspirations have disappeared. You are not where you want to be. The fear of failure has become the tornado that’s sucked the air out of your situation. Your position has collapsed. Jesus has not!

Let me quote Nehemiah 4:14 for you. “Then as I looked over the situation...I said…Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome.” Nehemiah was saying, “Time Out!” Put your perspective back in focus. Remember a great and awesome God. Look to him. Listen to him. “The spirit of the Lord has given us a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Take it from me discouragement is addictive. It can become worse and worse. It can become a downward spiral and turn you increasingly inward and negative and you can get stuck in self-pity with no way out. For the times in my life when I have been down and discouraged, God Almighty has absolutely carried me through.  He will carry you too!!  He will give you supernatural strength, even in the middle of dark days and nights. The Savior knows how you feel and when you hurt (see Isaiah 53).  He will share that sorrow and hurt with you. Remember, Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Stay faithful and strong. Don’t quit. Get back in the battle. You can do this! Because Christ strengthens you.

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