Every once in a while, our family has to make difficult decisions, and they usually consist of two options: 1) a comfortable safe option or 2) a crazy scary option in which we have to step out in faith and be caught in his arms or we will die.
Invariably, we choose stepping out. Its just who we are.
So, the second I take my eyes of Jesus, I get discouraged. I start saying things to myself like:
“Why do other people get to do ….. while I have to….?”
“Why does God always tell us to do the difficult thing?”
“When am I going to just be comfortable?”
Literally, that happened to me this morning. The enemy frequently comes in this way to discourage me and tell me that I am not going to make it. Sometimes I believe it, though its less now than it used to be.
So, in honor of Him who makes all things possible, who holds us together by the power of his word, and who created the universe by speaking; to Him who is able to do abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine; its to his glory and to the shame of the enemy that I write today.
When I hear the voice of the enemy tempting me to worry or fear, here are my weapons:
1. I list the ways that he has been gracious to me and think about how the situation I am in can bring glory to him.
2. I thank him for his grace.
3. I remember the ways he has delivered me before.
4. I think about his character; namely, that he is good and has good plans for my life even if they seem difficult now. (Ok, these things are repetitive and could be written as thankfulness, but I need to think through everything!)
5. I read Hebrews 11.
I am always transformed when I meditate on the fact that I was made for another world, a heavenly country, a place where one day all will be right. With that in mind, I can gladly lay down my desires in life and take up his. He is coming back for me. He will rescue me and take me home with him, and my mission here in life is to help as many people to go with me as possible. I can gladly obey and spend myself for the joy set before me. I take up my weapons and fight for heavenly realities. The darkness clears. I can’t ever get there without faith. By faith I take on joy and thankfulness, and I move forward. I take courage that there have been many before me who have died in faith.
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:13-16 (ESV)
Right now, I also have to give a shout out to Ann Voskamp and her book A Thousand Gifts.. The fight for joy is truly real, and a real weapon is thankfulness. Her book is definitely in my top ten books I have read. Maybe someday I will figure out what those books actually are.
In what ways does the try to discourage you? How do you fight back when you’re discouraged?